2006 Tony Awards Q&A: Sutton Foster

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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Robert Diamond The 2001 Syracuse University graduate (School of Information Studies) is also the owner of Wisdom Digital Media, an award-winning leading design company for entertainment and technology web sites. In his previous life, he held an executive position for the world's leading publisher of technology magazines, web sites and conferences and, as a result, was named among the "Top thirty magazine industry executives under the age of 30" by FOLIO Magazine.

Robert Diamond founded BroadwayWorld.com in 2003, which has now become the largest theatre web site in the world. He also serves as the site's Editor-in-Chief, covering Broadway and beyond, with specific local coverage for 100 cities in the United States, 35 countries worldwide and 15 other related areas of entertainment - including dance, opera, fashion, concerts, comedy, films, television and more. In May of 2014, the site was awarded a 2014 Award for Excellence in Theatre Arts Education by the prestigious Theatre Museum.

Diamond got his start in the entertainment field, accidentally, when he created the 'official web site' (while in college) for Michael Crawford, the popular actor and original Tony and Olivier Award-winning star of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. (He still blames Crawford - and credits him - for anything that goes particularly right or wrong during an average day.)

As a respected member of the Broadway and theatre community, Diamond also served as Lead Producer for a series of sold-out shows using the BroadwayWorld.com 'brand' for a set of 'Standing Ovations' concerts, which also branched out into titles that included Holiday Shows and even more specific concerts like 'From Stage to Screen and Back Again' in tandem with publishers and movie studios. All proceeds were in turn donated to Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, the industry's leader in aid for performers in need.

Robert lives in Manhattan with his wife and two dogs, growing the business and getting little sleep. In addition, you can usually find him in a theatre many nights a week. Robert's very popular blog, 'The Broadway Pulse' appears daily on BroadwayWorld.com and he also wrote weekly about theatre for the USA Network's Character Approved blog.

In December of 2011, Diamond was one of 5 Syracuse University Alumni, all having achieved success in the world of start-ups, business growth and venture capital, participating on a panel addressing young alumni who are currently pursuing their dreams of running their own business and experiencing the day to day challenges of a startup. It is part of the university's new Student Accelerator Program, for which Rob was recommended by Syracuse University's i-School.

In late 2012, Wisdom Digital Media announced the official spinoff and launch of 10 new entertainment web sites including BWWMoviesWorld.com, BWWTVWorld.com, BWWFashionWorld.com, BWWBooksWorld.com, BWWMusicWorld.com, BWWArtWorld.com, BWWComedyWorld.com, BWWDanceWorld.com, BWWClassicalWorld.com and BWWOperaWorld.com.

In January of 2013, BWWGeeksWorld.com, devoted to home entertainment, mobile technologies and social media launched as well, followed by BWWFitnessWorld.com and BWWTravelWorld.com in April of 2013. In July of 2013, BWWHub.com launched as a portal to the complete family of entertainment and lifestyle offerings.

In 2014, BroadwayWorld.com returned to the concert stage, with a series of benefit concerts featuring Broadway's brightest stars. A new partnership with Rock-it Science Records will record and release these special evenings, with proceeds benefiting various charities.