Theater News Online
free issue
London Theatre Reviews
NY Theater Reviews
LTN Recommendations
NYTN Recommendations
Book Reviews
Movie Reviews
London Theatre Archives
NY Theater Archives
Latest New York News
Latest London News
NY News Archives
London News Archives
Peter Filichia's Monday Quiz
Dining and Travel
London Theatre Listings
NY Broadway Listings
Off-Broadway Listings
London Tickets
Advertise with us

Give a Gift


Adagio Teas
   Features  >  NY Theater Reviews

at Cafe Carlyle


  Sutton Foster/ Ph: Lars Klove

Chipper, peppy, cute as a button – such descriptors inevitably come to mind when summoning the image of Sutton Foster, Broadway star.  However, her latest turn as Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes – an across-the-board award-winner – suggested greater depth, more gravitas. Those qualities percolate to the surface in her wide-ranging cabaret show at the Cafe Carlyle, which spans some 20 diverse songs.

True, some of her selections remain mired in the treacly sweet. Her cheery “Georgia on My Mind” – a tribute to her home state – pales beside Ray Charles’ nostalgic signature version. And despite Foster’s personal wattage – in full joy mode, she can outshine the sun – John Denver’s “Sunshine on My Shoulders” is just too simple-minded a ditty to do justice to her gifts.

Foster is at her goofy, touching loveliest singing not exactly torch songs, but modern-day good-time-gal laments, notably Gary Richard Tigerman’s “(I Want to Be) Seduced,” a Leon Redbone fave that’s all the more effective transposed to a female point of view and Christine Lavin's hilarious “Air Conditioner” (for a good time, dial down the Fahrenheit). A mild “done-me-wrong” motif emerges with Francesca Blumenthal’s witty “Lies of Handsome Men” and Jeff Blumenkrantz's “My Heart Was Set on You,” which recounts a heart-rending progression from blinding love to rational reassessment.

Foster always stops well shy of bitterness, even when segueing, ingeniously, from Sondheim’s “Anyone Can Whistle” to “Being Alive.” The former may be on the light side, a little haunted but essentially adventurous and inviting. What Foster gives in the latter is pure, raw emotion, a harrowing cri de coeur torn straight from the torment of loneliness.

After 10 star turns on Broadway (she went on the road with “The Will Rogers Follies” at age 17), two solo albums (this show is a warm-up for her third) and three engagements in New York’s most elegant room (Foster, characteristically, opted for girl-next-door rather than glam), the perennial ingénue is edging into adult territory. We’re in for a hell of a ride.


SUBSCRIBE TO New York Theater News
SUBSCRIBE TO London Theater News

Yes, Prime Minister contracts its run, while A Chorus Line expands its own.
POWERHOUSE OF THEATRE - After 11 years as the Almeida Theatre's artistic director, Michael Attenborough is stepping down to focus on directing. 

SONGS FROM THE HEART - Once the Tony-Award winning musical is set to hit London in January.

Wine, Fruit, and Gourmet Gift Baskets.
Privacy Notice   |   Front Page
Copyright © All Rights Reserved.