On Her Toes: Sutton Foster Stars in TV Series "Bunheads," From the Creator of "Gilmore Girls," Premiering June 11
By Kenneth Jones
Sutton Foster, the two-time Tony Award winner who has freely mixed warmth, quirk and sincerity in Broadway's Little Women, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Drowsy Chaperone, Shrek the Musical and Anything Goes, brings her qualities to the new hour-long TV series "Bunheads," premiering 9 PM (ET) June 11 on ABC Family.
The series is executive-produced by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the writer behind "Gilmore Girls." In "Bunheads," Michelle Simms (played by Foster) is a classically trained dancer who has worked on Broadway and, now, as a Las Vegas showgirl. Feeling stuck and without focus, personally and professionally, she marries a suitor-fan, Hubbell Flowers (played by Alan Ruck, of "Spin City"), on a whim, and he takes her home to his small town, Paradise, on the California coast. He shares a house there with his starchy mother, Fanny (Tony Award winner Kelly Bishop, of A Chorus Line and "Gilmore Girls"), a former classical ballet dancer who runs a dance studio out of her home. Michelle uneasily approaches her sudden future, which includes mentoring Fanny's dance students — "bunheads" refers to female dancers who pull their hair back and wear it in a bun.
At the time of her March exit from Broadway's Anything Goes, for which she won her second Best Actress Tony Award, Foster told Playbill.com, "I'm so excited about my new adventure — and I hope to have a very full and varied career. I've always admired actors who do theatre, television and film. I'm looking for things to challenge me creatively and artistically. I really believe in this next project and really believe in its creator and writer Amy Sherman-Palladino. To work with her is a dream come true."
The title characters are a varied lot: Boo (Kaitlyn Jenkins) struggles with her body type; Sasha (Julia Goldani Telles) is rebellious, and has issues at home; sensitive Ginny (Bailey Buntain); and fun-loving Melanie (Emma Dumont).
In recent weeks, the pilot episode appeared in digital formats, including on ABCFamily.com, prior to the official network launch. The series shoots on the West Coast.
Foster is a five-time Tony Award nominee and two-time winner (for Millie and Anything Goes). Read more about her Broadway career in PlaybillVault.com.
Watch the Playbill Video Cue & A with Foster, filmed in 2010:
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