Laughter filled the air at 54 Below Sept. 23 when Osnes and Fontana took the stage for an evening titled Remember When...A Benefit Evening of Music and Dining.
Hosted by Steven Reineke, the concert benefited the New York Pops Education Programs and Ronald McDonald House New York, which provide creative outlets to the children and families in residence.
The evening featured a lighthearted lineup of songs selected by Osnes and Fontana, newly appointed Pops Education Ambassadors, as well as a charity auction hosted by Bill Sullivan, president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House.
Accompanied by music director Andy Einhorn on the piano, Mark Vanderpoel on bass and Rich Rosenzweig on drums, Osnes and Fontana began the evening with a spirited rendition of Cole Porter's "Friendship," for which they personally re-wrote the lyrics to include references to Twitter and inside jokes they shared.
They regaled the audience with backstage stories of mishaps at Cinderella, explaining that, after performances, they tweet each other with, "Remember when?," describing the mishaps to their Twitter followers. Memories included tripping up a flight of stairs, Fontana's crown falling down the front of his head and the wrong shoe being brought onstage for Cinderella's big moment.
The friendship between Osnes and Fontana was apparent as they teased each other between songs. They then invited the audience for a trip down memory lane, beginning when, at the age of 10, Osnes sang "You've Got Possibilities" to her teddy bear and Fontana auditioned for the role of Artful Dodger in Oliver!, singing, "That's Entertainment" with a lisp (which he gamely re-created for the evening's performance).
Songs also included "Never Never Land" from Peter Pan, which Osnes starred in while she was in high school (and Fontana informed the audience was available on YouTube), and John Denver's "Grandma's Feather Bed," featuring Fontana accompanying himself on the piano.
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