Arts » Arts Features

Arts District: An Evening With Sutton Foster

And more local arts news



If you took the kids to New York to see Shrek, the plump green girl you saw opposite the titular ogre was played by Sutton Foster. The singer just finished a two-year run as the ogre bride Princess Fiona in the Broadway production. You can hear her on a slew of original cast albums, including those for Young Frankenstein, The Drowsy Chaperone and Little Women. Lately she's been exploring talents beyond Broadway. Her solo recording debut, Wish, includes both pop and jazz songs, in addition to Broadway show tunes. And she paints.

This week, Foster plays herself in a one-night stand called an Evening with Sutton Foster, during which she'll sing a little bit of all that. Scene asked her a few questions about singing on Broadway and going solo.


Which was your favorite role?  

I would probably say Fiona in Shrek the Musical.  It was so much fun to play a bipolar princess in such a fantastical world — with ogres and talking donkeys and dragons and fairy-tale creatures.

 Does singing in concert feel like being another character or like yourself?  

It feels like I am sharing a more intimate part of myself with an audience.  In a show I can hide behind the character, but you are much more exposed being in concert.  

 Wish includes other people's music. Do you write songs or want to?

I would love to be able to write songs but don't seem to have the talent for it.  At this point I'm thrilled to work on existing material

Does your painting feel more personal because it is your own creation, not the interpretation of someone else's?  

Singing and painting are both expressions of myself and are both personal.  Doesn't matter to me what the source material is or who wrote what.  Expressing yourself in any capacity in the arts is personal.

 Does that green makeup make you feel like an ogre?  

Only when I looked in the mirror!  It was more of the padding and the largeness of the costume that made me feel like an ogre.

Sutton Foster performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 6, at the Hanna Theatre (2067 E. 14th St., 216.241.6000, Tickets: $10-$45.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.