Artists in Residence Songs Dealing With These Times: Laura Osnes
Laura Osnes is known for her work on the Broadway stage. She won the role of Sandy in Grease when she competed in the nationally televised Broadway talent competition Grease: You’re the One that I Want! in 2008.
In March 2009, Osnes took over the role of Ensign Nellie Forbush in the Lincoln Center Theater Broadway revival of South Pacific. She then starred as Bonnie Parker in the world premiere of Bonnie & Clyde at the La Jolla Playhouse.
On Broadway again Osnes played Hope Harcourt in the Broadway revival of Anything Goes, with Sutton Foster and received nominations from the Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical. She was also nominated for an Astaire Award for excellence in dance.
Once she played Bonnie, at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. She was joined by her Asolo Rep castmate Jeremy Jordan as Clyde and earned a Tony nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Musical.
In 2011 Kennedy Center Honors and in 2012 she was everybody’s princess in Rodgers and Hammerstein Cinderella and won a 2013 Drama Desk award and was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance.
At the Atlantic Theatre Company’s Off-Broadway revival of The Threepenny Opera, Osnes received her second nomination for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.
She won veterans hearts in the new original musical, Bandstand. Following the closing of Bandstand, Osnes has performed frequently in the Broadway Princess Party show that premiered at Feinstein’s/54 Below, which she also hosts and co-developed with music director Benjamin Rauhala.
Now Laura is a part of in “Artists in Residence Songs Dealing With These Times” singing a haunting “When I See You Again” by Will Reynolds and lyrics by Eric Price. T2C sat down with this prolific artist to learn more.
The video was done by the wonderful Magda Katz.
Broadway’s A Doll’s House Meticulously Stunning Revival Soars Like a Birdie Above That Clumsy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
For a revival to find its footing, it has to have a point of view or a sense of purpose far beyond an actor’s desire to perform a part, whether it suits them or not. It needs to radiate an idea that will make us want to sit up and pay attention. To feel its need to exist. And on one particular day in March, I was blessed with the opportunity to see not just one grande revival, but two. One was a detailed pulled-apart revolutionary revival of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House that astounded. The other, unfortunately, was a clumsy revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that fell lazily from that high-wired peak – not for a lack of trying, but from a formulation that never found its purpose.
Relevantly Tuneless Fairytale Bad Cinderella Isn’t Bad, It’s Forgettable
You are seriously asking for it, when you make the title for your musical Bad Cinderella, however the show is not bad, it’s just seriously lacking. For an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which is normally rich in melody, the only song that has any kind of hold is “Only You, Lonely You” sung by Prince Sebastian (Jordan Dobson or in my performance the wonderful Julio Ray). The lyrics by David Zippel and book by Emerald Fennell, adapted by Alexis Scheer are inane. It doesn’t help that the cast for the most part speaks and sings with mouths full of cotton. The orchestrations sound tinny and computerized, The lead Linedy Genao has no charisma or vocals that soar musically, instead she is rather nasal, like Bernadette Peters with a cold. Why this show is two and a half hours long is beyond me.
The show is based in a town called Belleville (beautiful town en Francais), that is based solely on looks and prides itself on its superficiality. The opening number starts with “Beauty Is Our Duty,” the Queen (a fabulous Grace McLean) is into her hunks including her missing son Charming (Cameron Loyal).
And the fairy godmother (Christina Acosta Robinson) is a plastic surgeon who sings “Beauty Has a Price”. In a day and age, where we are suppose to see past all that, this show is politically incorrect.
Cinderella a Gothic, and a graffiti artist, naturally does not fit into the town’s mold of beauty, which is how she earns her nickname. Her rebel move happens when she defaces a memorial statue of Sebastian’s older brother, Prince Charming. Sebastian is more of a geek, and he and Cinderella are in the “friend zone,” since both lack communication skills in admitting their love.
Sebastian is being forced by his mother, the Queen to find a wife at a ball and invites Cinderella. Cinderella’s stepmother (the always remarkable Carolee Carmello) blackmails the Queen to get one of her daughters Adele (Sami Gayle) or Marie (Morgan Higgins) the gig.
McLean and Carmello are the bright spots in the show and if the show had been about these two, maybe we would actually have a show that could work. These two steal the show.
Cinderella has not one, but two what should have been show stopping numbers “I Know I Have A Heart (Because You Broke It)” and “Far Too Late,” but she does not have the vocals, the character development or the star power to carry them off.
The set and the revenge porn costumes by Gabriela Tylesova, are just over the top, with the storybook set faring much better than the over complicated flowered pastels that waltzed across the stage.
The direction by Laurence Connor is just dull and lacks oomph.
If you like buff men and Chippendale type choreography this is the show for you.
Bad Cinderella, Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th Street.
Did You Know There Is A Kander & Ebb Way?
On Friday, March 24th, the 96-year-old John Kander was given a Mayoral Proclamation from Mayor Eric Adams in celebration of the first performance of his new Broadway musical New York, New York. Following the proclamation, Lin-Manuel Miranda unveiled the sign renaming 44th Steet ‘Kander & Ebb Way. On hand was the Manhattan School of Music to performed the iconic Kander & Ebb song “New York, New York.”
New York, New York opens Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at Broadway’s St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street).
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