Originally scheduled for Monday, January 31, but postponed due to Omicron, Seth Rudetsky’s Broadway starring Jane Krakowski was rescheduled for September 12, and the wildly appreciative house clearly felt that the exuberant non-stop show, presented by The Town Hall and Mark Cortale, was worth the wait! The last installment in music director and host Rudetsky’s three one-night-only up-close-and-personal concerts and chats with a series of guest Broadway luminaries featured signature songs and captivating stories from the stellar stage and screen career of multi-award-winning actress and singer Krakowski (who can currently be seen hosting the reboot of the TV game show Name That Tune). The fact that she and Rudetsky are also close friends brought even more fun, laughs, and intimacy to the evening, as they shared memories and videos, performed favorite show tunes and a few originals together, exchanged entertaining banter, and let the audience get to know them and their high-spirited personalities.
Krakowski took the stage in a slinky black gown, joking about being a presenter for the night’s Emmy Awards in LA. But the dress also proved to be apropos to the content of her actual NYC concert, which focused on flirtatious renditions of sizzling hot songs from the musicals in which she appeared, including Nine, Grand Hotel, She Loves Me, and Damn Yankees, among others. Her blockbuster vocals, accompanied by Rudetsky on piano, were enhanced by seductive moves, shimmying, shaking her body, and touching herself, all done in a coquettish style reminiscent of such mid-century bombshell sex symbols as Marilyn Monroe.
Between numbers, the two sat down for funny and revealing fast-paced Q&A segments, discussing behind-the-scenes accounts of her professional journey from childhood, the process of auditions and casting in her acclaimed shows (and the ones she didn’t initially get), the stars she met and worked with, the parts she’d love to play (signal a bar from Funny Girl), and the risks she took (flying high on aerial silks after only a single off-site rehearsal; being dragged across the stage by her co-star in a full-split position eight times a week, proclaiming that she was then “46, and still got it!” ) for the applause she could hear in her head (and then received from her amazed fans).
There was also an amusing bit of on-stage audience participation based on Krakowski’s present stint as a TV game-show host and her famed role as Jenna Maroney in the NBC sitcom 30 Rock (which garnered her four Emmy nominations), with two obsessed fans competing to complete lines from the show (with the correct answers then seen in video clips of her hilarious performances). The lively evening ended with a surprise appearance by friend and co-star Titus Burgess (who was a guest on 30 Rock and will be seen with her in the upcoming second season of Schmigadoon on Apple TV+), singing a beautiful duet medley of “Happy Days Are Here Again” and “Get Happy.” They were, and we did, thanks to the open, vivacious, and talented Krakowski, Rudetsky, and Burgess.
Running Time: Approximately 95 minutes, without intermission.
Seth Rudetsky’s Broadway starring Jane Krakowski played on Monday, September 12, 2022, at The Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street, NYC.