BWW Interview: Seth Rudetsky Talks Deconstructing Broadway, His One-Man Show Playing Tonight at Colorado Springs FAC
You might recognize him as a host from Sirius XM's On Broadway, or you've caught his weekly column on Playbill.com. On Broadway, he has played in the orchestras of shows like Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, Ragtime and The Producers. Rudetsky's '70s disco jukebox musical Disaster! (which he wrote with Jack Plotnick) will be playing the Fine Arts Center at the end of this month, too.
Or maybe you've also spent hours watching his YouTube videos where he shows you his favorite parts of Broadway stars' performances. (You're fully allowed to deviate from this and watch them immediately.)
The Emmy-nominated former writer for The Rosie O'Donnell Show will be bringing his one-man comedy show to the FAC tonight. This is Rudetsky's first major appearance in Colorado.
Deconstructing Broadway with Seth Rudetsky is what Rudetsky describes as a mix of America's Funniest Home Videos with the kind of commentary you'd get from The Daily Show.
"It's a comedy about show about what makes a Broadway performance amazing...or what makes it horrific," Rudetsky claims.
You can expect Seth to deconstruct musicals Dear Evan Hansen, Evita, Hair and The Sound of Music. But also some "really inappropriate" performances, like Aretha Franklin doing Les Mis or the Osmonds' Fiddler on the Roof medley.
Rudetsky wrote the show to educate people on different aspects of performance. He'll showcase riffers, (Shoshana Bean, Billy Porter, Mariah Carey), great vibrato (Betty Buckley, Gavin Creel), the chest voice of Patti LuPone and the head voice of Julie Andrews.
He says it's a show for both Broadway insiders and those who barely know the biz. But at the heart of his deconstructions is comedy-where audiences may have heard the song dozens at times, Rudetsky is going to show them what he hears.
This is something he's been doing his whole life. When he was young, Rudetsky would sit on the phone by the record player listening to vinyls with his friends, providing his own commentary.
"I've always loved showing people amazing music," he recalls. In the '90s, Rudetsky began performing standup comedy, incorporating a bit of his musically theatrical quips, like Liza Minelli hitting her signature high B.
His online video presence struck in 2004 following a Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit concert, where he did a compare/contrast of Barbra Streisand and Bea Arthur. From there, Rudetsky's videos evolved into 10-minute deconstructions of single performers or shows. He soon realized how far-reaching the internet can be.
"I really just do it for fun online, but it's become this calling card, "Rudetsky says. "I love spreading the love of Broadway, and it's fun to know it's being watched around the world."
Anyone looking to get out of landlocked Colorado can also take a cruise with Rudetsky through Seth's Big Fat Broadway Cruise (SethsBroadwayVacations.com), where he'll be traveling to places like Alaska, the Caribbean and the Greek Isles featuring performers like recent Tony winner Stephanie J. Block and Denver's own Sierra Boggess.
Tickets for Deconstructing Broadway with Seth Rudetsky (tonight at 7:30pm) are available at https://fac.coloradocollege.edu/theatre-events/deconstructing-broadway