"Call Me Adam" caught up with Broadway's Seth Rudetsky to talk about his new book Seth's Broadway Diary, published by Dress Circle Publishing. A one of a kind Broadway journal, Seth's Broadway Diary chronicles Seth's unique life on and around the Great White Way. Click here to purchase your copy!
1. On October 22, you launched your 4th book, Seth's Broadway Diary, a one of a kind Broadway journal chronicling your unique life on and around the Great White Way. What made now the right time to release this book? My A.D.D. plus harrasment. For years I've been talking about getting my Playbill columns published. Basically since I started writing them in 2007. My A.D.D. prevented me from actually doing anything about it. Finally, my husband harrassed me and commandeered my old assistant Joey Monda to send out samples. Joey sent one to Dress Circle Publishing and I got a book deal!
2. What excites you most about this release? I love seeing all these really hilarious stories and interviews in one book instead of tracking them down online. I love the kind of book that you can open and read something fun. Even though this book is in chronological order, you can open it up to any page and get a great story about Sutton Foster, me missing a flight to rehearse with Betty Buckley or some amazing inside scoop about Donna McKechnie and the original cast of A CHORUS LINE.
3. What was it like to go back through your life on and around Broadway to write this book? How did you narrow down what you wanted to include in the book? This is literally the columns I published. I only added sassy 2014 side comments (in a different font) when I went through it to edit. For instance, I wrote about seeing the show 13 and I added that the cast featured a then-unknown Ariana Grande!
4. While you were writing this book, did you come across any events that you wish you had done differently? I wish I didn't call James my boyfriend in every column. I mean, he was my boyfriend at the time, but every time I mentioned him I reiterated it in case I had new readers. A few months after I began writing the columns, I interviewed Nathan Lane and he told me he had HAD IT with me writing "my boyfriend James" every month. "WE GET IT ALREADY! IS JAMES YOUR FIRST BOYFRIEND!?!?!"
6. What did you learn about yourself from writing this book? I've done a lot of things I've forgotten about!!! I was reading about an interview I did with Barbara Cook to promote her upcoming concert with Audra McDonald that benefitted the Obama reelection campaign. I wished I had seen the concert. Then I read the following column where I wrote about how great the concert was!
7. What do you hope readers come away with after reading this book? So many fun stories about Broadway they can tell their friends! "Did you know Chita Rivera kicked herself in the head every night at the end of "America" because she's so flexible?" "Did you know Betty Buckley's agent prevented her from getting the role of "Catherine" in PIPPIN because he wanted his other client (Jill Clayburgh) to get the gig?" "Did you know Andrea McArdle hid 64 easter eggs on the set of LES MIZ and they only found 58? And it wound up breaking the barricade?"
8. What was the most emotional event you came across while writing this book? What was the happiest event? The most emotional was reading about Loretta Sable Ayres audition for SOUTH PACIFIC and how she almost didn't go because she thought they'd be mean to her like the judges on AMERICAN IDOL. Her husband talked her into going...she got the part...and a Tony nomination!
The happiest is reading about all these amazing Broadway people I've worshipped that I got to hang out with. My inner 14-year-old's childhood dream!
9. Of the celebrities you write about in your book, did any of them have an issue with you telling any of these behind-the-scenes antics or was everyone okay with it? Bebe Neuwirth once said "Seth has an ability to make you reveal things you never thought you'd say in public." So...no!
10. What do you like about being an author that you don't get from doing your live interviews on Sirius XM or at Seth's Broadway Chatterbox? Sometimes people don't know how to build a story when they tell me and when I write it, I can give the details for maximum emphasis. Example...Rebecca Luker told me they didn't want to see her for MUSIC MAN. She asked her agent to get her an audition as a courtesy. The powers-that-be finally agreed but let it be known that she was not what they were looking for. Rebecca went to the audition knowing they didn't want to see her or cast her (so nervewracking!), but she got a callback, the role and a Tony nomination! When I asked Rebecca in person "How did you get MUSIC MAN?" she said "I auditioned." Wowza. I had to get her to tell the story in increments for the full effect!
11. If you could be any original flavor Life Saver, which one would you be? The flavor Red whatever that is.
12. How do you want to be remembered? For loving art/music/comedy and spreading that love around!
Seth is the afternoon host on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s ON BROADWAY as well as the host of SETH SPEAKS on Sirius/XM Stars. As a pianist, Seth has played for more than a dozen Broadway shows including RAGTIME, LES MIZ and PHANTOM. He was the Artistic Producer/Music Director for the first five annual Actors Fund Fall Concerts including DREAMGIRLS with Audra MacDonald (recorded on Nonesuch Records) and HAIR with Jennifer Hudson (recorded on Ghostlight Records, Grammy Nomination). In 2007 he made his Broadway acting debut playing Sheldon (singing “Magic to Do” in a devastating unitard) in THE RITZ directed by Joe Mantello for The Roundabout Theater. Off-Broadway he wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed RHAPSODY IN SETH (directed by Peter Flynn) at the Actors Playhouse and has also appeared on TV on LAW AND ORDER C.I. and had a recurring role on ALL MY CHILDREN. As an author, he penned the non-fiction Q GUIDE TO BROADWAY, the novel BROADWAY NIGHTS and the recently published MY AWESOME/AWFUL POPULARITY PLAN (Random House). BROADWAY NIGHTS is available on Audible.com starring Kristin Chenoweth, Andrea Martin and Jonathan Groff and MY AWESOME/AWFUL POPULARITY PLAN stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ana Gasteyer and Megan Hiltly. Seth played himself on Kathy Griffin; My Life on the D-List, was the vocal coach on MTV’s LEGALLYLONDE reality show and starred opposite Sutton Foster in THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG for the Actors Fund. Recently, he co-wrote and starred in DISASTER! (which the NY TIMES called a "triumph"), and he currently writes a weekly column on Playbill.com and tours the country doing master classes and performing his one-man show "DECONSTRUCTING BROADWAY."