ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: What Made Jane Lynch Walk Out of the Audition Room?

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24 Jun 2014

Seth with Caissie Levy, Cheyenne Jackson and Jeremy Jordan
Seth with Caissie Levy, Cheyenne Jackson and Jeremy Jordan

A week in the life of actor, radio and TV host, music director and writer Seth Rudetsky.

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This week I start going to Provincetown for the Broadway Series at the Art House. The shows are Saturday and Sunday (June 28-29) with one of my comedy idols, Andrea Martin. She always has such a hilarious turn of phrase. She was just doing Act One at Lincoln Center and she told me about a new comedy bit she was trying. I told her it sounded good. She asked me, "You know what's it's not?" and then immediately answered "Remotely funny." Get tix for us (and for the following week's show with Cheyenne Jackson) at PtownArtHouse.com.

Speaking of Cheyenne, I spent last Monday with him and some other amazing people at the New York benefit for The Trevor Project. Back in the '90's, there was a fantastic Oscar-winning short film called "Trevor" by James Lecesne. It's about a pre-teen kid who is figuring out that he's gay and becomes suicidal. The film is extremely moving; is also so funny and charming. Here's the trailer. Because of that film, there's now the Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for young people who are figuring out their sexuality. The number is (866) 488-7386, and there's tons more help you can find at TrevorProject.org.

This year's benefit was directed by Adam Shankman, and I was asked to play piano for Caissie Levy, Jeremy Jordan and Montego Glover. Both Caissie and Montego had amazing back-up singing provided by the Broadway Inspirational Voices led by Michael McElroy. Michael was a Tony nominee for Big River and was the original Flick in Violet and we've known each other since I was doing summer stock in 1989! He constantly tells me that even though his career has spanned many years, the one thing people always bring up with him is the "Obsessed" video we did together. It's all about horrific riffs and dead-eyed vibrato. Please treat yourself and watch this.

I brought Juli to the show because she begged me. To hear me accompany three Broadway stars, you ask? No. Because YouTube sensation Tyler Oakley was there. She was giddy thinking about meeting him and was so happy when she did. He was incredibly kind and took two so-called "selfies" with her. I don't actually understand what he does on YouTube, but Juli is obsessed and it's garnered him an enormous amount of subscribers. The reason he was being honored is because he asked his viewers to not get him a birthday present, but instead to donate a little something to the Trevor Project. His audience is mostly tweens and teens and he hoped that their small donations would eventually add up to $150,000. Instead, he raised $525,704! Isn't that amazing?

Tyler Oakley and Juli




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