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Tuesday, 15 March 2011 11:45

Sutton Foster Releases New CD Today, Mar 15

20-Song Tour de Force ‘An Evening With Sutton Foster – Live at the Cafe Carlyle,’ Set for March 15th Release by Ghostlight Records

Foster’s “Irresistible Cabaret Show” Delivers:
“The radiance of Julia Roberts and the zany spunk of Holly Golightly: that only begins to describe the seductive charms of Sutton Foster” (NY TIMES – Stephen Holden)

Tony Winner Begins Previews in ‘Anything Goes’ on March 10th

Tony Winner Sutton Foster’s triumphant sold-out run at New York’s famed Cafe Carlyle comes home to listeners on March 15th, as Ghostlight Records proudly releases her 20-song tour de force ‘An Evening With Sutton Foster – Live at the Café Carlyle’. In an interview with THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, Foster emphasizes that ‘it's a concert, not cabaret, but adds that whatever you call it, "it's definitely quirky and weird -- and very much me."’

In his glowing NEW YORK TIMES review of her performance, Stephen Holden praised: “The radiance of Julia Roberts and the zany spunk of Holly Golightly: that only begins to describe the seductive charms of Sutton Foster in her irresistible cabaret show, “An Evening With Sutton Foster.” “The homespun sweetness that emanates from Ms. Sutton like a natural perfume — evoking fields and woods on a clear, warm Southern afternoon — is a quality that can’t be faked, easy though it may be to imitate.” See the full NY Times show review, below.

The New York shows were part of a 2010 Sutton Foster nationwide tour, which featured stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, St. Louis, Des Moines, Chicago, Sag Harbor, Dallas, Clearwater, Delray Beach, Charlotte, Midland (MI), Traverse City (MI) and more. Sold-out concerts and rave coverage followed, and samples of tour articles may be seen, below.

The concerts featured Musical Direction / Arrangements / Piano by Foster’s long-time collaborator Michael Rafter, and Guitars by Kevin Kuhn. The ensuing Ghostlight album was recorded live on June 26, 2010 at the Cafe Carlyle at The Carlyle Hotel, NYC, and was Produced for Records by Lawrence Manchester. Executive Producers are Kurt Deutsch, Sutton Foster, Fox Theatricals, Mike Isaacson and Kristin Caskey.

Listen to audio samples or download album, here.

Foster’s new CD is her second solo effort with Ghostlight Records. Her 2009 solo debut ‘WISH’ earned rave coverage in top outlets ranging from USA TODAY to NBC-TV’s WEEKEND TODAY SHOW to VARIETY and more.

Foster begins previews in ‘Anything Goes’ on March 10th, at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. More details, video interviews and tickets, here:

Get Anything Goes Tickets

TRACK LISTING - ‘An Evening With Sutton Foster – Live at the Cafe Carlyle’:
1)    I’m Beginning to See The Light (Duke Ellington, Don George, Johnny Hodges, Harry James)
2)   Dialog #1 -  Introductions
3)     Not For The Life Of Me/NYC/Astonishing (Dick Scanlan and Jeanine Tesori/Martin      Charnin, Charles Strouse/Jason Howland and Mindi Dickstein)
4)     Dialog #2 – Up on the Roof intro
5)     Up On The Roof (Carole King, Gerald Goffin)
6)     Air Conditioner (Christine Lavin)
7)     Warm All Over (Frank Loesser) Frank Music Corp
8)     Dialog #3 – Angel Cards
9)     Show Off (Lisa Lambert, Greg Morrison)
10)  More to the Story (David Lindsay-Abaire, Jeanine Tesori)
11)  My Heart Was Set On You (Jeff Blumenkrantz)
12)  Down With Love (Harold Arlen, E.Y. Harburg)
13)   I Like The Sunrise (Duke Ellington)
14)  Dialog #5 – Ho Cup Surprise
15)  Defying Gravity (Stephen Schwartz)
16)   Late Late Show (Murray Berlin, Roy Alfred)
17)  Dialog #6 – Jeopardy
18)  Sunshine on my Shoulders (John Denver, Richard Kniss, Michael Taylor)
19)  Anyone Can Whistle / Being Alive (Stephen Sondheim)
20)  Dialog #7 – Thank yous
21)  Come The Wild, Wild Weather (Noel Coward)
22)  Here, There, Everywhere (John Lennon, Paul McCartney)
23)  Dialog #8 – Encore
24)  And I Am Telling You (Tom Eyen, Henry Krieger)


Sutton Foster is the real deal.  Here’s one of the ways I know:
Pulling off a really great club act is one of the toughest feats in show business – even for a Broadway star like Sutton.  It takes so much more than assembling a list of songs and knocking them out of the park   (which pretty much defines a really bad club act.)  For the entertainers who elevate this intimate art form, the song list becomes a vehicle for delivering a distillation of their own unique personalities.  A friend of mine once said that the tricky thing about doing cabaret is that you have to be yourself on purpose.  This seemingly simple requirement has tripped up a surprising number of otherwise brilliant performers.  There’s no character to hide behind.  It’s just you up there, exposed.  To thrive in this setting, you have to be comfortable in your own skin.
Fortunately, Sutton knows who she is and occupies her own skin with perfect grace.  She brings to the stage the full range of her humanity (including a perversely hilarious sense of humor) and shares it with the kind of ease and simplicity that can only be achieved through hard work and discipline.  It also helps that the real Sutton Foster is a really wonderful person.
When Sutton was booked for the Cafe Carlyle, I’d already had the pleasure of working with her and her extraordinary music director and pianist, Michael Rafter, on two shows for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, engagements at Joe’s Pub and Feinstein’s, and a series of concert appearances around the country.  Everywhere she’d gone she’d enjoyed great success. But now I felt strangely intimidated.  The Carlyle was such a bastion of tradition; so Upper East Side; so, um… expensive.  Might some of the more raucous and theatrical elements in Sutton’s act be too much for this refined crowd?  Should we tone back?  Add a few more standards?  At a rehearsal I voiced these concerns, and Sutton received them respectfully. She said she’d think about them. When I saw her about a week later she said that, after giving it a lot of consideration, she wanted to do the show as planned – because it represented who she really was.  
And -- of course -- Sutton was right.  The engagement was a smash with rave reviews and a sold-out run.  The Café Carlyle audiences couldn’t have loved her more.  When you listen to this CD you won’t see her effortless on-stage costume change, her bejeweled “Pimp” and “Ho” cups, or how she can -- drum-roll, please -- touch the tip of her nose with her tongue.   But you will hear an incomparable voice in full bloom and experience the fresh, one-of-a-kind personality that comes through in every word and every note.  To witness any performance by Sutton Foster is to receive an infusion of joy.  With this CD, that joy is yours whenever you want it.

Innocence and Nerve Wrapped Into One
June 16, 2010 Concert Review, By Stephen Holden

The radiance of Julia Roberts and the zany spunk of Holly Golightly: that only begins to describe the seductive charms of Sutton Foster in her irresistible cabaret show, “An Evening With Sutton Foster,” at the Cafe Carlyle. Directed by Mark Waldrop, it might be described as a successful Moon shot in which it discovered that the orb is really made of green cheese; that’s one small step for cosmic dairy products.
The homespun sweetness that emanates from Ms. Sutton like a natural perfume — evoking fields and woods on a clear, warm Southern afternoon — is a quality that can’t be faked, easy though it may be to imitate. One essential ingredient is an element of surprise.
It is embedded in singing in which her childlike wail suddenly breaks into a wide-open vibrato, and tension is released in a happy gasp of enthusiasm as she breaks into a clearing. It turns her performance of “Down With Love” into a tour de force of spontaneous peevishness in which her face and body go through a dozen variations of lighthearted disgust with romance and its disappointments.
The other essential ingredient is the contribution of her musical director Michael Rafter, a pianist and arranger attuned to the tiniest nuances of Ms. Foster’s sensibility. Using only one other instrumentalist, the guitarist Kevin Kuhn, who plays a little banjo and ukulele, Mr. Rafter invents buoyant, folksy musical settings in which Ms. Foster becomes a storybook ingénue shape-shifting from song to song.
A turning point in the show arrives with the number “The Big Book of High Belt Songs,” in which she has an audience member (on Tuesday’s opening night show it was Zach Braff) dip a hand into one of two mugs labeled “pimp” and “ho” and select one of five Broadway song choices. The lucky winner: “Defying Gravity,” from “Wicked.” I would love to have heard her rendition of the great Maltby-Shire ballad “The Story Goes On” (from the musical “Baby”), one of the other four possibilities.
In the show Ms. Foster covers a lot of Broadway territory, including numbers from “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Annie,” “Little Women,” “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Shrek: the Musical.” She also performs numbers from her 2009 album “Wish” (Ghostlight), including Duke Ellington’s “I Like the Sunrise” and John Denver’s “Sunshine on My Shoulders” that underscore her image as a sort of country Cinderella living a waking dream.
The show’s reflective side culminates with Sondheim’s “Anyone Can Whistle” joined to a version of “Being Alive” that is like no other I’ve heard. Ms. Foster zeroes in on the fear of coming out of your shell expressed in both songs, and chooses the perfect six words — “But alone is alone, not alive” — from “Being Alive” to emphasize the scary realization that having come so far, there is no turning back. As she transcends her indecision, Ms. Foster is completely in the moment.

Small sampling of tour coverage:

Los Angeles Times Tour Feature:,0,7910523.story

Chicago Tribune concert review: A “remarkable mix of steely determination, pitch-perfect sound and girl-next-door vulnerability…”

San Francisco Chronicle Tour Q&A:

Chicago Sun-Times Feature:,CST-FTR-sutton23.article

Time Out Chicago Tour Q&A:

MORE ABOUT SUTTON FOSTER: (bio from ‘Anything Goes’ site)
Sutton Foster recently starred on Broadway as Princess Fiona in Shrek: The Musical, for which she was honored with Tony and Drama Desk nominations, and the Outer Critics Circle Award. Prior to that, Sutton was Inga in the Mel Brooks musical, Young Frankenstein, Janet Van De Graaff in The Drowsy Chaperone (2006 Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations, LA Ovation Award) and Jo March in Little Women: The Musical (2005 Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award nominations). She is the recipient of the 2002 Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Astaire Awards for her performance as Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie, a role she created in the 2000 La Jolla Playhouse premiere. Other Broadway credits include Les Miserables, Annie, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Grease!. Regional productions include What the World Needs Now (Old Globe), Dorian (Goodspeed), The Three Musketeers (San Jose Musical Theater), Nellie Forbush in South Pacific and Sally in Me and My Girl (both at Pittsburgh CLO). She has toured nationally in The Will Rogers Follies, Les Miserables, and Grease!. She has appeared as Svetlana in Chess in Concert and as the “I'm the Greatest Star” Fanny Brice in Funny Girl in Concert, both Actors Fund of America benefits. On television, Sutton recently guest starred on “Law & Order: SVU.” Other appearances include the Disney Channel's “Johnny and the Sprites” and several episodes of the HBO series, “The Flight of the Conchords.” Sutton has performed in concert at Lincoln Center's American Songbook series, with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, at Feinstein's, Joe's Pub, and at concert halls and theaters across the country. Recordings include The Maury Yeston Songbook (PS Classics), Jule Styne in Hollywood, and the original cast recordings of Thoroughly Modern Millie, Little Women, The Drowsy Chaperone, Young Frankenstein and Shrek. Her debut solo CD, Wish (Ghostlight Records), was recently released to critical acclaim and is now available in stores. She has just completed a sold-out limited run of the highly-anticipated City Center Encores! production of Stephen Sondheim's Anyone Can Whistle, starring as Nurse Fay Apple. She is a proud teacher at New York University and Ball State University. Visit her website: .

More about Ghostlight Records:
Sh-K-Boom Records, with its imprint Ghostlight Records, proudly celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year.  Founded by Kurt Deutsch and wife Sherie Rene Scott in 2001, the label has emerged as the leading independent force in musical theatre recordings.  The label was created by and for the Broadway community. The label has since emerged as the standard bearer on the Broadway music scene. Their releases of the OCRs for Tony winners In The Heights and Passing Strange, as well as their single release featuring the winner of MTV's Legally Blonde The Musical competition, have brought them acclaim for their innovative marketing techniques and their efforts to reach the next generation of Broadway music fans via iTunes, music videos and more. The label (and President Kurt Deutsch) recently earned their first ever GRAMMY AWARD for In The Heights. Coverage has ranged from Rolling Stone to USA TODAY to The New York Times, from Blender Magazine to Playbill to Billboard, from AP Radio to Entertainment Weekly, from New York Magazine to Variety to NY-1 TV, from Time Out NY to Paper Magazine to The Advocate to The NY Daily News and much more. Other current releases include the double CD collector's edition of 'Reefer Madness' and ‘Patti LuPone at Les Mouches,’ which received expansive and wildly favorable media overage. Their release of Sutton Foster’s solo CD, ‘Wish’, garnered coverage including two USA TODAY ‘Listen Up Music Picks’, an appearance on NBC-TV Weekend Today Show, and a debut on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart. Their releases of ‘HAIR,’ ‘Next to Normal’ and ‘Everyday Rapture’ garnered national coverage as well. President Kurt Deutsch was interviewed by PLAYBILL, regarding the label's embrace of 'Broadway's Digital Age': This fall, Ghostlight released the Original Cast recording of 'Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson', 'Christine Ebersole Sings Noel Coward,' (The 2-time Tony winner's 3rd album on the label), and the Original Cast Recording of 'Ordinary Days,' all to rave reviews.  The company is recognized for reinventing the musical theatre recording landscape, and creating a new type of ‘United Artists’ environment for Broadway producers and artists to participate in the funding and co-ownership of their albums.