2006 Tony Awards Q&A: Sutton Foster

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Best Leading Actress in a Musical (for The Drowsy Chaperone) nominee Sutton Foster's previous Broadway credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie (for which she received the 2002 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actress in a Musical and Astaire Award for Best Female Dancer). Other Broadway and national tours credits include Les Misérables (Eponine), Annie (revival), The Scarlet Pimpernel (original cast), Grease! (Sandy) and The Will Rogers Follies.

How did you get your Tony news?

I was watching New York 1… I had woken up at 8:30, crawled to the couch and was laying on there with my fiancée Christian.

Who was the first phone call?

My agent called right away, and I received a bunch of emails and text messages from friends. I have been on the phone all morning.

You've been through this a couple of times now, does it feel any different?

Nope, it's just as exciting, and it's thrilling that the show received so many nominations. I don't think that it ever gets less exciting.

What's the best part?

The greatest thing in our profession is to be part of an original show, and it's crazy, but also exciting. Also being able to perform at the Tonys and to go is wonderful. When you're going as a nominee, it's an even better way to go. It's a crazy time over the next few weeks, but it's a good crazy.

 

And how is the show going?

The show's going so well, and I don't think that I've ever been happier.  I love the show and going to work every day.

How long have you been involved with the production?

I did the workshop last summer and of course did the out of town tryout in Los Angeles. Now I'm here!

How has the show evolved?

The show has come a long way, because the writers have tailored the material to the performers and pulled out our strengths. Director Casey Nicholaw tailored the show to the people that he cast as well.

So you're pleased with how it's evolved?

Absolutely - It's become tighter and stronger, and they changed some numbers from Los Angeles with made it an even better show as well. For example there was a big ballet in the second act out in LA, and they cut that and added the 'Monkey Number' for me. That's one addition from the LA production, and another number that was cut and replaced by 'Love is Always Lovely' which is a great song.

 

Since the show is such a 'love-letter' to musical theatre, New York seems like the perfect home for it – how have audiences been reacting?

They've been fantastic and it's been really exciting to perform this for NY audiences, because it celebrates the power of musical theatre and how it can change peoples days and lives. This is a town that celebrates musical theatre, and audiences have been terribly responsive because of it.

The Best Leading Actress category this year is chock-full of talent – have you been able to see your fellow nominees perform?

I saw all but Chita, and I love everybody and it's just an honor to be in the same category alongside these incredible women. It's daunting, but I'm just looking forward to it as a celebration and I'm looking forward to celebrating with the cast and the community.

Any last thoughts for our readers?

I feel good, and I'm really proud just to be nominated!

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