By Andrew Gans
13 Apr 2012
|Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN|
It's been an extremely busy season for singing actress Laura Osnes, who boasts one of the more beautiful, crystal-clear voices in the business. The young artist jumped from playing Hope Harcourt in the terrifically toe-tapping revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes to starring as one-half of the title role in the short-lived Frank Wildhorn musical Bonnie & Clyde. Osnes, who made her Broadway debut as Sandy in the recent revival of Grease (a role she won via the NBC reality casting show "Grease: You're the One That I Want"), was also one of the select women chosen to serenade Barbara Cook at this year's Kennedy Center Honors, and she just concluded an acclaimed engagement in the City Center Encores! mounting of the little-seen Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Pipe Dream. Now, Osnes will take on another Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, when she stars as Maria von Trapp in Carnegie Hall's upcoming concert presentation of The Sound of Music, which is scheduled for April 24 at 8 PM in the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage.
Gary Griffin (Encores! Lost in the Stars and Broadway's The Color Purple) will direct the one-night-only event with Rob Fisher (Broadway's Chicago) serving as musical director, conducting the Orchestra of St. Luke's. The starry company will also include Tony Goldwyn (Captain Georg von Trapp), Brooke Shields (Elsa Schraeder), Patrick Page (Max Detweiler), Stephanie Blythe (The Mother Abbess), Jake Montagnino (Friedrich von Trapp), Mary Michael Patterson (Liesl von Trapp), Nick Spangler (Rolf Gruber), Cotter Smith (Herr Zeller), Drama Desk and Obie Award recipient Reed Birney (Admiral von Schreiber), Joel Hatch (Franz, The Butler), Olivia Knutsen (Louisa von Trapp), Jacob Sutton (Kurt von Trapp), Grace Luckett (Brigitta von Trapp), Natalie Hawkins (Marta von Trapp), Charlotte Knutsen (Gretl von Trapp), Joy Hermalyn (Sister Berthe, Mistress of Novices), Linda Mugleston (Sister Margaretta, Mistress of Postulants), Faith Sherman (Sister Sophia), Veanne Cox (Frau Schmidt, the housekeeper) and Daniel Truhitte (Baron Elberfeld).
Last week I had the pleasure of chatting with the upbeat Osnes, who spoke about her many projects; that interview follows.
Question: It's been a busy year for you.
Laura Osnes: Indeed, thankfully! [Laughs.] I thought it wasn't going to be busy with my show closing, and then all of these other little opportunities came up, so I'm very grateful.
Question: I wanted to go back a little bit to the Kennedy Center tribute to Barbara Cook. What was that experience like, and how did you get involved in the tribute?
Osnes: That was a surreal experience. I felt so honored to be there… The person who helped find talent for that is a friend of Frank Wildhorn's, and Frank introduced me at a [Bonnie & Clyde] rehearsal one day to him, and then I got a call from him like two weeks later. And, I also know Rob Ashford, who choreographed and directed the whole thing, so Rob had also given me a call and talked to me about that… It was the weekend after Bonnie & Clyde opened. We opened on a Thursday and happened to have Sunday and Monday off of Bonnie & Clyde because it was after opening, and we had done like 14 shows in a row. [Laughs.] So we drove down to DC after the show on Saturday night, and then the event was on Sunday, and then I came back on Monday, so it was a whirlwind weekend, but it was just incredible to be there and in that company and get to shake hands with the President. It's something you dream of doing that you never think will actually happen.