Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Musical Theater Rudetsky's Love

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Musical Theater Rudetsky's Love

Article excerpt

A lot of people claim to be Broadway's biggest fan, but you're not likely to find a bigger booster than Seth Rudetsky. As he might say, he's obsessed.

Musical theater is not just his job. It's his passion.

It would take a lot of hyphens to cover all the jobs he does, from performer to vocal coach, musical director, pit musician, author, Playbill.com columnist, website operator and daily host on the Broadway channel on Sirius/XM.

"It honestly doesn't seem like work. My life is perfect. Every job I have is an hour or two, it's not hard and I love what I do," Rudetsky said in a telephone interview.

Even on the phone, you can tell how excited and animated he gets about the theater (which is easier to imagine if you've seen any of his videos on Seth's Sassy Blog at sethrudetsky .com).

Broadway is what is bringing him to Sarasota on Monday, when he will help leaders of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall announce their season lineup of musicals and theater-related programs for 2012-13.

He also will be leading a master class on audition techniques for a pre-selected group of invited performers.

He has played piano on such Broadway shows as "Ragtime," "Les Miserables" and "The Phantom of the Opera," was involved in the Broadway revival of "Grease" and worked on Rosie O'Donnell's original daytime talk show. He also has worked with Broadway's top stars in a variety of productions, concerts, recordings and special events.

On his website, he offers dissections of particular singers or songs (or just specific notes) that have amazed him over the years. He hears everything.

"People are terrified to sing in front of me: they think I'm going to dissect their singing," he says. In truth, his workshops are based on his 15 years of experience accompanying performers at auditions. "I've seen what works and what doesn't. It's not just about the way you sing, but the way you act, the way you are."

He can quickly assess whether performers will end up in a leading role or in the ensemble by the way they present themselves during an audition.

"You have to bring yourself to each song," he says. "You don't have to sing the song the way it is in the show. …

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