A celebrated Broadway star visited Mason City on Thursday. Actress Sutton Foster, who played Marian the Librarian in New York’s latest rendition of Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man,” spent part of the day touring the setting for the fictional River City, including posing for pictures on the Meredith Willson Footbridge and touring Music Man Square.

Sutton visiting sites in Mason City. (KGLO photo)

Foster was presented with the “Key to the City” by Mayor Bill Schickel.  “You carried our beloved Meredith Willson’s creation to new heights,” the mayor says. “The pride we feel in you, Sutton, cannot be overstated.” Schickel thanked Foster for visiting the community where Willson was born and was inspired to create the renowned musical.

“Your visit to the real River City USA serves as a testament to the magic and transformative powers of the arts, Schickel says, “which we love here in River City.” Foster says she was grateful to see the community’s dedication to the playwright Willson. “It’s really an honor to be here,” Foster says. “I’m actually very overwhelmed just walking through Music Man Square. It was a pretty special year of my life being able to be a part of the Music Man on Broadway, and it really means a lot to be here.”

Foster played opposite Hugh Jackman in the Broadway revival of the Music Man, for which she received her seventh nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical and also won the Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance.

(By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)