Multiple Tony winner Audra McDonald can hit notes only Mariah Carey can hear, so I was surprised to learn she had to be coaxed to go even higher a couple of times.
In her foreword to the new edition of funnyman/musician Seth Rudetsky‘s anecdote-filled book Broadway Nights, Audra — who’s Broadway-bound in Porgy and Bess — writes:
“I am performing in my senior recital, singing ‘Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man’ as an encore.
“I get to the end of the bridge headed to the final ‘A’ section when the pianist/new friend/musical director … decides to modulate to a new key, forcing me to belt a note I had not yet ever belted in the hallowed halls of Juilliard.
“I belted the note, finished the song, and flipped him off.”
That pianist was none other than pert little pixie Seth Rudetsky.
Many years later, Audra had just gotten over that incident, lol, when it happened again!
Just last year, she was singing “I Could Have Danced All Night” in a Mexican resort when the pianist modulated the song, forcing her to hit a note (D flat) she’d never hit in public.
She hit the note, finished the song, and flipped him off.
The pianist, once again, was a certain irrepressible imp named Seth Rudetsky.
But she absolutely adores him.
“He pushed me out of my comfort zone,” coos Audra.
“He made me better.”
In fact, Seth is so up-to-the-minute and sizzling-hot that we might have to rename him George Gershwin’s Seth Rudetsky.