How Beth Leavel’s Tony Rehearsals Costume Left Her a Lucky Charm

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This Week in the Life of Seth, Jessica Vosk Talks Landing Her Carnegie Hall Gig and Christy Altomare Channels tiger king.

Good year! Note: we are only mid-January and therefore still ok to say. Before 2022 I did shows in Provincetown on New Years Eve and New Years Day with Jessica Vosk and they were so awesome. Provincetown is truly beautiful in the winter. But it’s still strange to walk around and see brand name stores and restaurants closed for the season. It’s a lot this song from gray gardens.

Speaking of gray gardens, Christine Ebersole told me a bit about what it was like for her when she was the star of this show. She won the Tony Award and there were endless requests for her to appear at events. She was basically the toast of the town but, eventually, someone else quickly became the theater star of the moment. Christine’s version of events calls it the year she won the Tony Award The year of the pig. Then she explains what happens once the attention fades “You know what happens after ‘The Year of the Prize-Winning Pig’…bacon!”

Jessica Vosk


Back to New Years: After Jessica and I did our concert in Provincetown, I went home on Sunday with Juli (your old girl) and her college roommate, Nadine. I say I drove home, but it was Nadine driving because I hadn’t driven in about 15 years. I am what you call a “nervous driver” and/or “someone who shouldn’t have a license”. Anyway, we got home and Jessica and her boyfriend got on the plane. Or at least they were meant to fly. Their flight was increasingly delayed. I was worried because we had to do my live concert series on Sunday night (TheSethConcertSeries.com) and it was happening later and later in the day. These concerts begin at 8 p.m. ET every Sunday. Well, she ended up not waiting for her constantly delayed flight and finally caught a train home at 9:30 p.m. At first we thought we had to cancel, then we realized we could do the concert another time. We contacted ticket holders and moved the concert to Monday night instead. As usual, she was fantastic.

She talked about her first Broadway show, which was Madison County Bridges. She was a swing and covered multiple roles. Towards the end of the race she had to continue for Whitney Bashor. Jess is Italian and has black hair and Whitney Bashor is blond and blond. Well, at this point in the show, they didn’t offer Jessica a wig for her skin type, so she just wore Whitney’s wig. At that time there was an ongoing story about Jason Robert Brown (who wrote the score) and he was running the show that night. Well, Jessica remembers going up on stage and Jason was looking down. When he looked up, just before the song, and saw the blonde wig contrasting Jessica’s dark face, she saw his face register a combination of shock/horror ending in physical recoil. The good news is that they finished the song but nowadays, each time they see each other, Jason will say “Vosk!” Do you remember that shitty wig you had to wear to Bridges?” Right here she makes the song without wig.

I asked Jessica how she got to Carnegie Hall and she told me it all started with a booker who saw her perform at various venues. She didn’t know he had come. Next, Jessica said she was performing in a band show at The Green Room and for some reason felt precious about her voice. There were two shows in a row and she told everyone she couldn’t be bothered between shows because she needed to rest her voice. PS she confessed to me that she only had one (1) song to sing. Anyway, between shows, someone told her there was a man who wanted to talk to her, but Jessica reiterated that she had to put the gift down. Again the man asked if they could talk and again Jessica was firm in her decision for total vocal rest.

Well, Jessica’s friend came back and handed Jessica the man’s card so Jess could contact him later. Jessica saw that the card was for the Carnegie Hall booker. OMG! She said she immediately ran like the wind out of the backstage, sped to the elevator and down STAT. She scanned the downstairs lobby to see if he was already gone, but she didn’t see him, so she called the number on the card, panting, and asked if he was down the block. He replied that he sat down to dinner at The Green Room and saw her sprinting beside him. He told her he assumed there was a family emergency. BROKEN. She stammered out an excuse for her marathon-like running and they ended up arguing and he booked her for a gig at Carnegie Hall. And that gig was a few weeks ago and it sold out. How amazing is that?

Beth Level and Seth

Beth Level and Seth
Courtesy of Seth Rudetsky


I also did a concert recently with Beth Leavel and she sang Sleepy Riding Hood, Show Boat, Grease, Follies, Gypsy, The Prom, and more. I asked her about winning the Tony Award and she told us about rehearsal that morning. Sutton Foster performed “Show Off” on the telecast which normally doesn’t feature the entire cast, but Casey Nicolaw (the director/choreographer) staged the entire cast at the end so they could be featured on the telecast. Beth told us they rehearsed that morning and there was a pose at the end of the number where she threw her arms forward.

Well, during rehearsal, she threw her arms forward…as well as by her pearl necklace. Pearls scattered everywhere. She leaned over and frantically tried to pick them up but, at the same time, the stage manager told her to clear the stage immediately. Why? Because the cast of Sweeney Todd was about to enter…into the dark…directed by Patti LuPone. Ah! Beth fled the scene as instructed, but freaked out all day that she was somehow responsible for “killing Patti LuPone.” She waited all day to hear if there had been a terrible accident caused by fallen pearls but heard nothing. Apparently Patti got on and off without a hitch. But that wasn’t the end of the pearls: Just before Beth left her dressing room at the Marquis Theater to go to the Tony Awards, her hairstylist handed her a green pearl and told her she found it at Radio City. Music Hall. Beth pocketed it and, that night, won the Tony Award. Since then, she carries this lucky green pearl with her everywhere. During our show, she was in her bra! Right here she earns her Tony.

PS Sunday, I redo my series of live concerts. Come see me with Broadway’s Anastasia, Christy Altomare. Here is his weird/incredible promotion for our concert at the tiger king. So strange. Tix for our live concert are at TheSethConcertSeries.com. Peace !



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