Sutton Foster In Concert – Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Theater Review – December 16, 2018


Virginia G. Piper Theater, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
Scottsdale, AZ

“Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Anything Goes” and other Broadway shows Sutton Foster starred in splashed across the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts stage Friday, December 14 as her cabaret act brought tastes of the shows she’s appeared in and other musicals to local audiences.  Between the generous selection of tunes, Foster and pianist/host Seth Rudetsky chatted animatedly about her career with amusing tidbits about her performances.

The show featured Broadway musical songs exclusively that kept the capacity audience delighted.  Foster was in glorious voice and she said that her lack of a recent Broadway vehicle did not in any way detract from her desire to return.  She can just be more selective and wait for the right role.  Throughout the show, Foster demonstrated her Broadway flair as she stressed that singing a song must include a deep understanding of the lyrics.

Rudetsky is a witty cohort and expert piano accompanist.  His relaxed but probing approach and interesting commentary brought out unique facets about Foster and helped define her growth as a performer.  Foster chatted with joy about her first child and how motherhood has further enhanced her song interpretations.

Foster is tall and talked about how she used her height to enhance her career.  She also talked about brother Hunter Foster and how neither had any musical theater background when they started their climbs to Broadway successes.  Foster was attired in a striking bright red and tight fitting pantsuit that set off her flowing brown hair.  She joked about how challenging it was to sit between songs as she chatted with Rudetsky.  According to Rudetsky, the pair hadn’t rehearsed either the order or selection of the songs.  During one song, the lyrics occasionally stymied Foster, so an audience member ran to the stage with her phone on which she had called up the song lyrics.  Foster gratefully accepted the phone, sang the song, and then returned the phone prompting another cute return to their between-songs seats.  These off-the-cuff moments made Foster a crowd pleaser.  She even mentioned that her current television appearances provided a needed break from the rigors of appearing in a Broadway show eight times a week.

Foster closed her show with a rollickingly joyful “Anything Goes,” from a show she revived on Broadway and won one of her two Tony Awards.  Following this song, the audience, now on its feet and applauding wildly, would not let her go.  She returned and performed a stirring “Oklahoma” rendition, a tune she referenced during her early career remarks and brought rapturous joy to the departing audience.

The next Broadway @ Scottsdale Center attraction is six time Tony Award winning Audra McDonald on January 19.  For tickets, call 480-499-TKTS (8587) or order online at

Grade: A