The next Concert For America is coming! December 27 and 28 in Big Sky, Montana! We’ve got Jessie Mueller and Abbie Mueller, who are not only sisters but both played Carole King! I’m considering staging a faceoff for the final show a la The Hunger Games. Stay tuned! Also appearing is Vanessa Williams, Norm Lewis, Andrea McArdle and Audra McDonald! If you are anywhere near Bozeman/Big Sky, get tickets here.
If not, watch from the warmth of your home with the livestream here.
Today is Gypsy of the Year, which is a big variety show that celebrates the culmination of six weeks of fundraising for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. I also want to tout the amazing holiday gifts that are available at their website…including my newest book Seth’s Broadway Diary: Volume Three, which is autographed! The book is a compilation of my Playbill columns (like the one you’re reading now!) and I thought I’d reprint one of my favorite sections from the current book which happens to do with Gypsy of the Year!
I didn’t sleep well and on the morning of Gypsy of the Year, James took one look at my puffy sleep-deprived eyes and told me I had better wear some make-up at that afternoon's performance. When I got to the theatre, I saw one of the off-stage vocalists and I asked her if she had any kind of under-eye concealer. She did, and she kindly agreed to put it on for me in the hallway. When she was done, I joked that we didn't have a mirror and it would be hilarious if she made me up to look like a clown. At least, I thought I was joking. Well, the two-hour show was almost over and Hugh Jackman, Bernadette Peters and Daniel Radcliffe went onstage to announce the winners. I remembered that Juli is obsessed with Daniel and decided to corner him when he left the stage. So, after the show I ran up and asked him to take a photo with me for Juli. We got the shot. When I looked at it, I was surprised that there was some glaring light shining on my face and yet not on his. Then I wondered why it was only around my eyes. Then I realized that the concealer put around my eyes wasn't so much “concealer” as it was “clown white.” Look at the picture of me and Daniel and tell me why no one told me I looked like a crazy albino raccoon during the ENTIRE show!
I was so horrified that I immediately sent the picture to my friend Jack Plotnick and begged him to do a little photo editing to make my eyes not look so crazy. Look at the retouched photo he sent back.
You can Amazon order Seth’s Broadway Diary here or get an autographed copy from Broadway Cares here.
Last week, I interviewed Corey Cott, with whom I became obsessed after seeing him in Bandstand. Holy cow! The acting! The voice! I asked him about mishaps on stage and he told me about doing Gigi and the classic song “The Night They Invented Champagne.” Apparently, the powers-that-be only like the sound real champagne glasses made when they clinked together so the number featured stunning, highly-breakable, glass. Not surprisingly, Vanessa Hudgens and Corey shattered the glasses onstage during the scene and became slightly immobilized. Victoria Clark, veteran of dozens of Broadway shows, walked offstage and immediately came back with a broom. I don’t know how she knew where they were kept offstage, but when you’ve done that many shows you know where the bodies are buried and where the brooms are stored. Victoria then proceeded to clean up all the broken glass while calmly and cooly continuing her lines. Again, Corey and Vanessa were slightly immobilized to the point where Vanessa didn’t say her line, but she simply said “…I don’t know.” Corey said that the audience was loving seeing everything go wrong…the glass breaking, Victoria’s quick thinking, the confusion… hilarious! But then, Corey said… the audience turned. Corey felt they all though it was no longer amusing that things were going wrong. Basically, they had had it. Suddenly, they kept doing the scene/song to an audience colder than the ice in their champagne bucket.
The whole story gave me an enormous anxiety attack, which was only surpassed by his story of his worst audition: It was a callback for a Broadway show and he was with a group. There were five of them and each person had a turn. One person would stand and everyone else had to go on their hands and knees. Then the person who was standing would sing a song, a cappella, while walking on the backs of the other people who were on their hands and knees. Picture it. Question: Was the audition testing balance skills? Like, can you walk on unstable surface? Was is testing back strength? Corey reminded me, the audition had all shapes and sizes... so those who were petite had to endure the full weight of a person who, perhaps wasn’t “off carbs.” Corey said that he will sometimes run into the few people who were in his group and they’ll look at each other with the subtext of “Did that happen?” and/or “Were you in my dream?” Suffice it to say, he didn’t get the gig. Let’s just focus on his pretty voice!