Playbill Poll: What Should Tony Winner Sutton Foster's Next Broadway Project Be? Readers Respond

By Playbill Staff
August 4, 2013

With the recent success of the Encores! Off-Center one-night-only concert presentation of Violet, starring Tony winner Sutton Foster, we wondered: What should Foster's next Broadway project be?



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Playbill.com polled our readers via Facebook and Twitter asking what role should Foster tackle next and why.

Here are some reader responses followed by our own commentary.

@DonaldGarverick: Revival of Violet!
@ThatDarnZach: @sfosternyc VIOLET. It's sort of a no-brainer!!
@jensandler: I would love to see Violet get a full revival production with Sutton continuing in the title role!

Foster led the cast of the July 17 concert performance of Jeanine Tesori's Violet, which also featured Joshua Henry, Van Hughes and Keala Settle. It was noted that "Foster shone in the title role, portraying both the brittle defenses Violet had developed due to her disfigurement as well as the innocence and vulnerability of her character." Read the full Playbill.com recap here. With such a star-studded cast, we're hoping that producers transfer Violet to Broadway this season.

@amandakosloski: @sfosternyc I would put her in a revival of My Fair Lady - Eliza Doolittle! She has the awesome comedic timing to make it a hit!
@SuttonFrasier: If not something original, then Eliza Doolittle. Her comedic timing would be absolutely brilliant.

As previously reported, Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher has been tapped to direct a Broadway revival of My Fair Lady. Although there was talk of Anne Hathaway starring as Eliza Doolittle, Foster would be perfect for the Cockney flower girl, who gets to perform Alan Jay Lerner-Frederick Loewe classics such as "I Could Have Danced All Night" and "Just You Wait," among others. Although Foster would have big shoes to fill — Eliza was previously played by Julie Andrews, Christine Andreas, Melissa Errico and Kelli O'Hara, among others — we have no doubt that she would earn critical acclaim.

Patina Miller in Pippin.
photo by Joan Marcus

@seanmcdona: leading player in Pippin!

Foster, who won her two Tony Awards for dance-heavy performances in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Anything Goes, has proved that she is a match for roles that require a triple-threat performer. The Leading Player in the current revival of Pippin must not only sing, dance and act, but also perform high-flying cirque tricks and acrobatics. Can Foster learn all of the circus acts if and when Tony Award winner Patina Miller exits the Tony-winning production?

Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl.
Photo by Henry Grossman

@JasonMangano1: Fanny Brice in Funny Girl

Although Foster doesn't look much like Fanny Brice, she was chosen as one of the dozen actresses we'd like to see play Fanny Brice in a Broadway revival of Funny Girl, and we're pretty sure she can play most any role. And, Foster also delivered a knockout version of "I'm the Greatest Star" during the Actors Fund concert version of Funny Girl.

Foster as Eponine in Les Miz.

Jordan Gross: I dreamed a dream I saw Sutton as Fantine in Les Mis. I think this dream should become a reality.

Foster was cast in the original Broadway production of Les Misérables in 2000, understudying the role of street urchin Eponine. With the 2014 Broadway revival of Les Miz right around the corner, it would be a full-circle moment for Foster to play Fantine on Broadway. We think that she would deliver a powerful "I Dreamed a Dream" and could even score a Tony nomination for her performance.

Current Elphaba Lindsay Mendez
Photo by Joan Marcus

Angelika Maria Anastasio: Elphaba!!!!!!!!!
@Coreyandstuff: It should totally be Wicked! Even if only for a month or so, I'd love to see what she brings to Elphaba

Foster, known for her powerful belt, would be a great choice for the next Elphaba on Broadway. Haven't you heard her rendition of "Defying Gravity" live at the Café Carlyle?

Betsy Wolfe in the recent Off-Broadway revival.
Photo by Joan Marcus

Hunter Emmett Burke: I would love to see her in The Last Five Years. She would make an excellent Cathy.

Although The Last Five Years was recently revived Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre and will hit the big screen with Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick, we can't get enough of the Jason Robert Brown musical. We'd love to see Foster take on the role of Cathy. Maybe former husband Christian Borle, who remains good friends with Foster, would be willing to play Jamie!

Bethany Sulecki: I always thought she'd make a great Winnifred in "Once Upon a Mattress"!

Foster proved her knack for physical comedy in Thoroughly Modern Millie and would be an ideal Winnifred in a Broadway revival of the 1959 Mary Rodgers Guettel-Marshall Barer musical inspired by "The Princess and the Pea" that hasn't been seen on Broadway since its 1996-97 revival.

Foster and Seth Rudetsky
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

 Anthony Nufrio Jr.: They're Playing Our Song by Neil Simon and Marvin Hamlisch IS LONG OVERDUE FOR A REVIVAL. Plus Sutton performed in the concert version last year.

In 2010 Foster and actor-musician-Playbill.com columnist Seth Rudetsky joined forces for a concert version of the musical that introduces audiences to wisecracking composer Vernon Gersch, who takes on the kooky and offbeat lyricist Sonia Walsk as his new collaborator. Their initial match is a professional success but a personal disaster. As the two pop songwriters explore their relationship during their rise to success throughout the show, backup singers materialize to sweeten their songs.

Andrew Victor Myers: The revival of Cole Porter's Can-Can!

A revival of the Cole Porter classic Can-Can has been announced for a Broadway return in spring 2014. The musical, which centers on Pistache, the only café owner in Paris who dares to feature the scandalous and illicit Can-Can dance, includes such songs as “I Love Paris,” “C’est Magnifique” and “It’s All Right With Me."

 

@A_vie_en_rose: Lola in Damn Yankees!

Foster would make a sleek and leggy Lola, the devil's sultry sidekick in the musical that has a book by original director George Abbott and Douglas Wallop, with music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. The Faustian musical was adapted from Wallop's 1954 novel "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant." Foster would get to work her way through "Whatever Lola Wants" and "Who's Got the Pain?"

Ingrid Bergman

 @myota830: Casablanca because she has the grace of Ingrid Bergman.

So far, a musical version of the iconic 1942 black and white classic "Casablanca" hasn't been announced. But Foster could don the trenchcoat of Ilsa Lund, the young woman torn between her husband and the roguish American who owns Rick's Cafe Americane. The film starred Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart and featured the song "As Time Goes By." Now, who can we find to pen the score for Broadway?

 @tmsilvestri: Bells Are Ringing revival!

Another role originated by a great physical comedian, Judy Holliday, that would be a fantastic fit for Foster is that of operator Ella Peterson in the 1956 musical comedy by Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Jule Styne. In addition to getting tangled in phone wires, Foster would get to sing "Is It a Crime?" and "The Party's Over."

 @joe_dannn: "The Unsinkable Molly Brown"... She would absolutely KILL IT. It'd be amazing!

Foster actually appeared in a new reading of the Meredith Willson musical in December 2011. Foster played the feisty title lady, a rags-to-riches Midwesterner who married well, fought for social justice and survived the 1912 sinking of the Titanic. Tony winner Kathleen Marshall (Anything Goes) is the project's director-choreographer, working with Tony-nominated librettist Dick Scanlan (Thoroughly Modern Millie) and musical director/arranger Michael Rafter (Millie). The musical includes such songs as "I Ain't Down Yet," "Are You Sure?," "Belly Up to the Bar, Boys" and "I'll Never Say No."