"Call Me Adam" chats with two-time Tony Award winner Sutton Foster about making her Carnegie Hall solo debut with the New York Pops and Music Director/Conductor Steven Reineke on March 13, 2015 at 8pm in NYC (57th Street and 7th Avenue)! Joining Sutton for this very special concert will be her Violet co-star Tony Award nominee Joshua Henry and Little Women co-star Megan McGinnis. Click here for tickets!
1. On March 13, you will be making your solo debut at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops, lead by Steven Reineke. What does it mean to you to be making your solo debut at Carnegie Hall alongside one of the greatest orchestras in the country? It's CRAZY! I had a bucket list that I wrote when I was 15. I think the very first thing on it was "sing at Carnegie Hall." I feel incredibly honored and humbled. I've been doing concerts with my music director Michael Rafter for the past 5 years...all over the country...but it's usually just me and him on the piano or a small combo. To stand in front of 75 + piece orchestra and hear these arrangements that we have been working on come to life on this level is UNREAL.
2. What excites you about performing with Steven Reineke again? What do you enjoy most about working with him? Steven has been fantastic and is a real collaborator. Michael and I came in with ideas and Steven was so on board. He is a fantastic conductor and leader and makes it easy.
3. If you had to give someone who has never seen you perform one reason to come see you in this one night only concert, aside from it being your Carnegie Hall solo debut, what would you tell them? Well this show isn't just about me. It's about the New York Pops - it's about Steven and Michael and my friends Megan McGinnis and Joshua Henry who are joining me. What I am most proud about is that it really is a collaboration and everyone gets a moment to shine.
And there are arrangements and orchestrations that just blow my mind. So if I had to give someone a reason to come - it would be to hear these songs performed in a way you have never heard them before.
4. What do you hope audiences learn about you from seeing you perform in this one night only concert that they might not know from seeing you in a Broadway show? The cool things about these concerts is that audiences get to see "me." I'm not playing a character or wearing a costume. I'm me. I also get to choose the material I want to sing...the words I want to say. It's more exposed but also very freeing.
5. While this is your solo debut, you will be joined on stage by two very special guests, your Violet co-star and two-time Tony nominee Joshua Henry and your Little Women co-star Megan McGinnis. How did you decide that you wanted Joshua and Megan to share the stage with you? What are you looking forward to about reuniting with them? I knew I wanted to bring some friends along because it would be less scary! Megan and I recorded a duet of a song called "Flight" written by Craig Carnelia. That was the first song I knew I wanted to do. So asking Megan was crucial. Then during Violet I told Joshua "I have an idea." There's a youtube video of a song and dance routine that I thought would be fun for Joshua and I to do. I pitched it to him and he said YES. So I do a duet with each of them and they each have a solo in the show.
6. I can't do an interview with you, without asking you about one of my all time favorite Broadway shows Thoroughly Modern Millie. First, what did you enjoy most about starring in that show? What went through your head as you went from ensemble performer to leading the show to winning the Tony Award? Was that whole experience the moment you felt as though you made it? That's a BIG question. Honestly the whole Millie experience was a blur. My entire career changed in a phone call when Michael Mayer called me out of town and told me the role of "Millie" was mine if I wanted it. From then on I was kind of like "WHA????" The whole experience taught me a lot. Taught me how to do 8 shows a week, how to be a leading lady - but I don't think I felt like I had "made it." I felt like I still had a lot to learn. I stayed with the show for 2 years cause I felt like I still needed to figure her out.
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? That I feel most home, most brave, most myself when I'm performing or working.
9. How do you want to be remembered? As someone who never stopped growing or learning or getting better.
10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? To fly.
11. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what would the ingredients be? Ha! Oh my. Well it would probably be a boulevard - which is a Negroni but with Bourbon/Whisky. Maybe we could call it a Sutton Place.
Sutton Foster is an award-winning actor, singer and dancer who has performed in 11 Broadway shows – most recently the revival of Violet – and originated roles in the Broadway productions of The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Women, Young Frankenstein, Shrek The Musical, and her Tony Award-winning performances in Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie. She was first seen on television on Star Search at age 15, and has more recently starred in Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Bunheads and appeared in Johnny and the Sprites, Flight of the Conchords, Sesame Street, Law and Order: SVU, and Royal Pains. As a solo artist, Sutton has performed all over the country as well as internationally with her musical director Michael Rafter, featuring songs from her debut solo CD, Wish, as well as her follow up CD, An Evening with Sutton Foster: Live at the Café Carlyle. She has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Feinstein's, Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, Joe’s Pub and many others. In 2011 she received an Honorary Doctorate degree from Ball State University where she also is on faculty as a teacher and advisor to the Department of Theatre and Dance.
Steven Reineke is the Music Director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Principal Pops Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Principal Pops Conductor Designate for the Houston Symphony, beginning in the 2017-2018 season. Mr. Reineke is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has been on the podium with the Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia. His extensive North American conducting appearances include San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, Edmonton and Pittsburgh. As the creator of more than one hundred orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Mr. Reineke’s work has been performed worldwide, and can be heard on numerous Cincinnati Pops Orchestra recordings on the Telarc label. His symphonic works Celebration Fanfare, Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Casey at the Bat are performed frequently in North America. His numerous wind ensemble compositions are published by the C.L. Barnhouse Company and are performed by concert bands around the world. A native of Ohio, Mr. Reineke is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where he earned bachelor of music degrees with honors in both trumpet performance and music composition. He currently resides in New York City with his husband Eric Gabbard.
The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Under the leadership of dynamic Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke, The New York Pops continues to re-imagine orchestral pops music. The orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall. The New York Pops is dedicated to lifelong learning, and collaborates with public schools, community organizations, children’s hospitals and senior centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City. PopsEd allows thousands of New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in fully customizable music programs that blend traditional education with pure fun. Visit www.newyorkpops.org for more information. Follow The New York Pops on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.