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SETH RUDETSKY DECONSTRUCTING BROADWAY – Leicester Square Theatre, London.

SethRodetsky2What do you get when you find a man who is one of Broadway’s most experienced musicians (you name it, he’s played on it), a complete and self-confessed musicals geek and a genuine, natural comedian? Two words. Seth. Rudetsky.

A huge hit on the opposite side of the pond, Seth is probably known best to people here for joining Patti LuPone during her week residency at the Leicester Square Theatre in 2013.

Rudetsky’s own show ‘Obsessed’ is a send up to all things “ahmaazing” and not so in the world of musical theatre. This show isn’t something he has just put together over night; Rudetsky makes references to shows and songs he first heard and ‘deconstructed’ as he likes to call it, as early as his teenage years. Some of the songs you’ve never heard before, others are the sure fire hits that anyone even remotely stagey loves to hate. Madonna. Evita. I’m saying no more.

Perhaps the most endearing thing about this show is Rudetsky’s sheer passion for the art form of musical theatre. He bounds around the stage in sheer glee as he shares his stories and observations with the audience, who find it simply impossible to not get caught up in his infectious happiness. I don’t think I, or anyone else in the auditorium, stopped smiling or laughing for the duration. By the time the interval came, I felt like I’d done a workout at the gym from all the laughing.

Not only do we see Rudetsky’s talent in terms of his knowledge and comedic skills, we also get a small glimpse into his aptitude as a musician. He takes it in his stride to provide simple, easy to follow definitions of some of the terminology used to make sure the full audience is with him. These definitions are useful to those not in-the-know, and nothing short of hilarious to those who are.

Rudetsky is accompanied on stage by nothing other than a piano from which he takes great pleasure in running over to and suddenly plonking out a piece of music he wants us to hear. Whether these interjections are planned or not, I don’t know. All I do know is that Rudetsky makes it seem like he is doing this show for the very first time, and he seems incredibly appreciative and humbled by every laugh, spontaneous round of applause, and by the unanimous standing ovation that faced him as he returned to the stage to take his final bow.

It’s fair to say there is currently no one else like Seth Rudetsky in the musical theatre industry. His passion, humour and knowledge are beyond anything I’ve had the privilege to see.

To sum up? I’ll use two of Rudetsky’s seemingly favourite words. “Brava…ahmaaazing!”

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Reviewed 10/08/14

By David Coverdale

Leicester Square Theatre, London, WC2.

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