October 2, 2010

An Evening with Sutton Foster

Last Thursday, Sept 23, Tom, Jon and I saw An Evening with Sutton Foster at the new Broadway Playhouse here in Chicago. I've seen her in most of her shows but this experience was more intimate. No characters to play or hide behind. It was just her and a piano singing songs she liked to sing and telling her stories in a very kooky and nerdy manner, clearly revealing her amusing personality. Case in point, in the middle of the concert, she pulls out a flip cam and gets the audience to say "Hello from Chicago!" She said she collects audience videos from her shows. Apparently, she uploads it in her site (click here). I really admire performers like her who are so natural and at ease during their concert banter. It just perks my interest more as an audience member.

The concert was a bit ballad heavy and the songs were mostly from her album Wish. She did however, sing some standards too. I've always enjoyed Up On The Roof and the Airconditioner song from her cd but also enjoyed Something's Coming (from WSS) which opened the show. One part of the evening involved her having an audience member pulling a song from a cup. The songs were And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going (Dreamgirls), The Story Goes On (Baby), Meadowlark (The Baker's Wife), Don't Rain On My Parade (Funny Girl) and Defying Gravity (Wicked). She called it The Big Book of Belty Songs. The night we were there, it was Meadowlark and she sang it beautifully. Such a great way to add spontaneity to the evening.

She also sang My Heart Was Set on You from her album which I've always found to be heartbreaking but even more so this night because she too was on the verge of tears as she finished the song. Before the night ended, she sang a mash up of Anyone Can Whistle/Being Alive which was exhilarating but eventually ended the night with her optimistic anthem from Millie, Gimme Gimme. With such crisp and crystal clear voice combined with her nuanced interpretation of the songs, it was truly an astonishing (yes, pun intended) evening.

The new Broadway Playhouse

the marquee

Sutton Foster, who was so amiable talking to people who waited for her in the lobby

finally got my playbills signed


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