Seth Rudetsky’s Deconstructing Broadway Review

Seth Rudetsky’s Deconstructing Broadway

It’s been one of those weeks. Those unending work filled weeks, where you find yourself wearing yesterdays socks for days on end, as you just throw on what you find cast about your bed each morning and bolt for the door every. Currently I’m on my way to see Seth Rudetsky’s Deconstructing Broadway, but beyond the title of the show I know literally nothing, besides of course that I really need to change these socks.

I show up at Leicester Square early as I’ve been planning on grabbing a quick drink with a friend, when the panic sets in. The street is filled with this throng of men, all of whom are milling about a mixture of star struck and awe-inspired.

My first thought, fire. Clearly there’s been a fire inside the theatre and all of these guys look so much like they left their souls in there, because some pyrotechnics display went horribly wrong and all of them have just watched their lives flash, dramatically, with coincidental and unexpected mood lighting, in front of their eyes. Tonight’s show must be cancelled, and sadly I thought a bit of theatricality would be the perfect remedy to this week of unending bureaucracy.

I was wrong, about the fire that is.

Everyone had just come from seeing the previous show staring multi-tony winning musical savant Patti LuPone, and they were all staying for the next one. Now, not to generalize, but I’m more or less positive everyman there was gay, and I was tipped off not because every one there was immaculately dressed, (I am seriously regretting wearing yester-yesterday’s socks, and these jeans which are functional not flattering, I mean really they are hardly functional even, they show enough ankle to practically classify as capri’s.)

Seth Rudetsky’s Deconstructing Broadway

But because their was a feverish love of Broadway musicals animating every conversation. You know, that fierce love of Broadway musicals that gives wings to the wants and desires of some gay men. Gay men like me that is. Because for some unknown reason, chorus lines, dramatic stage lighting, big belting voices, strong women, spontaneous song and a finally that almost always filled with glitter and high kicks just speak to the inner core of us in a way few other things ever will.

I manage to ride through the tide of waiting fans and find my seat right before the curtain comes up; it’s a packed house.

The next two hours of my life were spent in a tizzy of laughter. The kind that left my jaw aching and my stomach rebelling so fiercely from all the giggles that I found myself at times, seriously worried that I might be sick. The immeasurably funny Seth Rudetsky’s “Deconstructing Broadway” is a twoish hour musical extravaganza where Seth, best known in America for his recordings of numerous Broadway shows, as a writer for the Rosie O’Donnell show, and for being the host of the Broadway music host on Sirius Radio, delivers an unending onslaught of camp humor, biting one liners, and brilliant musical insights, all in the form of a lecture on how you to can ‘deconstruct’ a Broadway musical number.

Drawing extensively from American Musical Theater history, he interweaves stories of the greats, with some of their greatest, and their oh-so-tragically-brilliant

Broadway moments. It’s a master class in learning to hear the distinction between flat notes, sharp notes, straight notes and vibrato. Often done though the illuminating medium of mime.

Over the course of the show, you listen to some of those Broadway classic numbers, such as many numbers from Barbara Streisand’s back catalogue; but have you ever heard Aretha Franklin sing her own riff remix of “I dreamed a dream.”; or Liza Minnelli sing “dancing in the moon light” with some absurd high soprano notes peppered amongst her signature crooning.

Probably not. But after Seth’s show you will be practically ready to dedicate your life to hunting down obscure Broadway tracks and obsessing over them.

An incredibly well done one-man show. When it was over I found myself tossed back into the streets of London with a grin on my face so large it would made the cherish cat look like he was frowning. And you know what, I hardly care that I am wearing yester-yesterday’s socks, and this long, trying week, why it feels miles away, it has dissipated into some fog of laughter and melody. Plus I’ve learned something I’ve always wanted to know, how to ‘Deconstruct Broadway’.

Shelton Lindsay

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June 2013
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