The road to success for Sutton Foster was not always an easy journey, but it was a trip she looks back on with laughter.
“Auditions are terrible. They really are,” the “Younger” star told Variety at New York City Center’s 75th anniversary gala, which included a performance of the Broadway audition musical “A Chorus Line.”
“I was auditioning for the revival of ‘Annie’ back in 1996,” Foster recalled. “I came in and the only sheet music I had was ‘Oklahoma.’ I had on horrible Velcro sandals because it was the ’90s. The director said, ‘I want you to come back. I want you to sing a different song. And, I want you to wear different shoes. And, please bring a picture and resume,’ since I didn’t have one.”
The singular moment on the stage didn’t scare her, but rather galvanized her to kick her career in motion. “I went home and wrote out my resume,” Foster said. “Then I went over to Woolworths and I got a 3 x 5 color photo of myself. I changed my shoes. Came back later that night, and I got the job!”
She went on to win two Tonys — one in 2002 for her role as Millie Dillmount in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” followed by a win in 2011 for her work as Reno Sweeney in “Anything Goes.”
Tituss Burgess was among the guests who said “A Chorus Line” was the perfect way to celebrate the New York City Center.
“It is one of the most beautiful shows,” the “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” star said. “It reminds me of what I thought New York was going to be before I got here. It still holds up and it’s still tried-and-true. No matter how big you are, and no matter how famous you get or how good your fortune, there is still that one job that you really want and say, ‘God, I hope I get it.’ “
After a dazzling final act, the cast members joyfully sang “Happy Birthday” to the center before heading over to the Plaza Hotel for a night of dining and mingling in the grand ballroom.
The performers joined Jake Gyllenhaal, Daphne Rubin Vega, and honoree Stacy Bash-Polley along with original “A Chorus Line” stars Donna McKechnie and Baayork Lee at the glamorous affair that raised nearly $2 million for the legendary theater.
Tony winner Bebe Neuwirth shared the appreciation for the fundraiser as much as the legacy of the musical.
“It speaks to everyone in all walks of life. It’s really interesting,” said the “Fraiser” actress before the curtain call. “It’s about integrity. It’s about being yourself. It’s about being true to yourself. That’s for everybody. That’s not just for dancers.”