Let the traveling begin. I just got back from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Scottsdale, Arizona, and I’m gearing up to go back to Fort Lauderdale (concert with Santino Fontana) and Scottsdale (concert with Jeremy Jordan). I’m also going to Las Vegas, Nevada, and Springfield, Ohio, where I’m going to do my deconstructing show, Seth’s Big Fat Broadway Show. I’m also in Toledo, Ohio, with Vanessa Williams at the Valentine Theatre. Come see me! You can find out the dates and get tickets at SethRudetsky.com.
Anyhoo… I just did a really fun concert with Eva Noblezada in Arizona, and I asked her about when she was first “discovered” at the Jimmy Awards. This is the national competition for high school performers that takes place on Broadway. All the kids do groups numbers, but they don’t know if they’re going to be asked to do a solo until they’re actually doing the show. Eva found out during the show that she was chosen to do a solo (Brava!), and FYI, at that point in her teenage life, she was obsessed with wearing false eyelashes. One of her lashes had started falling off, so she was trying to get it stuck back on.
It wouldn’t stick, so she thought she should just get rid of it, but then she realized it would be weird because she had thick Amy Winehouse-style eyeliner. So she went back to trying to get the eyelash not to fall off. This eyelash drama was unfolding the whole time before she went onstage, so she had her face closely planted in front of a mirror. That prompted someone walking by to comment: “This one is really into herself.” What the—?! Yes, it looked liked she was studying her stunning face in the mirror, when in actuality, she was in a panic, relentlessly shoving a half-glued lash onto her upper lid. Regardless, she fixed the eyelash and sounded amazing.
After that, the fabulous casting director Tara Rubin contacted her to audition for the revival of Miss Saigon. After going in a few times, Eva was hired. But for some reason, she thought she was being offered the understudy role. It wasn’t until a month later, when she was handed the contract by her new agent, that she saw the actual offer. She looked at it and asked, “What’s this?” He said, “What do you mean, ‘What’s this?’ You have the role of Kim!” She was shocked. Yep, she found out she was the leading lady a month after being offered the role of leading lady. The story sounds so fancy and Broadway, but please note, the contract signing happened in a Panera Bread. For real.
READ: Eva Noblezada Joins Whoopi Goldberg and Jane Fonda in Animated Film Luck
Eva was only 17 when she starred as Kim on the West End, and holy cow, she was so good. James and I saw her on the West End and flipped out. Of course, I love a good onstage mishap and she entertained everyone in Scottsdale with several Miss Saigon doozies. During the final scene in the show (spoiler alert), she is with her son, Tam, before she dies. The boys who play Tam are really young, and she noticed that this particular one was squirming up a storm, aka doing “the pee pee dance.” He had to go! Well, she kept him focused during their exchange, but as soon as the light left them and went to the other side of the stage, she told him to let loose. Yes, she told him to literally pee in his pants… and since they were in an embrace, that also meant peeing on her. When she died, she smartly faced away from the audience so they wouldn’t see all the wetness, but she reenacted John’s reaction to discovering her body. If I had to analyze it, I’d say it went from devastated (as the script calls for) to disgusted (as anyone would react to seeing an actress soaked in pee). She admits the smell wasn’t pleasant, and apparently, John confirmed that. I guess the ‘M’ in Miss Saigon should have been changed to a ‘P’ that night. You do the math.
Then, Eva told me another Miss Saigon mishap. At the end of the show (again, spoiler alert), she dies. Chris runs over and cradles her and there’s a blackout. In the blackout, they walk off stage and then the lights come up for the bows. Well, one night while they were getting offstage in the blackout, the lights came back up. Suddenly, the audience saw Eva standing onstage in full health. But she was supposed to be dead! Eva didn’t know what to do, so she did the first thing she could think of: she crumbled to the ground in death. Again. Huh?
Eva is obsessed with the fact that an entire audience witnessed that craziness and wants to know what a conversation would be like between one of those audience members and a superfan of the show.
SUPERFAN: Isn’t Miss Saigon great?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: It sure is.
SUPERFAN: Isn’t it sad when Kim dies?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: It sure is. (Pause.) And you know what’s even sadder?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: When she dies again.
SUPERFAN: (Migraine begins.)
Here is Eva’s fantastic performance at the Tony Awards. Two things to note: It looks like she’s clutching her son because she loves him. That is partly true. She’s also smashing her hands against his ears to protect them because she knows she’s belting super loud. #Considerate. Also, check out her incredible final note of “I know I’d give my life for you” at 4:45. The intensity of her face is riveting, and holy cow, what an amazing placement on the final note. I’m not surprised she gets midsong applause.
And finally, I’m gearing up to do my live concert with Ana Gasteyer this Sunday. I think a lot of people remember her from Saturday Night Live and Wicked, but did you know she was on The Masked Singer? James and I immediately knew it was Ana after seeing this clip. She sounds so good.
Ana will sing up a storm this coming Sunday, and we’ll be discussing how crazy it was she had to keep The Masked Singer a secret from everyone or else pay the network a ton of money.
Here is my deconstruction of Ana’s incredible singing from her album. I’m obsessed.
Get tickets for our live Sunday night concert right here: TheSethConcertSeries.com, and then peace out!