Concert Review: Sutton Foster at The Music Center at Strathmore

Sutton

Sutton Foster.

Tony Award winner and TV star Sutton Foster brought her familiar repertoire of Broadway tunes and standards to the Music Center at Strathmore and delighted the crowd with her signature belt and perfect vocal interpretations. Foster is a two time Tony Award winner for Thoroughly Modern Millie and Anything Goes and recently was seen starring opposite Kelly Bishop in the ABC Family series Bunheads.

From the start Foster made the audience feel as if this was going to be a great night of music. The evening started out with the standard “Nice ‘n’ Easy,” which was written by Alan Bergman, Marilyn Keith and Lew Spence. Next up was a medley of three songs from Foster’s Broadway shows. “Not for the Life of Me” (Thoroughly Modern Millie), “N.Y.C.” (Annie), and “Astonishing” (Little Women). After that came the announcement that she is working on a brand new cd and was going to try a few songs out on the audience. I personally enjoyed them but the “fans” that wanted the same songs Foster always sings in concert were not as enthusiastic.

Gimme Gimme more Sutton Foster anytime.

Two possibilities for the new cd were Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington’s beautiful standard “The Nearness of You” and then changing things up a bit, we heard a delightful song by pop singer/composer Harry Nilsson entitled “Good Old Desk.”

I enjoyed hearing Foster sing a pop tune in concert and this one suited her voice perfectly.

I also rather enjoyed a comedic song called “Air Conditioner,” written by Christine Lavin that is about a girl who won’t go home with a guy unless he owns an air conditioner.

Two things about listening to Sutton Foster in concert that are definite pluses are the quality of her musicians and arrangements. In this case Foster was backed by Kevin Kuhn (multiple guitars and banjo), Leo Huppert (bass) and Michael Rafter (Music director/Piano/Arranger). One example of being a good arranger is being able to fuse two compositions together into one piece. This was demonstrated with two songs by Stephen Sondheim, “Anyone Can Whistle” from the show of the same name and “Being Alive” from Company. Between Rafter’s accompaniment and Foster’s vocal, the result was something special to listen to.

There is something to be said for changing up your song list every once in a while but it seems to me that it’s a no win situation. If Sutton Foster hadn’t done anything new in this concert, some of the audience would have taken exception. Here she performed four new songs and some of the audience wasn’t pleased because she did something they weren’t use to.

Sutton Foster’s concert was beautifully sung and regardless of song choice I’d go back and hear her again and again.  I look forward to her new cd and any other project she has coming up. Sutton Foster is a star in every sense of the word and those who choose to quibble over certain things about her performance are really missing out. Gimme Gimme more Sutton Foster anytime.

Running Time: 60 Minutes with no intermission

Sutton Foster was a one night only concert at the Music Center at Strathmore on October 12th 2013

For upcoming events at Strathmore click here.

For the rest of Sutton Foster’s tour dates and everything else that is Sutton Foster click here.

About Elliot Lanes

Elliot Lanes has been a professional stage manager/sound designer/board op for over 20 years. After relocating to Washington, DC from the New York City area and marrying the girl of his dreams Jennifer Perry, he has been privileged to work on productions at Theatre J, Synetic, Prince George's Community College and Studio Theater to name a few. He has contributed designs for many shows in the last three Capital Fringe Festivals, two of which garnered critical raves. He is also the creator of MD Theatre Guide's highly successful 'A Quick 5' column.