Dear Sutton Foster,
Happy Birthday! Last month I attended your show-stopping performance with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, waited in line to get your autograph, met you, and froze. All I said was, “Happy Birthday, next month!” There were so many other things I could have said to you: the person whose career I closely follow, cheer on, and admire. So here you go.
I was first introduced to you fourteen years ago when I saw you perform on the 2002 Tony Awards. That is when I became a huge fan. I recorded the Tony Awards on a VHS tape, so I would rewind your performance in an attempt to learn the routine from Thoroughly Modern Millie. My emulation did not come close to the talent that you possess and exude, but your performance allowed me to dream. I will never be a Tony-award winning actor; however, since you make it look so effortless, you made me believe I could. So I do win Tony awards…in my mind, while singing karaoke or in the shower!
While having my annual Tony-watching party for one, I cheered when you won the Tony Awards for Best Leading Actress as Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes. The American Theatre Wing missed the mark when they did not give you the Tony awards for your nominated performances in Shrek, The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Women, and Violet, as I believe you deserved them all.
You gracefully made the transition from stage to television. I watched every episode of Bunheads. I appreciated your character, Michelle Simms, as she taught and encouraged the next generation of ballerinas. I also watched when you were on Law and Order: SVU, and you further impressed me with your wide range as an actor.
Seeing you sing and dance was a dream come true. Meeting you was a ‘bucket list’ item. You wowed the audience with your talent and won them over with your charm and humor. It was a treat to see you perform with the handsome Nico Tortorella, but my favorite song was “Flight” with your best friend, Megan McGinnis, as it solicited an emotional response from us all in the audience. You deserved the standing ovation you received.
I have heard so many stories about people meeting the stars they love, and the celebrities are not kind. But you are endearing and genuine. So, thank you, Sutton Foster. Thank you for being you, enjoying your job, making it look easy, causing us to dream, and for taking the time at your appearances to meet every fan.
Based on your expression when I wished you a happy birthday, it seemed that you are not thrilled about turning forty-one, but please know that you put twenty-six year olds to shame. I look forward to our standing appointment at 10pm on Wednesdays as I watch Younger on TVLand. I cannot wait to see how you are incorporated into the Gilmore Girls reboot on Netflix. And I am holding you to your word that you will be back on a Broadway stage soon.
Happy Birthday, Sutton!
With Much Adoration, the Playhouse Patron