Forgive me this brief bit of self-indulgence, but what else is a geek site for if not to document our geekiness? In addition to my science fiction, movie, television, and comic book geekdom I am also a musical theater geek. Two days ago my wife found out that Sutton Foster would be singing with the Houston symphony during three shows over the weekend. Friday was too late, Saturday was too busy, but there was a Sunday matinee. Sure, it meant we’d probably miss most of the Super Bowl during the ride back–BUT THAT IS WHAT BROADWAY GEEKS DO.
Tickets procured (third row, mind you), we drove our two boys to Houston. Our oldest is a Broadway fan as well–he saw his first Broadway musical when he was two and his first West End musical when he was three. For the past six years of his life I have managed to see more shows than him in only two of those years. Our youngest–he’s still a bit of a squirmer at shows. But this was too good an opportunity to pass up.
Because Broadway geeks know that Sutton Foster is the real deal. She’s the true triple threat–amazing voice, fantastic actress, and one of the best musical theater dancers out there. She first burst onto the scene in 2002 when she starred in Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Back in 2002 the Internet wasn’t the sweeping beast it is today so you couldn’t just watch videos of all the shows–and mainstream TV didn’t cover Broadway that much outside of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But Rosie O’Donnell changed that with her daily talk show. On April 25, 2002, Sutton Foster sang “Gimme Gimme” on Rosie’s show. My wife knew it was coming on so we recorded it. Here is that performance on YouTube–yes the video is a bit grainy because we didn’t have HD back then you young whippersnappers.
But if you enjoy musicals at all, I dare you to watch this and not be moved.
Holy crap. Rosie calls the Tony Award two months before Sutton would receive it, but it was that obvious. She doesn’t bring the house down–she demolishes the entire city.
I can’t tell you how many times we watched this performance on our TiVo. And we managed to make it to New York to see her perform it live. Amazing. Since then, if she’s in a show we’ll see it: Young Frankenstein, Drowsy Chaperone, Shrek, anything. My wife has managed to see all of them (except Little Women–we got to the show and Sutton was out so we left) while I’ve missed a few.
The concert in Houston covered a number of shows and songs outside her Broadway collection. The symphony played music without her singing too, including the overture to Millie and I was hoping she would sing “Gimme Gimme.” But she didn’t come out at that point, she came out later to sing some other songs. And it was still great, but it was missing this song.
Then came the encore. She came back out before the music started she said the words. “A simple choice…” Oh holy crap, she was going to sing “Gimme Gimme!” She didn’t sing it. Saying she sang it doesn’t do it justice. You watched the video, you know what I mean. She is this song and it is her and damned if she didn’t nail every note just like she did thirteen years ago. Only this time my boys got to hear her do it in person. And that’s pretty awesome.
We made it home in time to see the end of that football game thing. As good as that game was it was nothing compared to seeing someone like Sutton Foster sing in person. That’s Broadway geek for you.