Jill’s Jottings: “Wish”ing on a Star Named Sutton

Wish

Jill Leger kindly shares her thoughts on Sutton Foster’s new CD:

Since her Broadway breakthrough in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” I’ve believed that Sutton Foster can do nothing wrong musically. Her debut CD, “Wish,” leaves this sensibility intact with its lovely, wistful musings on love and longing. That it perhaps feels a bit too eclectic at times, mixing intimacy and brass, girlishness with womanhood, Broadway with country, and ukulele strains with lush orchestral accompaniment may be just a minor quibble. There’s a lot going on here, but the common denominator appears to be Foster’s big heart. And heart can make for a satisfying listening experience.

Cabaret gems include a lovely pairing of “My Romance” and Maury Yeston’s “Danglin’,” Jeff Blumenkrantz’s pitch-perfect “My Heart Was Set On You,” Murray Berlin and Roy Alfred’s “The Late, Late Show,” and Noel Coward’s poignant “Come the Wild, Wild Weather.” And there are lots of surprises: a belting flourish to “I’m Beginning To See The Light,” an exuberant (and joke-y) “Oklahoma,” and an incredibly sweet interpretation of “Up On The Roof,” a song I’ve heard a hundred times without ever considering, let alone feeling, its full meaning. And I’m here to say that Sutton Foster belting “On My Way, from the little-known musical “Violet” is absolutely fantastic. I’ve been making do for months with an unfortunately edited snippet of it on YouTube (she sang it at Joe’s Pub in NYC last year) and was delighted finally to hear the whole thing, which did not disappoint.

Only a few cuts didn’t speak to me. Foster’s “Sunshine On My Shoulder” is the most beautiful rendition I’ve ever heard of that song, but I’ve never liked that song much to begin with. And it seems to me as if Foster is too young to sing”Once Upon A Time”; her rendition lacked the pathos an older singer might have lent it.

Ever since Foster won her Tony in 2002, fans like me have anxiously awaited her solo debut album. Here’s hoping we won’t have to wait as long for CD number two.

2 Responses to Jill’s Jottings: “Wish”ing on a Star Named Sutton

  1. Jill Leger says:

    Oops–just realizing Millie wasn’t her B-way debut…but it was her first starring role!

  2. Emily Leatha Everson says:

    hi jill! it’s funny what you said about “sunshine on my shoulders.” i told michael the other night that i was sad to see it in the cd “song stack” because the song has been on my mind for singing lately and seemed like an original idea. there is a lovely illustrated kid book version of the song that i’m going to use with my SINGING BOOKS! program. and i have to admit “sunshine” is a favorite from kid-dom. anyway, it is always fascinating to note the different reactions people have to songs, based on life experience, emotional and artistic sensibility. my dad says “that’s what makes a market…some people buy, some people sell.” this version seemed a little “precious” to me. although, i cringe to knock someone like ms. foster who is so incredibly accomplished and talented. thanks for your terrific review jill! i sure do miss you here in dc. em

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