Sutton Foster is what musical comedy was made for, the cheery antidote to what ails us. From the first time we saw her, at the Marquis Theatre in 2002, starring in the flapper-era musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, rat-a-tat tap-dancing up a storm as the stenographer with matrimony on her mind (a role originated by Julie Andrews in the 1967 movie romp), we knew this Foster kid was aces. She had spunk. She had pizzazz. She had the pipes to put a song through the uprights and the dance chops to drive a number around the block. And she had something more: an adorability that immediately got an audience on her side from the first wall-to-wall smile.
Foster’s breakout performance earned her a Tony Award for outstanding actress in a musical, a prize she would win again with her singing-dancing dynamo charm offensive in the 2011 revival of Anything Goes. To audiences who have never bathed in the bright lights of Broadway, Foster is best known as Liza Miller in the TV Land series Younger, created and produced by Darren Star (Sex and the City), who once again whips up the glossy, sexy-smart New York of our cocktail-hour dreams. Younger’s seventh and final season is currently running on Paramount +, after which we will all cry.
To ease us through the separation process and deliver a whole lot more besides, Foster is presenting and starring in a concert special recorded at New York’s City Center titled Bring Me to Light, featuring musical guests Raúl Esparza, Joaquina Kalukango, Kelli O’Hara, and Wren Rivera, the fab five performing musical-theater chestnuts from Camelot, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, and other Great White Way classics. The show streams from April 28 until May 31, and the cost of a front-row digital seat is a super-reasonable $35. Prepare the popcorn, nestle in, and let the music begin. —James Wolcott