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BWW Interview: Seth Rudetsky Breaks Down What to Expect from SETH'S BROADWAY BREAKDOWN

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Seth's Broadway Breakdown will begin performances at Asylum NYC on October 15.

BWW Interview: Seth Rudetsky Breaks Down What to Expect from SETH'S BROADWAY BREAKDOWN

This fall is about to get a little more amahzing! That's because Seth Rudetsky, SiriusXM's afternoon Broadway host, musician, actor and award-winning comic, will be returning to Asylum NYC with his hilarious one-man homage to Broadway. Celebrating Broadway's return, Seth's Broadway Breakdown will hit the stage for performances three times a week starting on October 15th. The show will be produced by Asylum NYC's artistic director, Alan Kliffer.

Seth's Broadway Breakdown is a 90-minute comedic tour-de-force that breaks down musical theatre with Seth's trademark "deconstructions," His breakdowns go from the sublime (the straight-tone-to-vibrato of Ben Platt in Dear Evan Hansen, the belted E from Nell Carter in Ain't Misbehavin') to the "interesting" (The Osmonds unique take on Fiddler On The Roof.)

Click here to buy tickets for Seth's Broadway Breakdown today!

While we await opening night, BroadwayWorld is checking in with Rudetsky himself to hear all about the show!


What are you most looking forward to in your shows coming up at Asylum NYC?

I love live performing! Nothing beats getting an audience reaction. That's why I don't really enjoy doing TV unless they give me a laugh-track. James and I have spent the last year and a half doing our Stars In The House livestream for the Actors Fund and after I'm sick of making zingers and not hearing any laughs. Yes, sometimes the guests and/or James will laugh but, wowza, it's NOT the same thing as an entire theater...especially because sound gets muffled during livestreams so I usually just hear a horrific silence after my best one-liners.

We've seen you break down so many amazing musical theatre moments over the years. Can your audience expect throwback breakdowns, new dissections, or a mix of both?

Definitely a mix. I felt there was no way I could do a show featuring my breakdowns/deconstructions and not do my classics like Bea Arthur adding her angry line-reading to "Don't Rain On My Parade" or the Osmonds medley from Fiddler on the Roof. But I added a lot of stuff from today's shows like Dear Evan Hansen, The Prom and Six and so many amazing clips from classic shows like Purlie, Gypsy, Secret Garden, Cats and more. I think there are like 60 sounds cues in the show!

You started producing content in this format years ago- did you think then that you'd still be doing it now, but more so, that it would become something that you are so known and loved for?

I joke at one point that I began "workshopping" the show when I was 11 when I would do things like call my friend Michael Smith, hold the phone up to the record player, and play him Nell Carter belting an E. PS, he was decidedly not impressed and immediately went back to his Atari. My point is, I've been doing this my entire life: playing clips from amazing singers for my friends and telling them why that particular moment is amazing (or, in some cases, not so amazing #OsmondsFiddler). I love it so much. I really enjoy an audience hearing something for the first time and falling in love with it or hearing something they know really well but suddenly realizing what makes it brilliant. So, to answer your questions, I'm not surprised I'm still doing it and I don't plan to stop!

If you could pick one artist to really dig deep and devote a whole show to, who would it be?

It has to be someone with a multitude of brilliant singing ...as well as bizarre choices for the comedy aspect. So, without a doubt it would be Barbra. She is so incredibly unique. Those notes! That breath control! That acting we can hear without seeing her face!

And then those hilarious choices like changing the "t" in "Cornet Man" to an "L". No one else comes close her ouvre!

You gave so much to the community over the pandemic, between Stars in the House and your concert series... What are you proudest of in what you accomplished over the last year and a half?

Wow. That's a hard question. I'm really happy that James and I started Stars In The House but more than happy, I'm so surprised and thrilled at how much money our audiences have donated. Literally almost $1.1 million dollars at this point! Maybe the proudest moment was putting together the "Seasons of Love"/"Let The Sunshine In" video with James and Schele Williams and Jbari Payne (with Shelbie Rassler and Matthias Winter mixing) for the Biden inauguration. It all happened so last minute and yet came out so fantastically! And James and I are so proud at the representation in the video...we just had Miss Peppermint on Stars In The House and, on the show, we read a tweet from Shakina saying what a huge deal it was to have a black trans woman featured in the entertainment for a presidential inauguration. Hopefully, she inspired a lot of people by being featured!

Have you been back to any Broadway shows yet?

NO! Not yet! They all began when I was frantically writing Seth's Broadway Breakdown AND trying to memorize it. I felt like I would be cheating if I had fun and saw a show. I can't wait to go!

What have you missed the most about Broadway over the shutdown/what will you try not to take for granted now that it is back?

I've missed seeing incredible talent live right in front of me...doing something that is completely live. Not filmed and auto-tuned, but totally in the moment/never to happen exactly the same way again.

And, in terms of taking things for granted, my entire show is based on the notion that Broadway went away because we took it for granted! I tell the audience that we have to start thanking Broadway for every specific thing we love and that way, if it ever leaves us again we can say "This time, it's not our fault. We loved Broadway to our fullest potential." And that's why I spend the show highlighting amazing examples of golden age belting, 70s high belting, fluid riffing, riffing up the scale, coloratura, soprano obligatos, straight-tone-to-vibrato etc and then, so they can really learn by example, I compare/contrast things like Patti LuPone in Evita vs. the exact same phrase sung in the film by Madonna. Holy cow! Let's just say we must all never take Patti's belted C sharps with vibrato for granted again! And if you see Seth's Broadway Breakdown, you'll know exactly what I mean!


Click here to buy tickets for Seth's Broadway Breakdown today!


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