Where Sutton Foster goes, Tony nominations follow. A winner her first-time out of the gate for her “star-is-born” performance in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Foster has racked up three more Best Actress nods since, for Little Women (2005), The Drowsy Chaperone (2006) and Shrek the Musical (2009). We fondly remember Sutton’s gracious acceptance speech back in 2002, which included a shout-out to her high school drama teacher, who was in the audience! She shared more details of her big night in Broadway.com’s Tony Memories questionnaire.
Which year did you win your first Tony?
For which role and show?
Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie
Where were the awards held?
Radio City Music Hall
Bernadette Peters and Gregory Hines
What did you wear?
A black lacy dress by Badgely Mischka
Who was sitting next to you?
Who did you think would win your category?
Louise Pitre [for Mamma Mia!]
What was the first thing that ran through your mind when they said your name?
"I hope that my shoes aren't attached to my dress and I trip."
Did you forget to thank anyone?
I forgot to thank Craig Carnelia...one of the most influential teachers in my life.
Did you cry?
I didn't. I always thought that I would, but I was so overwhelmed and numb.
If you could relive that night, would you change anything?
Who were you most surprised to hear from after the win?
Alice Ripley called! We did Les Miz together, and she left me a message to congratulate me. I got about 30 messages and when we got home at around 4:00 AM, I sat in the dark and listened to them all.
Did winning a Tony change your life? How?
I'll forever be "Tony Award winner Sutton Foster."
What's your biggest memory of the night?
The stage managers of Millie sent me a beer to drink after we performed on the show. So after Millie did their number, I had to change back into Sutton and I chugged half a beer.
What's the best piece of advice you can offer for getting through Tony night?
The best piece of advice is to enjoy it. Because just being there and being nominated is unbelievable.
Where do you keep your Tony?
It's above my computer desk being attacked by Darth Vadar and Darth Maul from Star Wars.