Last night I saw Tony-winning actress Sutton Foster perform with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. If you’re not familiar with her Broadway work you may know her from the sadly short-lived television show Bunheads or from her current show Younger. I’ve seen her a few times in Broadway shows, Anything Goes and Violet and had seen her perform at the Cafe Carlyle. I was surprised that we were somehow even closer to the stage last night than we were at the Carlyle given that’s a tiny cabaret venue. Granted we were about as far away from the stage as we could have been there, but since I bought these tickets last August I had forgotten how close to the stage they were.
She sang a number of the same song she sang when we saw her at Cafe Carlyle, which makes sense since people are obviously wanting to hear her perform songs from the Broadway shows she’s starred in. This of course was more of a production with the backing of a full orchestra in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
She started off with a couple of numbers from Anything Goes, which is still one of my all time favorite Broadway musicals. I’m always happy to hear Sutton Foster sing songs from it. The only thing that would have made it better is if she did the tap dance along with it. Long time readers with awfully good memories may recall that I was once inspired to take tap dancing classes after seeing Sutton Foster in Anything Goes. The fact that I have zero rhythm and can’t remember dance combinations to save my life should have made me think twice about that decision, but I did it. Let’s just say it did not end well. Of course I can’t complain too much about the lack of tap dancing during “Anything Goes” because I totally got some tap dancing, which I would not have expected had I not seen her tweet a video of the rehearsal for it.
I’ll never know, but part of me wishes I had been completely surprised by the tap dancing since I totally wouldn’t have expected her to break it out during a stint with the BSO, but on the other hand I was super excited and looking forward to it all week. So I’m not sure whether anticipation beats surprise, but it’s what I got. The tap dance number was actually performed with the actor who plays her boyfriend on Younger, Nico Tortorella. He apparently used to do musical theatre in high school, but hasn’t done anything in the past ten years. Let’s just say that came across. They performed “Fit as a Fiddle” from Singin’ in the Rain. It was fun, and think Nico Tortorella held his own fairly well for the tap dancing, but it’s just not fair to put someone who doesn’t sing professionally on a stage with Sutton Foster and expect him to keep up. It wasn’t bad during the parts of the song when he was singing alone, but at the points where they sang simultaneously it felt a little like someone in a high school musical trying to sing with Sutton Foster. Despite that it was still my favorite part of the show.
My other favorite number was “Rose’s Turn” from Gypsy. Sutton Foster was joking that despite her television show she isn’t actually getting any younger and so she’s started thinking about the classic roles for older actresses. She’s got a long way to go before she’s old enough to play Gypsy Rose Lee, but after seeing her perform this last night it’s kind of all I want to see on Broadway. The tap dancing may have been my favorite, but this was probably the best number of the night overall.
Also big props to my husband who didn’t get to enjoy the night nearly as much as I did. Some horrible old woman sitting next to him pretty much decided that she needed to be part of the show as well. When she wasn’t trying to conduct the orchestra from her seat and whacking him repeatedly in the process she was singing along as if anyone wants to hear her sing. Luckily he blocked most of the noise of that so I only had to hear her sparingly during some of the quieter numbers. Shushing from people around her did not dissuade her from that or repeatedly talking to her daughter throughout the show. She even pulled out her phone and started playing with it at one point. So thanks for ruining people’s night awful woman. I’m sorry my husband didn’t get to enjoy the show as much as I did thanks to her, but I thought it was excellent.