BWW Blog: Andrea McArdle - Surviving Seth!

May 19
8:13 AM 2014

So what's a girl to do when Seth Rudetsky spirits you away to the Poconos to sing and dish, well, I don't have to tell you do I? You GO!

A quick word about Seth, first off I adore him, he's a massive talent, musically, artistically, and most of all, honestly! He LOVES what he does, so it's always a joy to play in the sandbox with him.

A little over a week ago we took a trip down to the Pocono Community Theatre Center and put on a show, basically we performed a number of songs and he made me tell stories, lots of them.

Seth loves to dig out all the early celebrity encounters I had when playing in ANNIE, the adventure was pretty amazing just by itself, but the greetings we had backstage were just stunning, I pretty much was in shock, but maybe it was just that I was too young to really "get it", I mean, every boldfaced name came, including the First Lady and her daughter, what a run!

One of Mr. Rudetsky's favorite stories is when I met the legendary, one and only Ethel Merman, I mean, hello, THE Madame Rose, THE Reno Sweeney, THE VOICE OF BROADWAY!

We were at a huge Tony season event, every stage star, past and present was there, every where you looked was an icon.

So there I was, backstage, meeting and greeting and I hear a voice yell out, "ETHEL, ETHEL!, here's the new you, this kids sings even BETTER than you..."

She turned that famous face of hers towards mine, gave a little smile and said, "Oh yeah?, C'mere kid.." I went over, she gave me a great big hug, a few photographers asked us to pose, we turned, and she DUG her fingers into my shoulders as we stood there, I can STILL feel her strength as she gripped me! Hah, but let's face it, there was, would never, CAN never be another Ms. Merman, it was an honor to even be chatted up in her vicinity. A memory I'll never forget.

I've included a few photos taken by my good friend Rachel Schwartz, my favorite is the billing, I'm between Seth and Indiana Jones! I think Ethel would approve, hah!

I wanted to also let you all know how excited I am to guest with Milly and Abigail Shapiro this week at their 54 Below show, these two sisters are the real deal, I can't wait to take the stage with them! Hit the search button right here on BWW for all the details, hope to see some of you there!

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Guest Blogger: Andrea McArdle Andrea first captured the hearts of theatergoers in 1977 when she originated the title role in the mega-musical hit Broadway musical ANNIE, based upon the popular Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie. Since then, she has starred in several Broadway musicals as well essaying leading roles on stages the world over.

Andrea has brought her award-winning vocal talents to national and international concert halls from Carnegie Hall to the Las Vegas Hilton to the Hong Kong Philharmonic as well as several remarkable television appearances through the years. Ms. McArdle has sung for each American President from Gerald Ford to Bill Clinton. She honed her craft by working with some of the legends of the entertainment industry such as Ethel Merman, Liza Minnelli, Julie Andrews, Bob Hope, Liberace, Frank Sinatra, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Stephen Schwartz, Tim Rice, Trisha Yearwood and Elton John to name just a few.

As Annie she became the youngest performer ever to be nominated for a Tony Award as Best Lead Actress in a Musical. She also received the Theater World and Outer Critics' Circle Awards for the girl with the red hair and big voice. She subsequently conquered London with her portrayal of Little Orphan Annie in the West End. Andrea was then tapped to portray Judy Garland in the acclaimed NBC television movie “Rainbow”. She appeared in the 1999 Rob Marshall-directed TV version of “Annie”, singing the "Star To Be" segment of the song "N.Y.C."

The stage has continued to welcome Andrea “home” throughout the years, she starred in the Jerry Herman musical JERRY’S GIRLS alongside Carol Channing and Leslie Uggams as herself; as Fantine in the original Broadway run of LES MISERABLES; as the sassy Smoking Car, Ashley, in the original Broadway cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s STARLIGHT EXPRESS; as Belle in Broadway’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and as the original Margy Frake in Broadway’s STATE FAIR. Andrea was lauded for her portrayal of Sally Bowles in both the US National and International tours of the Tony Award winning revival of CABARET and also toured as Eponine in LES MISERABLES,. Other notable roles include: Mrs. Johnston in BLOOD BROTHERS; Eva Peron, in EVITA; Nancy in OLIVER; Sandy in GREASE; the Narrator in JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT; Miss Hannigan in ANNIE; Annie Oakley in ANNIE GET YOUR GUN , Rose in GYPSY; Esther (the Judy Garland role) in MEET ME IN ST LOUIS; Sonia in THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG; as PETER PAN and appeared as herself in Off-Broadway’s The Vagina Monologues. Ms. McArdle recently starred in the 2012 version of the comedic hit, NEWSICAL: The Musical!, Andrea followed internet sensation Perez Hilton as the production’s celebrity guest star to celebrated acclaim. Her most recent stage triumph was essaying the title role in Jerry Herman’s Broadway classic MAME at the newly renovated and long acclaimed Bucks County Playhouse.

Andrea is a much in demand vocalist and has performed in the showrooms of many of the Las Vegas and Atlantic City’s top hotels and casino’s, and in cabarets and niteclubs such as New York City’s renowned Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre, Feinstein's at the Regency Hotel, among many others. She can be heard on the Grammy Winning, Platinum selling Original Broadway Cast recording of ANNIE, as well as the cast recordings of JERRY’S GIRLS, STATE FAIR, the television soundtrack of Rob Marshall’s ANNIE, as well as her own solo CD titled “Andrea McArdle: On Broadway”. In 2013 Andrea released her new solo release ANDREA MCARDLE: 70’s & SUNNY- LIVE from 54 BELOW, and Golden Record’s Celebrity Classics Children’s CD.

Andrea McArdle was the recipient of the 2011 NYMF award for Outstanding Individual Performance for her role in GREENWOOD The Musical.

Ms. McArdle recently finished up an acclaimed run at Manhattan’s 54 Below in her new cabaret act, DREAM ROLES.

Andrea is currently starring in the theatrical tour of 4 GIRLS 4 alongside fellow Broadway icons Faith Prince, Donna McKechnie and Maureen McGovern.

Later this year Andrea will be embarking on an exciting partnership with Oceania Cruises debuting a new “LIFE IN THE THEATER” performance series.

Photo Credit: Angela Talley