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Meg Ryan Taught Annaleigh Ashford to Fake It, Audra McDonald Ain't Afraid of No Telecast & More Lessons of the Week

Meg Ryan Taught Annaleigh Ashford to Fake It, Audra McDonald Ain't Afraid of No Telecast & More Lessons of the Week
Here's to the ladies who teach valuable lessons this week!

The last seven days have been a whirlwind of opening nights, classy galas and thrilling casting news—let’s revisit what we’ve learned, shall we? From Les Miserables mania to Annaleigh Ashford’s first onscreen sex scene, a lot of funny, weird and downright crazy things have happened this week. Read below for the latest installment of’s Lessons of the Week!

Ramin Karimloo and Will Swenson Go Crazy for Carbs
Of all the epic Broadway feuds—the Sharks and the Jets, Benny and Roger, Patti LuPone and, uh, everyone—the whole “loaf of bread” spat between Valjean and Javert in Les Miserables is by far the most epic. Ramin Karimloo and Will Swenson will keep the legendary fight alive on Broadway next spring, where they’ll brawl, cry (and both of them will die) eight nights a week, all set in motion by a hunk of sourdough. This is Broadway drama at its finest, people.

Jessica Lange Needs to Star in a Good Comedy
We’d happily watch another 10 seasons of Jessica Lange on American Horror Story, but the actress revealed that next year will be her last—and she’s talking about quitting acting altogether! Jessica, we love the troubled characters you play, but do you think you might be getting too into this whole immersive acting thing? During Streetcar, you used to “soak in a hot tub for hours in the dark, just like Blanche”?! We hereby order you to take a month off, do a rom-com (maybe even a musical?) and you’ll be back in business. Hey, it worked for Meryl Streep.

Broadway Stars Have Their Own Time Zone
In Lesli Margherita’s always-hilarious video blog, the Matilda star revealed a secret that completely explains why stage actors are always so grumpy in the morning: They live inside their own time belt, which we’ve officially named BST: Broadway Standard Time. “This morning I was up at 7 AM, which, for an actor, is like 3:30 in the morning,” Lesli kvetched. Now it all makes sense! Our original theory was vampires, but a time warp is much more plausible. It’s just a jump to the left…

Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig Are Living in the Past
Speaking of time travel, have you checked out those vintage Betrayal photos of Rachel Weisz, Daniel Craig and Rafe Spall on Oh wait, those are from the current production? From 2013? But why are they in black and white? The show’s in color. We’ve seen Skyfall, so we know Mr. Craig is certainly in color. The only hypothesis we can make is that because Harold Pinter's play travels backward in time, the poor trio has somehow gotten stuck in the ‘60s and can’t get out. Give our regards to Tracy Turnblad.

Kristin Chenoweth Is Prison
Last week, you voted Kristin Chenoweth the most popular witch in Oz (at least more popular than Idina—sorry, girl!). This week, we’ve discovered Kristin’s not only a draw among us Broadway folks, but prison inmates are also totally into her. On The Tonight Show, Chenoweth told Jay Leno that the last time she did her “fist in the mouth” trick on his show, she got a lot of fan mail from convicts. She also talked about Idina’s marriage and lamented the fact that she’s still single. Kristin, don’t worry. One of your prison pen pals will be happy to marry you—just don’t swallow the ring!

Jeremy Jordan Sold His Soul to Alan Menken
Newsies hunk Jeremy Jordan spent almost a year selling papes on Broadway, but it sounds like he sold something else to the show's composer. “I still owe Alan Menken a couple favors, so I decided to show up and sing one of his songs. Now I only owe him one,” Jordan ominously said at this week’s Dramatists Guild Fund Gala. “I’m not gonna tell you what kind of favor that is.” Wait, Jeremy, does Alan Menken keep your voice in a shell around his neck? Does he only let it out for galas and Smash reunions?

Karen Walker and Ron Swanson Are Coming to NYC
Get a martini and some Lagavulin on the rocks ready, because two of our favorite boozy TV characters, Karen Walker and Ron Swanson, are heading off-Broadway. OK, fine, it’s their real-life counterparts, Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, who, on top of being completely awesome, just happen to be married. In the New Group's Annapurna, they'll step out of the box and play an estranged married couple, and we can’t wait to see them on stage together. It doesn’t make up for the mysterious disappearance of Parks and Rec, but it sure helps.

Annaleigh Ashford Will Have What She’s Having
There’s a first time for everything: your first kiss, your first date, and of course, your first on-screen sex scene. Kinky Boots star Annaleigh Ashford had her first TV tryst on Masters of Sex, and she bravely recounted every detail, from the tequila shots to the doggy style, in the newest issue of Elle. How did she learn to fake it so well? Meg Ryan, of course! “I had to watch When Harry Met Sally a couple of times,” she admits. Wait, that’s what that scene was about?! We thought it was just a really, really good sandwich! #scarredforlife

Tovah Feldshuh Has Amazing Genes
It takes a special kind of middle-aged woman to be able to throw off her inhibitions (and most of her clothes) and swing in the air in front of an audience—and as we’ve discovered in the last few weeks, new Pippin star Tovah Feldshuh is just the brave lady for the job. Where does she get her youthful spirit? From her mom! “[She's] going to be 103 years old next April 18,” Feldshuh told us, and she owes her long, happy life to “laughter and chocolate on a daily basis.” You heard it here first, folks: peanut butter cups are the key to eternal youth.

Audra McDonald Is Fearless (Carrie Underwood, Not So Much)
This December, the hills will be alive with the sound of Carrie Underwood! Yep, the American Idol champ is taking on the role of Maria in the NBC broadcast of The Sound of Music, and she’s—gulp—doing it live. Is she scared? “This is definitely a challenge for all of us,” she said. Well, almost all of us. “It doesn’t scare me,” said five-time Tony-winning Broadway superstar Audra McDonald, who we approximate has performed live at least 85 gagillion times over the course of her career. Damn! Who’s your Momma (Abbess), Carrie?

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