I just did the most traveling I’ve ever done in one week! I know I travel often, but this was a little much even for my frequent flyer status. Monday I took two planes to get to Santa Fe and did a show with Ana Gasteyer. Wednesday I took two planes to get to San Francisco and did two shows. Friday night I took a red-eye to Ft. Lauderdale for a show at the Broward Center the next evening. Finally, I flew home Sunday and did my livestream concert with Judy Kuhn. It was all really fun except I only brought a carry-on and began to double-up on some of my intimate apparel. Anyway, let me start backwards with my livestream! I have the next three booked with Morgan James, Mandy Gonzale and Tony Yazbeck. I just made this video of Morgan singing amazingly.
You can see us this coming Sunday at 8pm ET by getting tickets at TheSethConcertSeries.com.
Okay, I must tell you about the non-stop laughs I had with with Ana Gasteyer in Santa Fe.
Before she did Wicked on Broadway and her current TV show American Auto, she was on Saturday Night Live. I realized that I never thought about how quickly sets and costumes have to be changed on that show. There's a dress rehearsal Saturday evening with lots of extra sketch material. After that, the final sketch list is announced. That means the cast doesn't know what sketch is going to follow what sketch until the last minute. On Broadway, there's a long tech rehearsal period where all set, wig and costumes changes are rehearsed very meticulously. You know that you’re going from one costume to another, and exactly how that transition will take place, but on SNL they do it for the first time while the show is live. She told us that when the show comes back after a commercial break and you see the host's picture while music plays, that's usually because the set isn't in place or someone hasn't made their costume change yet. Insider secret!
Ana then told us that the episode when Betty White hosted in 2010 had the worst quick change experience she ever had. Ana had left the show years earlier and this episode featured a return appearance of the early 2000 SNL ladies. Ana did the NPR sketch with Molly Shannon and Betty White which was hilarious!
Right after that sketch was Fred Armisen's "Manuel Ortiz Show" sketch. Ana said that during the commercial break, she ran to the quick-change area, which are situated underneath the bleachers where the audience sits. She took off her entire NPR outfit and was standing there wearing pantyhose, a strapless bra, and a wig cap. She then went to put on her dress, but it wouldn't go on. There was an internal slip and she started to rip it as she was dressing. Back when she had done the show in the '90s, she had an unflappable dresser who could do anything. She had been in the business a long time, demonstrated by the fact that she had been Jessica Tandy’s dresser for A Streetcar Named Desire. That literally sounds like a joke! It reminds of a Simpson's episode where a woman is obviously crazily old mentions that she was Eubie Blake’s nanny. Anyway, when Ana made her reappearance in 2010, her dresser had finally retired. The new dresser saw that Ana's dress was messed up and, according to Ana, screamed and fell to the floor. She was out. Ana adopted the tone she uses with her two children and calmly stated, "I need you to stop yelling now, so we can fix this."
Suddenly, the commercial break was over and the sketch began. Ana had around 90 seconds before her entrance. The dresser kept yelling, so Ana asked for her wig so she could be partway dressed. The wig person put it on and then tried to help by giving Ana the shirt off her back. Literally! The wig person took off her own t-shirt and handed it to Ana so she'd have something to wear in the sketch. Ana was appreciative, especially since her wig person was now standing in only a bra. However, Ana didn't want to go on television wearing a t-shirt over pantyhose, which she thinks is the most unflattering thing in the world to wear. Cut to: Elaine Stritch winning a Tony in that same outfit. Regardless, her dresser's non-stop screaming paid off because it attracted Donna. Who’s Donna, you ask? Well, did you ever watch The Rosie O’Donnell Show? Donna was Rosie’s dresser. She is a star dresser, and on SNL, she is the host's dresser. She is cool as a cucumber and also unflappable. Plus, Ana says, she always has a small flashlight in her mouth so she can see in the dark and have both hands available. She approached Ana calmly, picked up Ana's dress and ripped the entire lining out of it. She quickly put the lining on Ana, but the dress was still attached. Who cares! The lining looked sort of like sexy lingerie and the dress, which was dragging, looked like an amazing fashion statement. Ana ran out and actually made her entrance! Ana said the slip was super short although she confirmed, "No one could actually see my pubic triangle."
A month later, she was on the subway and someone approached her and told her that she was in the audience for Betty White's episode. The woman then dropped her voice to the soft volume one uses to talk about the horrors of war and darkly intoned, "We saw your quick change." She then walked away, blank-faced. Ana then realized the entire bleacher section was able to see her trying to get into the dress. They witnessed the screaming, the wig cap, the pantyhose, the wig woman in the bra, and the head dresser shredding the original dress. Amazing! Anyway, I actually found the sketch.
I not only got rebooked at Feinstein’s in San Francisco for August, but I also got booked in their sister club in Carmel, Indiana! I’m going to be there Thursday 6/16 and Friday 6/17.
And I finally confirmed I’m going to be hosting another Tony Award Watch party in NYC! This time it will be at the Westside Comedy Club on the Upper West Side!
Speaking of Tony Awards, I found this old compilation reel from when I was hired by Entertainment Tonight to interview Tony Award winners. I actually had first dibs with them because Entertainment Tonight is also a CBS show. These are some of the clips that didn’t air and they’re so fun!
And finally, don’t forget that this Sunday night at 8pm ET on The Seth Concert Series will be Morgan James. Morgan began as a classical voice major at Juilliard and is now a supreme beltress!! Listen to this and peace out!