Onstage and Backstage: How “What The World Needs Now” Became a Dance Remix

Seth Rudetsky   Onstage and Backstage: How “What The World Needs Now” Became a Dance Remix
This week in the life of Seth Rudetsky, Broadway for Orlando gets a new beat, and Seth will be at the Democratic National Convention!
Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley Monica Simoes

I’m in Orlando! There’s nothing more fun than going from the crazy heat of NYC to the same exact heat of Florida. Wonderful? Before I write about Florida, lemme say that I had a great time in Provincetown. I saw lots of shows at the Art House: First, Well Strung, the singing string quartet. They combine classical music with pop songs in something that is called, in the present vernacular, as a “mash-up.” I shall not use that phrase because it’s as headache-y as using impact as a verb of so-called “smashed” potatoes. But, regardless, I love it! Well Strung used have arrangers to do their amazing charts, but now they do it themselves. I was so crazily impressed with their creativity. Here’s the Obsessed! I filmed with them.

Then I saw the fun-nee Judy Gold who talked about her recent comedy tour in Israel. Because there were orthodox people in the audiences, she was told to cover her arms. Well, during her stand-up act in P-town she was wearing a sleeveless top and started moving all of her upper arm fat that some women get. She was literally making it wave back and forth wildly and said she had wanted to do that same thing in Israel and ask the men “Am I sexually arousing you?” Wave, wave, wave. “Is this making you want to cheat on your wife?” Hi-larious! Then we saw Varla Jean Merman whose real name is Jeffrey Roberson. He is such a fantastic writer/performer. Varla’s show is called A Little White Music, and it celebrates the whitest songs ever written….naturally featuring “The Carpenters” and Helen Reddy. At one point, Varla came out in a full Pillsbury Doughboy outfit singing Anne Murray. It was a bizarre combination that seems to make no sense until she got to the chorus “You needed me,” which she sang as “You kneaded me.” And then to make the homonym clear to the audience, she literally added a syllable and sang “You k-neaded me.” So stupid but hilarious! Then, before she intro’d “Children Will Listen,” she reminded people to be careful what they say “because children are like sponges.” Then “…full of bacteria.” Get tix for all these shows (and my upcoming ones with Judy Kuhn and Matthew Morrisson) at PtownArtHouse.com.

Well, there are all new versions of the Broadway For Orlando “What The World Needs Now.” A guy named Bobby Shaw emailed us a few weeks ago and, turns out, he’s amazing! He’s a record promoter, specifically for dance music, and has had more than 300 number one dance chart hits on Billboard! He asked if he could turn the song into a dance remix, which sounded like the most amazing yet bizarre idea ever. Why? The song is in 3/4! I could see it being a dance tune…but only for a waltzing competition. Yet, he got all these amazing dance remixers to somehow turn it into a song in 4/4 and it actually works! Here is the email from Bobby that’s been going to DJs over the country promoting the remixes:

“Upon the recent Orlando tragedy, an All Star line up of Broadway performers, this of which included Sarah Jessica Parker, Carole King, Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Audra McDonald, Sean Hayes, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, gathered at Avatar Studios in Manhattan where they recorded “What the World Needs Now Is Love,”, with the proceeds being donated to the LGBT Center Of Central Florida. When I heard this, I immediately thought, ‘Wow, there needs to be dance remixes.’ I found the contact info and sent an email to Broadway Records, never expecting to receive a reply but lo and behold, a response was returned within 24 hours. With this said, Dave Aude, Chris Cox, Joe Gauthreaux, and Mike Cruz have been gracious enough to provide the music with their studio wizardry. In addition to the benevolence offered from this quartet of gentlemen, I’d like to thank Seth Rudetsky, James Wesley, and Scott Icenogle, better known to us as Scotty K, for the privilege of allowing me to be involved with this music and more so, for its cause. Enjoy and needless to say in these times: What the world needs now is love. I’m obsessed with the idea of people shaking their groove things to Whoopi Goldberg and Joel Grey!”
Listen here

and buy them all together (plus the original!) at BroadwayRecords.com.

Right now I’m rehearsing for the big From Broadway With Love concert happening in Orlando. It’s at the stunning and enormous Dr. Phillips Center, and boy, is the line up amazing! I just finished playing “Nothing” for Priscilla Lopez, am about to do “All That Jazz” for Chita and just heard Michael Moritz rehearsing the orchestra for “Beautiful” sung by Jessie Mueller! This morning I went to the Starbucks in the beautiful Portifino resort where I’m staying and sat down with Norbert Leo Butz and Justin Sargent. They began to rehearse their Earth Wind and Fire song and soon Carrie Manolakos walked in. Before she got her coffee, they asked her to sing harmony with them. I love this video!

And finally, don’t forget to watch the Democratic National Convention this Wednesday because I’m going to be performing. So so so so thrilling! And, don’t forget, this weekend I’m with Judy Kuhn in Provincetown. Come see us and watch my deconstruction!

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