Broadway baby Sutton Foster just keeps getting Younger. However, she now tackles a TV show. Many fans know her humble beginnings from a breakthrough role in Thoroughly Modern Millie that won a Tony Award for Best Performance. She took home another Tony for Anything Goes, with multiple nominations over the years for parts in The Drowsy Chaperone, Shrek the Musical and Young Frankenstein.
Her new project, for TV Land, is called Younger, in which she plays Liza Miller, who returns to work posing as a 26-year-old assistant who is really 40. The show also stars Hilary Duff and Debi Mazar, and is created by Darren Star, who was behind Sex and the City.
Foster returns to Chicago this time to sing at the spring Goodman Gala and we called her to talk about it.
Windy City Times: You are performing at the Goodman Gala. How do you pick your set list?
Sutton Foster: What is great is that my music director and I are meeting today so we can figure out what we are doing for the gala. We are working toward a new album. We pull from the old and new repertoires. We might even try some brand-new songs for the very first time. It is fun because as we do different concerts across the country it changes every time. This helps in the search for the sound on this new album and what it will be like. These events are a good way to try some stuff out.
WCT: It's a "Roaring Twenties" theme so I am not sure what to wear.
Sutton Foster: Oh, that is good to know. That might influence our song selection.
WCT: Are you mainly based in New York?
Sutton Foster: We have a place here and in Los Angeles as well, my husband is in California. Right now it is going where the work is. The television show that I am working on shoots in New York so we are spending a lot of time there.
WCT: How is the experience being on Younger?
Sutton Foster: It is awesome. We just finished filming the first season in December and we are halfway done airing the season on Tuesday nights. It has been a fantastic experience. I have nothing but genuinely great things to say about it. It is amazing cast, a really great group of people. I'm so proud of the show and how it turned out. We just were picked up for a second season so we start filming again of September of this year.
She is a really fun character and I am excited to see the journey she gets to go on.
WCT: I noticed Debi Mazar is on there as a lesbian character channeling a little Rosie O'Donnell.
Sutton Foster: Oh yeah, maybe...[Laughs]
WCT: The creator of Younger is gay, so it is great to see him putting LGBT characters on the show.
Sutton Foster: Absolutely. What I love about it is it's just the norm. That's just what it is so it is very fantastic. We have had a couple of gay characters on the show.
There are some partially gay characters too. Someone said they were 60-percent gay and I'm like, "Okay!" We have all sorts of different kinds of people.
WCT: What is one thing you have learned from pretending to be 26 years old?
Sutton Foster: So much of what I admire about the twentysomethings right now is how social media is a huge thing. When I was in my twenties we didn't have that. My first cell phone was when I was 26, now babies are swiping on iPhones.
A big thing is the attitude of personal style meaning anything goes. The more individual you are is important as opposed to conforming to a certain type of look. People now express themselves to anything that is hip or cool. The more individualistic you are the better. I think that is great compared to being the ideal.
WCT: How is working with Hilary Duff?
Sutton Foster: She is a great and an inspiring person. She's a mom and really has her shit together. She's been famous for a long time since a kid and really had to grow up in the limelight. She's handled it all really well. We have a ton of fun on the set. You have no idea when you head into things what people are like or what to expect. Everyone exceeded my expectations. We all genuinely get along and have a great time. We are all very different so it is cool.
WCT: Everything is coming up roses for you, personally, I know you married recently.
Sutton Foster: Yes; we were married in October. Things are good. It has been a great couple of years. It's been really nice. I am looking forward to coming to Chicago. My best friend is doing a production of Sense and Sensibility at the Shakespeare Theater. I'm really excited because I get to see her in that. It will be a fun trip. I love Chicago, so I am excited to come back.
WCT: It's a musical version, which makes it different. Have you seen any new musicals recently?
Sutton Foster: Fun Home on Broadway is pretty extraordinary. It's a masterpiece and unbelievably moving. I saw Hamilton off-Broadway, which is trailblazing. We are going to see The King and I tomorrow night and Hand to God on Saturday. We want to try to see everything so we can be as well educated as possible.
WCT: Sounds like you are busy with the TV show, but keep me posted about any new Broadway shows you are in.
Sutton Foster: We have some irons in the fire and now that we know our schedule for the fall we can schedule something for the spring in New York. Keep your ears openmaybe we will have something on the books soon!
Sutton Foster headlines the Goodman Gala at The Fairmont Chicago, 200 N. Columbus Dr., on Saturday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. with tickets starting at $1,000. Call 312-443-3811, ext. 586, or visit www.goodmantheatre.org for more information.
Catch her on Tuesdays with more at www.tvland.com with her own website at suttonfoster.com .