Broadway star Sutton Foster shifts to TV series

June 9, 2012 • Entertainment

This undated photo released by ABC Family shows Tony Award-winning actress Sutton Foster, who stars as a former ballerina turned Vegas showgirl who is looking to make a fresh start in the ABC Family’s original drama “Bunheads.” The series premieres Monday, June 11 at 9 p.m. EDT on ABC Family. (AP Photo/ABC Family, Adam Taylor)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — On a Hollywood soundstage, a pair of talent agents are turning on the charm for Sutton Foster, the Tony Award-winning toast of Broadway.

The eager suits can save the smooth patter. Foster has already made her move, a sharp turn from musical theater into TV with ABC Family’s “Bunheads.”

“It’s like the role of a lifetime. It just happens to be on a television show,” said Foster, whose beguilingly wide grin is a perfect fit for the small screen.

“Bunheads” — slang for ballerinas, with their oh-so-perfectly coiled hair — has a gawky name but a great pedigree. It combines the witty pen of “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino with Foster’s star power, adding “Gilmore” and fellow Broadway alumna Kelly Bishop as a bonus.

Foster plays Michelle Simms, a ballet dancer who lost her emotional balance and fell into the daily grind of an underpaid, underloved Las Vegas showgirl. In the debut episode (9 p.m. EDT Monday), Michelle’s life takes another, equally unexpected turn into small-town life that includes Bishop’s worldly dance school owner.

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