By Sandi Durell
What’s the real thing that packs a wallop for your heart, soul and mind? Sutton Foster!
This Broadway baby is bursting with understated, churning internalized talent in the gentlest and most disarming way. Yes, she’s “Nice n’ Easy” (her opener) but oh, so complex.
Her last foray on Broadway was her Tony winning performance as Reno Sweeney in the revival (with Joel Grey) in Anything Goes. A triple threat, Sutton Foster is the description of star quality.
Foster has that tongue-in-cheek characteristic when she’s singing humorous cutsy tunes like Christine Lavin’s “Air Conditioner” or naughty, double entendre “Seduced” (by Leon Redbone) “flirting with the thought of what flirting ought to do . . . let him think about getting little me in bed.” You can almost see the visualization going on in her head. And, if it’s things you can rely on, it’s Harry Nilsson’s “Good Old Desk,” also a favorite of The Beatles.
Her voice flows like water, ebbing, peaking, churning warm and surrendering whether it’s the “Nearness of You” or old chestnut “Georgia On My Mind” or Sondheim medley “Anyone Can Whistle/Being Alive.”
Sutton was born in Georgia, moved to Detroit where she says she got her “edge” and is now living in L.A. where she got her car and a house with a swimming pool!
Welcoming her friend and guest Megan McGinnis to the stage (they met doing “Little Women”), a magical harmonic a capella sans mic moment of brilliance ensued in “Flight.”
Whether it’s Cole Porter’s “I Get A Kick Out of You” or Francesca Blumenthal’s “Lies of Handsome Men,” Sutton Foster delivers with intention, perfect phrasing and an unbeatable freshness.
Good thing she’s got a 3-week engagement at the Café Carlyle thru September 28th to accommodate all the people who will want to see and hear her. She is accompanied by brilliant musical director and arranger Michael Rafter on piano.
Reservations: 212 744-1600