What’s the One Thing Josh Groban Fans Love to Shout During The Great Comet? | Playbill

Seth Rudetsky What’s the One Thing Josh Groban Fans Love to Shout During The Great Comet?
This week in the life of Seth Rudetsky, Seth chats with Josh Groban and heads to London with Audra McDonald.
Lilla Crawford, Juli Wesley, and Seth Rudetsky
Lilla Crawford, Juli Wesley, and Seth Rudetsky

I’m on a flight to London! I’m heading over to join Audra McDonald for a series of concerts at the Leicester Square Theatre April 12–15. Check it out here!

This time James and I decided to travel at the opposite time of what most people do. Usually, we’ve left around 10 PM, travelled overnight, arrived around 6 AM, and tried to force ourselves to stay awake and acclimate to the time change. It winds up being an exhausting nachtmare. This time we decided to leave early in the morning, get there at 8 PM, stay up for a few hours and go to bed by 11 PM. I don’t know if our theory is the same as “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic,” but we shall see! Right now, I’ll sum up the comfort of these airplane seats by quoting what the three-year-old boy next to me just said, “My tushy hurts.”

OK, here’s a little bit of my week last week: I had Josh Groban, currently starring in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, on “Seth Speaks,” my SiriusXM talk show. He was joined by Dave Malloy, who wrote the show and played Josh’s role (Pierre) in the original Off-Broadway production. What’s cool is that Josh has to miss some upcoming performances in May and June, so Dave is going to take over the role a couple of times on Broadway! Since Dave is a songwriter starring in his own show, I told him he’s this season’s male Sara Bareilles, who is currently starring in her show Waitress. He (basically) agreed! Josh Groban was a musical theatre major at Carnegie-Mellon University (with classmates Rory O’Malley and Josh Gad!), but sidetracked his Broadway career to be a concert artist. Of course, that’s what the audience at Great Comet knows him as first and foremost, and he said often he’ll finish his big song, and after the final note he’ll hear a full volume, Long Island-accented “Bravo, Josh!”

There is so much running around in that show, and I asked Josh about his sweat level. Turns out, it’s at level 10. His regular costume is made for the Russian winter, plus he’s in a fat suit, and near the end of the show when he’s dripping sweat he has to put on a fur coat. Natasha, Pierre & the Great Shvitz of 1812?

Josh and I first worked together in the Actors Fund benefit of Chess in 2003. I just found this great rehearsal footage where:
A: Everyone sounds amazing and is a size zero.
B: I’m obsessed with Julia Murney’s acting after Josh sings, “I hope he pays you what you’re worth.”
C: Raul Esparza sounds amazing on the last two notes.

If you read my column even once a year, you know that I’m constantly losing things. Therefore, I was not surprised last Monday when I couldn’t find my wallet. I assumed it would turn up somewhere I didn't expect, like the time I put my sneaker in the freezer. Well, the whole day went by and, after much searching, I couldn’t find it. Did I lose it outside? I told James that if it wasn’t stolen, whoever found it could just Google me, and my website would come up where they could contact me.

Cut to 6 PM and no one’s emailed me. Juli and I went to opening night of Amélie, which was faboo, and I loved seeing Manoel Felciano and Alyse Alan Louis who were in Disaster! After the show I gave a big brava to Savvy Crawford, who is adorable, sounds great, and is following in her sister Lilla’s footsteps. I took an adorable photo of Lilla, me, and Juli, and decided to post it on Instagram. Then I saw I had a “message request.” It simply said, “Your wallet is at the 20th Precinct in Manhattan.” I was SO HAPPY! Which was immediately followed with me raging to myself, “Why the hell did he/she write me on Instagram?” I never check messages there I went to the police station and I was informed that when they got my wallet, the police officer immediately contacted me. On Instagram. Then they told me it was found on 75th Street and Amsterdam. (Yes, I got yogurt at Sixteen Handles Sunday night.)

Seth Rudetsky at the London Zoo
Seth Rudetsky at the London Zoo

Back to London: Today we went to the London Zoo and had a great time. Tomorrow we have the whole day free, and then Audra and I begin performances on Wednesday! Until then, I’ll try to remember the sage advice my Dad gave me when my wallet was stolen from my back pocket. Please keep in mind that:
A: I was 15 years old.
B: These sentences were said in front of my friend Anne who was 14 at the time. “Seth! Always make sure you keep your wallet in your front pocket. That way, if someone tries to steal it, they will have to grab your testicles.”

Yay! Does that even make sense? And did it have to be said in front of my friend? That story has become such a classic in my family that now when my mom wants to make sure I have my wallet, she’ll simply say, “How are your testes?”

Alright, I’m signing off. I’m excited to do these London shows! Here’s a little sample of Audra’s voice mixed with me deconstructing Kristin Chenoweth, Karen Morrow, and more!

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