What is Side by Side by Susan Blackwell? It is an entertaining online talk show at Broadway.com wherein Susan Blackwell--star of the wonderful, sadly closed, but not forgotten, Broadway musical [Title of Show]--interviews Broadway stars in intimate locations, like a corner table at Hooters or the upper deck of a Times Square tourist bus. The joy comes from how off-beat the questions are and how willing Susan Blackwell is to invade their personal space (for fun, not malevolence) to hilariously awkward effect. Some of the stars really embrace, others are game but end up with a hundred yard stare as Susan licks them on the cheek. Yes, as in, her tongue to their cheek.
Susan has a great presence in person and on film and was the perfect choice to become a correspondent and host on Broadway.com. For fans of musicals, this show is a treasure chest of references to shows, well-known and obscure alike.
I have a feeling, even if you don't know who half these people are (though you might recognize some for playing a doctor, lawyer, hooker, drug addict, or murder victim on a Law & Order or CSI, as most working NYC actors are practically required to), you'll still find the show entertaining. It's almost like rediscovering reality TV for the first time. Your apprehensive about what is going to happen and why you should care about total strangers, then get sucked into how ridiculous the scenario is. Just bask in the beauty of an online talk show where a conversation can include diversions on "handj's" and Equus or breast pumps and Cher.
There are only two episodes so far, but with the amount of stars in the opening credits (including "Hey, wasn't that chick on CSI?" and "That's the music director from that Legally Blonde reality show, right?"), I don't see this going away anytime soon.
I've embedded the first episode after the jump to give you a taste of how this works Hmmm...there's embed code that I've inserted properly, but the video says it's unavailable. Episode 1: Sutton Foster, Jonathan Groff & Laura Benanti. You should watch the second episode to see the full potential.