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Sutton Foster moves on to TV now that she's conquered Broadway

by Photo of Hannah Rettoun

The two-time Tony Award winner transitions flawlessly from stage to screen in ABC’s Bunheads

Sutton Foster moves on to TV now that she's conquered Broadway

Last night was the world premiere of Bunheads, starring Broadway superstar Sutton Foster.  

Foster has portrayed leading ladies in several big name musicals.  In the past 10 years, she's been nominated for 23 distinguished awards for her work in Little Women, The Drowsy Chaperone and Young Frankenstein, winning 9 including two Tonys for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for Anything Goes (2011) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002), and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for Shrek The Musical.  

While Bunheads isn't Foster's first time on television (she has had a few small roles in Johnny and the Sprites, Flight of the Conchords, Law & Order: SVU, Sesame Street and Royal Pains), this is her first major role.  

Knowing about her history, you should now have extremely high expectations for her in Bunheads.  And trust me, she does not disappoint.  

In Bunheads, Foster plays Michelle Simms, a Vegas showgirl whose life of feathers and sequins is trite and stale.  She reluctantly accepts Hubbell (played by Alan Ruck, aka Cameron from Ferris Bueller's Day Off) as her knight in shining armor who whisks her away to a town called Paradise.  There she encounters weird townspeople, including Hubbell's mother, Fanny Flowers. 

Fanny is played by Kelly Bishop, who is also no stranger to Broadway; she won a Tony Award in 1976 for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for A Chorus Line, and was also recently in Anything Goes. Bishop was in many films including Dirty Dancing before landing her famous role as Emily Gilmore on Gilmore Girls.  

Bunheads is in fact another brainchild of Gilmore Girls creator and producer Amy Sherman-Palladino.  As a loyal fan of Gilmore Girls (I can quote episodes word for word. Don't test me.), I was hesitant to watch Bunheads; I can't help but compare the two shows.  Paradise is almost a bizarro Stars Hollow, where the upstanding Emily Gilmore is now Miss Patty, Lorelai goes by the name of Michelle, and Gypsy (Rose Abdoo) wears dresses instead of overalls.  I suppose that would make Truly, the dress maker, our new Kirk.  Alex Borstein (originally cast as Sookie in Gilmore Girls, then portraying the angry harpist Drella) even made an appearance as the lady of ill repute in Michelle's apartment building. And there's no way you won't recognize the undeniably Gilmore music by Sam Phillips. 

I was unwilling at first, but I know I've accepted it: I'm in love. I love this show. I adore Sutton Foster.  She is incredibly witty and smart and has an infectious personality.  She absolutely shines in a way that few have accomplished.  I would totally hang out with her character, given the chance (would you watch a show with characters you can't stand? No. No you wouldn't).  

The entire ensemble has something to offer, and I just can't wait to see more.  The show feels so familiar, so comfortable, that I couldn't not watch it if I tried. 

Amy Sherman-Palladino, I've been waiting 5 years for something to fill the Gilmore Girls-shaped hole in my life, and now you've given it to me. Thank you.  

For those of you who may think Bunheads will be another Glee, where characters burst into song and dance for no apparent reason, it's not.  I promise.  Ballet might not be your cup of tea. "Ballet" and "boring" may be synonymous in your book; this show is anything but. Give it a chance.  I think you'll love it too. 

Let CHARGED.fm get you tickets to Anything Goes and other great musicals this summer.

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