BWW Review: AN EVENING WITH SUTTON FOSTER at Axelrod Performing Arts Center
If my friends could see me now!
Sutton Foster has an exciting week ahead. On Tuesday, she starts rehearsals for the off-Broadway production of Sweet Charity and will appear on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. On Wednesday, season 3 of Younger premieres on TVLand. But even with her busy schedule, the two-time Tony Award winner still made time for a visit to the Jersey Shore, where she performed for 90 minutes at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal.
Her morning started in Montauk, New York, about three and half hour drive away, after she woke up following a wrap party for Younger. The evening ended with Sutton in a black flowy cocktail dress singing in front of a piano and glittery backdrop in a 500-seat theater attached to the local JCC.
Her show was more of a lounge act and similar to what you can hear on her album, 'An Evening With Sutton Foster Live at the Carlyle.' One of the highlights was a mashup of 'Not For The Life Of Me/NYC/Astonishing,' three songs she performed in different Broadway shows over the years. She also sang a quick Sondheim medley mashup of 'Anyone Can Whistle/Being Alive and ended the show with a rousing rendition of 'Anything Goes.' The pianist, Michael Rafter, played part of the lively dance break and Sutton jokingly pretended like she way about to tap, but didn't. During the show, she never kicked her long legs once. Not even for a penche, which is something she's made her signature move in shows these days (watch, you'll see it in Sweet Charity).
While I didn't recognize many of the songs Sutton sang during the night, the slow-tempo mood she set captured the audience's attention and hearts. Towards the end, her best friend, Megan McGinnis, a Broadway veteran who she met in 2002 during Thoroughly Modern Millie joined her for two duets, including a movie rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's 'Old Friends.'
Sutton didn't speak or banter much during the show, letting her singing carry the evening. However, she made a point to recognize the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, a non-profit arts organization celebrating more than decade of shows. She discussed how wonderful it is for the community to have such a venue that allows people can express themselves, especially for the next generation of performers. She credited a small theater in her home state of Georgia for affording her similar opportunities when she had no other outlet.
From these experiences when she was "younger" to the upcoming premiere of Younger, Sutton is continuing to show us that "anything goes" when it comes to this immensely talented actress' ability to entertain us.
Photo Credit: Sutton Foster/Instagram