Seth Rudetsky himself admits he can’t remember how many of these virtual concerts he’s now done, with The Seth Concert Series forced to move online as a result of the pandemic, but he says that he’s loving them, and the truth is we’re loving watching too. This week’s headliner was Cheyenne Jackson, who, through the wonders of technology, was able to sing from his home in Los Angeles, while Seth accompanied on piano from New York.
One of the highlights of these concerts is Seth’s interview technique, and it was fascinating to hear tales of Cheyenne’s humble beginnings growing up in Idaho, including how he ended up with such a fantastic name, and how he can pinpoint the exact moment during a touring production of Les Misérables that inspired him to pursue a career in musical theatre.
Cheyenne’s first professional job was as an understudy in Thoroughly Modern Millie, with these concerts recorded live, Seth always enjoys surprising his guests, this week it meant that Cheyenne had to quickly improvise a verse from the famous patter song from that musical. Millie was of course represented with a full rendition of ‘What Do I Need With Love?’ which sounded glorious.
Seth rarely chooses a song list that goes in chronological order of a performer’s career, but this week’s concert did more or less follow Cheyenne’s illustrious credits, so next up was ‘A Little Less Conversation’, the Elvis Presley hit that featured in the jukebox musical All Shook Up. Cheyenne was an original Broadway cast member, although UK audiences may know this show as Love Me Tender from its 2015 tour.
The next big career highlight for Cheyenne was Xanadu and as an audience we were treated to ‘Don’t Walk Away’, followed by ‘Old Devil Moon’ from Finian’s Rainbow which Cheyenne opened on Broadway in 2009.
But it wasn’t all musical theatre numbers, Cheyenne performed a song he had written himself about the real life experience of coming out to his father, and it was so incredibly beautiful and touching that if there had been a house, there wouldn’t be a dry eye to be found in it. If that hadn’t left us emotionally drained enough, it was quickly followed by a gorgeous version ‘Teenage Dream’ dedicated to Cheyenne’s husband, Jason, a massive Katy Perry fan.
As always, The Seth Concert Series provides a fascinating insight to some of Broadway’s biggest stars, with a chance to hear some incredible music, this week’s episode with Cheyenne Jackson was no exception.