Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Reviews: SUTTON FOSTER at the Broad

In its series Broadway @ the Broad, which began in October 2013 with Patti Lupone, Sutton Foster was the latest star to grace the stage, featuring Seth Rudetsky as pianist and host. The event took place Sunday June 14 at the Broad in Santa Monica at 5 pm and 8 pm (which I attended), and Foster proved a real trouper. On her recent honeymoon in Italy she contracted laryngitis and her voice has been down ever since. It took some quick maneuvering to adjust the program to her vocal capability, but with Seth Rudetsky on board as accompanist, all went well, and the packed house was overjoyed with what Foster had to offer.

Foster opened quite nicely with "I Get a Kick Out of You" from Anything Goes and then proceeded to the stuffed armchair stage left to chat with Rudetsky about her career. Born in Georgia, the family moved to Detroit a few years later and Sutton did a lot of local shows, singing and dancing, one organization being the Peanut Butter Players, a kind of singing waiter/waitress type deal, where the performers serve lunch and then sing. She left high school before senior year (she eventually made up the work and graduated) to join The Will Rogers Follies on tour, directed by Tommy Tune and that led to her Broadway debut in Grease in 1996 again for Tommy Tune. She was the Sandy understudy and went on many times with Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones and even had a chance to co-star with her brother Hunter Foster, who was also in the cast understudying Danny. When asked if she would be willing, she said flatly, "No!" After all, this is a sweet, unsoiled small town girl - having to play love scenes with her brother? The lovely thing about Foster's personality is her natural, down.home quality; she's the girl next door, and now, at 40, she still looks youthful and could pass for 26 as she is asked to do in her TV series Younger for TV Land, which was recently picked up for a second season. Foster amusingly related to Rudetsky when he asked her what it's like working on the small screen, "I couldn't believe they give you breakfast," she responded innocently. "I could order an omelette. I'm used to Broadway where they don't feed you." As to the difference in working onstage and on TV? "It's the same. Acting is acting. You dial it up or down depending on the medium." Sharp answer!

In the 75-minute set, Foster also performed two audition songs "Hey There" and "Cockeyed Optimist" from South Pacific and later did "Summer Lovin'" from Grease. To allow her some vocal rest onstage, Rudetsky, who I found to be much tamer this time around - not nearly as frisky as he was with Patti Lupone - introduced old friend, actor Kevin Chamberlain, who originated Horton the Elephant and was Tony nominated for the role in Seussical on Broadway. Chamberlain, a totally affable chap,

Kevin Chamberlain

joked about being in Broadway choruses with Sutton and then performed the touching "Alone in the Universe" from Seussical with Rudetsky essaying JoJo while accompanying at the piano. Foster performed "You and I"/"The Story of Chess" from ABBA's Chess, which she had done years ago in a benefit concert, and concluded with two songs from Anything Goes: the tile song and "You're the Top". She also introduced her sweet little dog Mabel and did "Mabel This Time" to the strains of "Maybe This Time", which was a big plus for the audience. Animals, indeed, especially canines, always steal the show!

Seth Rudetsky

Sutton Foster is a real charmer and a stunning singer, whether she is forced to sing octaves lower due to illness or not. One perhaps wished for more luster and excitement in the evening, but as is, it was fine - Sutton received two standing ovations. She carried it off with style and bravura!

Related Stories

From This Author - Don Grigware

  Don Grigware was a writer for BroadwayWorld through December 2019.                             ... (read more about this author)

BWW Interview: Pop Singer Tiffany Bailey Talks About Her Projects for 2020
January 28, 2020

Actress/singer Tiffany Bailey has many talents. She also happens to be a behavioral therapist for children with autism. I laud her for that. Last spring 2019 she released an album entitled Jazz with Pop and her cabaret show was very well received. In this interview she updates our readers as to the success of the CD and talks about her other projects for 2020.

BWW Review: Megan Hilty and Cheyenne Jackson a Smash at the Wallis Annenberg
January 27, 2020

One of the most highly anticipated concerts of the season took place Saturday January 25 at the Bram Goldsmith Theater of the Wallis Annenberg in Beverly Hills. It co-starred Megan Hilty and Cheyenne Jackson. To say the least both performers were at the very top of their form and blew the roof off the Annenberg by just being their professional selves, singing sublimely separately and together and sharing stories about their career and personal lives.

BWW Interview: Alfred Molina Speaks About THE FATHER at Pasadena Playhouse
January 24, 2020

Florian Zeller's play The Father is so topical, for it deals with a father who is suffering from dimentia. It opens for previews on February 5 at the Pasadena Playhouse with the official opening night set for Tuesday February 11. Alfred Molina whose stage and film appearances are laudatory stars as the father Andre, a former tap dancer. He talks succinctly about the role as he settles in to a comfortable rehearsal period.

Candlelight Pavilion Presents a Sterling MAN OF LA MANCHA
January 22, 2020

Man of La Mancha /book by Dale Wasserman/music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion/ directed by Chuck Ketter/choreographed by Daniel Solis/ music direction by Douglas Austin/Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre/through February 22 This has to be my hundreth viewing of this show. As many times as I see Man of La Mancha, I relish the music and high dramatic moments of this classic piece of theatre. Such is the case when the production is top notch, with the perfect actors and highly skilled direction. Candlelight Pavilion's current revival is fantastic with artistic director John LaLonde stepping into the role of Cervantes for the sixth time. In spite of the entire cast's excellent performances, he is the main reason to see this fine production.

BWW Review: Suzy London Presents a Playful TATTOOS ON MY HEART
January 21, 2020

Actress Suzy London is a dynamite performer onstage. She really digs in deep to become the character she is playing. Her cabaret appearance - her second over the past year - on Sunday January 19 at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal proved that she can conquer the cabaret scene with equal finesse. It takes a performer of versatility to grab hold of an audience and keep them riveted to you... as yourself. Here in cabaret, you are exposing a side of yourself that is covered over in a specific character role.