Seth Rudetsky’s concert series has seen a host of Broadway stars take to the virtual stage over the long months when live, in-person, performance hasn’t been possible, but with this week’s guest, Judy Kuhn, we’ve seen that perhaps the best is yet to come, and maybe that’s why Frank Sinatra’s song was chosen to open the concert.
Judy Kuhn, who we last saw in London just last year in Trevor Nunn’s tremendous revival of Fiddler On The Roof is the latest of that long line of stars to join Seth over the airwaves. With a plethora of Broadway credits and Tony Award nominations to her name, as well as being the voice of Disney’s Pocahontas, there was no shortage of songs for the pair to choose from.
As always, it is the backstage stories that really delight the home audience, Judy’s first Broadway credit was as an understudy in The King & I, and shared some wonderful stories about working with Yul Brynner, before following up with ‘Hello, Young Lovers’ from that musical.
Being in the right place at the right time got her an audition for The King & I, and Judy would find more serendipitous moments in her career. Having been nominated for a Tony for her role in Rags, which closed after just four performances excluding previews, she was asked to perform at the ceremony, a performance which would land her a role in the Broadway version of Chess.
More delightful backstage stories were to follow as Judy recounted the complex staging that caused no end of problems for the Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus musical, but that didn’t prevent us from hearing a fantastic rendition of ‘Someone Else’s Story’.
Originally fascinated with Opera, Judy Kuhn reminded us of her abilities as a soprano with a song from the mostly forgotten movie, Sweater Girl. Having won its composers an Academy Award, we of course had to be treated to a performance of ‘Colors of The Wind’ from Disney’s Pocahontas, but perhaps the performance of the night was ‘Ring of Key’s’ from Fun Home, accompanied by a fascinating story of how this musical became so important to one particular school in South Carolina.
London fell in love with Judy Kuhn all over again (her previous London stage role was in 1989) in Fiddler On The Roof, so a duet with Seth of ‘Do You Love Me?’ seemed an ideal fit for proceedings. Rudetsky and Kuhn promised us the best was yet to come, and they weren’t wrong, this was another fantastic concert that had everything a musical theatre fan could wish for.
Upcoming concerts in The Seth Concert Series include Lillias White and Beth Leavel. Tickets are on sale here.