The Playgoer: Why Sutton Foster Thanked her Dresser

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Why Sutton Foster Thanked her Dresser

NYT's Erik Piepenburg takes us backstage to the world of the "Star Dresser":

Depending on the size of the cast, a Broadway show can have anywhere from one to as many as 15 dressers, whose daily tasks — ironing costumes, sewing hems, repairing shoes — can take place in and around the dressing room up to 90 minutes before curtain time. Star dressers are usually assigned to oversee the costumes for one actor. (They may also dress stars for appearances in public or on television.) The typical weekly salary for a Broadway dresser ranges from $1,100 to $1,400 a week, depending on the amount of work, and all Broadway dressers are members of the Theatrical Wardrobe Union.

Once the actor is in costume, dressers “run” a show, meaning that they’re backstage to help actors quickly change costumes during the performance. In “Anything Goes” Mr. Havard greets Ms. Foster when she exits the stage and escorts her to her entrances to help her execute all 11 of her costume changes. He carries lozenges, throat sprays, water and other remedies that Ms. Foster, a big-throated tap machine, may need. 
Patti LuPone puts it best: "It’s like a pit crew for a Nascar race. I’m the driver; they’re the pit crew."

1 comment:

PeonInChief said...

Whoa! That money will enable you to rent a closet in NYC.