By Clara Cartrette
Sutton Foster, niece of Mary Anne Tyndall of Whiteville, will be featured on PBS Friday, April 20 at 9 p.m. in “Live from Lincoln Center Presents: Sutton Foster in Concert.”
For several years Sutton has performed on Broadway and has won two Tony Awards.
“She can act, she can sing, she can dance,” TV Guide magazine wrote. “We’re pretty sure the only thing Sutton Foster can’t do is fly to the moon.”
The magazine further notes that before Foster played Liza, a 40-something single mom who fakes being in her 20s to land a publishing job on TV Land’s “Younger,” the Broadway play veteran won two Tony Awards (out of six nominations). Now she’s got her own hour long set on PBS’s classiest concert series.
The award-winning actor, singer and dancer has performed in 11 Broadway shows – most recently the revival of Violet – and originated roles in the Broadway productions of The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Women, Young Frankenstein, Shrek The Musical and her Tony Award-winning performances in Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Sutton was first seen on television on Star Search at age 15, and has more recently appeared in Bunheads, Psych, Johnny and the Sprites, Flight of the Conchords, Sesame Street, Law and Order SVU and Royal Pains.
Asked which stresses her out more, a solo gig or starring in a Broadway musical, Foster said “It depends. There’s pressure from both. What stresses me out most is not feeling 100 percent. A tiny cold can be the worst. In fact, I had a cold the night we filmed this.”
Asked how she preps for a stage performance, she said “My biggest goal was to get plenty of sleep, and I totally didn’t because I was nervous. I just wanted to be present and in the moment, which can be so hard to do.”
Are any of the songs especially significant to her? “All of the songs are personal to me in some way. But the one that has the most resonance is John Denver’s ‘Sunshine on My Shoulders.’ My parents used to play him on their 8-track player. My mom passed away a few years ago, so now I sing it for her.”
As a solo artist, Sutton has performed all over the country as well as internationally with her musical director Michael Rafter… featuring songs from her debut solo CD “Wish” as well as her follow up CD, “An Evening With Sutton Foster: Live at the Cafe Carlyle.” She has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Feinstein’s, Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, Joe’s Pub and many others.
In 2011 she received an Honorary Doctorate degree from Ball State University where she also is on faculty as a teacher and advisor to the Department of Theatre and Dance.
Since March 2015, she stars in TVLand’s new series, “Younger” created by Darren Star.
Foster’s awards include: 2014 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical – Violet; 2013 Gracie Awards for Outstanding Female Actor in a Breakthrough Role – Bunheads; 2011 Tony Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical, 2011 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical, 2011 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical, 2011 Fred Astaire Award for Best Female Dancer, Broadway, and 2011 Broadway.com Audience Favorite Award – all for Anything Goes; Also, 2009 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical – Shrek The Musical; 2002 Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical, 2002 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical, 2002 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical, and 2002 Fred Astaire Award for Best Female Dancer, Broadway, all for Thoroughly Modern Millie.