Thoroughly Modern Millie
, while her brother Hunter, 32, leads the cast of Urinetown
. "It's got to be a first," says Millie
's director Michael Mayer.
The Fosters' shows are vying for a fistful of Tony Awards, including best musical. In a further twist Sutton copped a nomination for best actress in a musical. To win on June 2, she must beat four other actresses—two from Hunter's play. "I'm rooting for my sister and for Urinetown
," Hunter says. Then, remembering his co-stars, he adds, "If any of the three win, I'll be happy." When Sutton turns doe eyes on him, he amends again: "But I'll be most happy if my sister wins."
The sibs have been applauding each other since Hunter made his debut in community theater at 13 as Linus in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
. "I was mesmerized," says Sutton, who at 10 starred in a local production of Annie. Their family moved often—Bob, 54, is a retired GM sales rep, and Helen, 53, a homemaker—but the kids found a sense of belonging on community stages in Georgia and Michigan. Today both have also found love with fellow stage actors: Hunter met wife Jennifer Cody in Cats
in 1993; Sutton's live-in boyfriend, Christian Borle, was a castmate in The Three Musketeers
Their near twinship extends so far, says Jennifer Laura Thompson, an actress in Urinetown
, that "they even look alike. If you put Hunter in a dress, he's Sutton." They also think alike. "I'm glad we did this together," says Hunter. Replies Sutton: "Me too."
The plot might have been lifted from an old-fashioned showbiz movie: Devoted small-town siblings sing and dance their way to Broadway stardom—in competing productions. For Hunter and Sutton Foster, however, the story is nonfiction. Sutton, 27, stars in