“Deconstructing” is Seth Rudetsky’s natural state of mind—always analyzing, always thinking, always marveling—and has been since he was a child. “I remember calling my friend, Michael Smith, and playing him the end of Nell Carter singing ‘Cash For Your Trash,’” Rudetsky remembers. “He was not impressed.” But that didn’t deter Rudetsky.
“I love, love, love showing people what I think is amazing about a song—either amazing writing or performing,” says Rudetsky. “I also love showcasing what I think are hilarious or bizarre choices people make—like Barbra [Streisand] changing the letter T to a P.”
The Sirius XM radio host, Playbill columnist, and acclaimed music director became Broadway’s original YouTube star when he began posting videos deconstructing the vocal nuances that distinguish iconic talent from the average performer—a concept that originated from his stand-up routine. Now Rudetsky applies the same principals in Playbill’s revival of the video series, starting with Tony winner Ben Platt’s “Waving Through a Window” from Dear Evan Hansen in the video above.
With an ear for talent, Rudetsky chooses the subjects for his videos wisely. “It’s the theory that I’ve based all of my creative output on: If I find it interesting, I think an audience will,” he says.
Beyond educating the world on the subject of Emily Skinner’s “R”s, Gavin Creel’s range, or the universal sign for vibrato, Rudetsky feels most fulfilled when his deconstructions encourage people to seek theatre. “My favorite is when someone says, ‘I never listened to (insert show here), but now I have to buy the cast album!’”
But perhaps what’s most amazing about Rudetsky’s series is his ability to delve into musical technicality while appealing to a broad audience. “I purposefully wrote it so insiders and novices would like it,” he says of the series. “I often hear: ‘I don’t know anything about Broadway, but I’ve learned so much listening to you.’”
Watch Playbill for Rudetsky’s latest deconstructions and to learn who you should become obsessed with.
Seth Rudetsky will appear on Playbill Travel’s upcoming Broadway on the Rhine River and Broadway on the Danube River cruises, as well as Broadway on the High Seas 9: Iceland as music director and Master of Ceremonies. Playbill Travel operates the premiere vacation programs for discerning travelers with a shared love of exotic locales and the theatre. The Broadway on the High Seas series has become a hit with hundreds of theatre-loving travelers since its inaugural voyage in September of 2011. Entertainers aboard Broadway on the High Seas and its sister resort program, Broadway By The Sea, have included Patti LuPone, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Christine Ebersole,Tommy Tune, Andrea Martin, Ana Gasteyer, Megan Hilty, Lewis Black, Sherie Rene Scott, Laura Benanti, and others. Since its inception in 2011, over 1,000 Playbill travelers have visited over a dozen countries including Italy, Greece, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, Poland, Germany, French Polynesia, Vietnam, and beyond!
For booking inquiries and more information, visit PlaybillTravel.com.