I am writing this pre-hurricane. It's 10:30 Saturday night and the rain has begun but not much else. Here's the lead-up to this moment. When I heard the hurricane was coming, I wanted to cancel my shows in Provincetown and be with James and Juli and the dogs in New York. I knew I'd be incredibly stressed being separated from them. But that would involve not only ixnaying my three performances in Provincetown but also Gavin Creel's two shows. I called him and asked whether or not we should cancel [AUDIO-LEFT]and he said whatever I decided was fine. His attitude is as easygoing as his voice. I had a restless night but finally decided I would go. The next day, I left my apartment at 10 AM for my 11:50 AM flight. Unfortunately, I didn't check my flight status and when I got to the airport, I found out we were delayed until 2:45! Gavin wasn't due to fly til the next day so I was by myself at JFK for a bunch of hours, checking weather.com. My flight was to Boston, where I would then take a Cape Air flight to Provincetown. I postponed my Cape Air flight and then found out my Boston flight was more delayed. I postponed my Cape Air flight again. Finally, we took off at 5 (!) and I got to Boston at 5:41. My connecting flight was at 5:44. Luckily, Cape Air is very Mom and Pop so my manager was able to call them to tell them I was running crazily late and they told him they'd try to hold the plane for me. I ran like a lunatic to the gate, but the flight had just left. Literally, felt like crying. I then booked a 7 PM flight which would get me to P-town at 7:30. I called my manager and asked him, since the P-town airport is so close to the Art House, if they would hold the curtain for me, David Merrick-style. P.S., do you remember the ad I'm talking about? When 42 Street was in its dwindling years, Phantom of the Opera was the biggest show on Broadway. People would line up outside the Majestic Theatre and wait for Phantom ticket cancellations. Since 42 Street was right across the street, David Merrick knew that all of those people who couldn't get into Phantom wouldn't know 'til right before 8 o'clock. By then it would be too late to see another show. Well, he decided to start 42 Street at 8:15 to nab all the disappointed people who couldn't get into Phantom. I remember there was an ad campaign that featured a big photo of him pulling back a ornate curtain. Underneath, it read, "David Merrick is holding the curtain for YOU!" It was inventive/creepy.
Anyhoo, my manager put the kibosh on the David Merrick held curtain because he was nervous my plane would be late and the audience would be held indefinitely. He told me to cancel the show for that night. That was all it took for my mother to start a texting rampage. She wrote and told me that I already cancelled one show and it was a sign that I should come back to New York. She hauled out her theory that if there are constant obstacles being put before you, you should take it as a message. I never buy that because it can be applied in any way to anything. In the old days, I'd dial someone on the phone and I would decide that if I got a busy signal (I said it was the old days), it was a sign that I shouldn't be calling them. Of course, looking back, I realize that the theory was completely appropriate because I'd only apply it to people I was completely romantically obsessed with who had zero interest me. I remember finally getting through to one of them, who I nervously asked out. His response was a repeated "You're too kind." AKA "no."
Regardless, I got so anxiety-ridden thinking about leaving the family/dogs in New York and then thinking about being stuck in Provincetown that I called my manager and Gavin Creel and we all decided to ixnay the weekend of shows. I went to the JetBlue counter and got the next flight out. So, aIl in all, I left my apartment at 10 AM and got back at 11 PM.
|photo by Robb Johnston|
|photo by Robb Johnston|
(Seth Rudetsky has played piano in the pits of many Broadway shows including Ragtime, Grease and The Phantom of the Opera. He was the artistic producer/conductor for the first five Actors Fund concerts including Dreamgirls and Hair, which were both recorded. As a performer, he appeared on Broadway in The Ritz and on TV in "All My Children," "Law and Order C.I." and on MTV's "Made" and "Legally Blonde: The Search for the Next Elle Woods." He has written the books "The Q Guide to Broadway" and "Broadway Nights," which was recorded as an audio book on Audible.com. He is currently the afternoon Broadway host on Sirius/XM radio and tours the country doing his comedy show, "Deconstructing Broadway." He can be contacted at his website SethRudetsky.com, where he has posted many video deconstructions.)