I have directed musicals professionally in regional and amateur theater, and the shows were a great love of mine growing up. Sadly, the American musical genre is becoming increasingly isolated from the mainstream culture for many reasons, among them the death of the movie musical, the pop-infection of the music and its singing styles, making most Broadway scores (and all of the women) sound the same, the inflated price of professional theater tickets, and production costs and effects that put most modern shows outside the realm of possibility for high schools and colleges.
Another factor, which it is impolitic to discuss, is that the male gay community has decided to make musicals its own special genre, has been discouraging any talented straight performers from venturing into the field, sometimes unintentionally, sometimes not.
Emblematic of this trend is the Sirius -XM Broadway Channel, which is the only way any kids are likely to hear an excerpt from a cast recording other than buying the song online. The nearly exclusive host is Seth Rudetsky, a writer/performer of some note and obvious talent. To say that he is openly gay is an understatement. Rudetsky’s delivery, speech patterns and preferred subject matter would have once been criticized as evoking cruel anti-gay stereotypes. He’s an actor; Rudetsky could butch up he chose to, and if he cared about musicals continuing as an art form participated in and enjoyed by the whole society and not just a small segment of it, he would.
Instead, he runs the Broadway Channel as if women and gays are its only audience, potential or wanted. I get it: Seth is always in gay roles, in gay-oriented shows designed for gays, but that is not—not yet, anyway—the target audience Broadway and musicals, and that is not, presumably, the only audience Sirius is seeking. I assume he knows this, as an industry insider. I can only presume from his demeanor that he doesn’t care. It’s irresponsible.
While on the topic of Seth, I must add this. I recently caught the Broadway Channel host launching into a parody he had written insulting and mocking the President. It’s not a political channel, and listeners should not be subjected to the host’s gratuitous political rants. As with Colin Kaepernick and subsequent NFL kneelers hijacking NFL games to make their own political statements, Rudetsky,is abusing his position and showing disrespect for his listeners by forcing them to hear his juvenile partisan attacks on President Trump.
I would have suspended him, and told him to spend the time practicing how to not speak the way anti-gay bigots imitate gay people.