Introducing: The [Insert Broadway performer here] Appreciation Post!

Greetings, dear readers! As a New Year's resolution for 2012, Michelle and I have resolved to be more active with the blog and actually blog about things soon after they happen as opposed to months after the fact. Additionally, we have decided to add a new feature to the blog: a monthly post where we celebrate an insanely talented Broadway performer and basically obsess over their talent and perfection. And we figured, who better to be the focus of our inaugural post than our current favorite leading lady, Laura Osnes!

In case you've never heard of Laura Osnes before (and if you haven't, we feel sorry for you but are more than willing to introduce you), she first came onto the Broadway scene as Sandy in the 2007 revival of Grease after winning the role through the NBC reality show You're The One That We Want! Since then, she has replaced Kelli O'Hara as Nellie Forbush in the revival of South Pacific, re-originated the role of Hope Harcourt in the revival of Anything Goes, and just finished a lamentably short but nevertheless incredible run as Bonnie Parker in the new Frank Wildhorn musical Bonnie and Clyde, followed by the title role in a reading of Cinderella. In March she take part in the Encores production of Pipe Dream at New York City Center. (We've already got our tickets.) She has also appeared in numerous concerts by up-and-coming musical composers, the Stephen Sondheim Birthday Concert, and the recent Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Barbara Cook. Lastly, her lovely voice can be found on the cast recordings of Grease, Anything Goes, and the to-be-released Bonnie and Clyde as well as on albums by Scott Alan, Kerrigan and Lowdermilk, and Georgia Stitt.

And now, let the real appreciation begin. Laura Osnes is a talent that you almost have to see to believe. In addition to her outrageous beauty and incredible voice, she is also one of the sweetest people we have ever had the pleasure to meet. In that spirit, we have chosen some of our favorite videos of Laura to share with you all, as well as our commentary on her Osomeness (see what we tried to do there?)

Basically, Laura Osnes is adorable. She's a total theater enthusiast who has wanted to be on Broadway her whole life. She listens to cast albums obsessively. She loves Jason Robert Brown and The Last 5 Years. She cried during Mary Poppins. Could she be any more perfect? Maybe if she wasn't a Yankees fan, but we won't hold it against her.

We love Sutton Foster. Laura Osnes loves Sutton Foster. The only difference? Laura WAS IN A SHOW WITH SUTTON FOSTER. And still adores her. This, we love. We also love that everyone who's worked with Laura has genuinely nice things to say about her as a performer and a person.

Her legit soprano is gorgeous. We love the warmth you can hear just radiating through her voice. She has chemistry with everyone and everything. Her and Colin Donnell are adorable together. She smiles. She giggles. The only word that comes to mind is "(de-)lovely."

We also love Laura because she has performed with some of our favorite new musical theater artists. Here, she gets to show off her mad belting skills, which are pretty damn impressive. The fact that she has an incredible belt and a legit soprano, and that she can mix like a champ, means that she can sing pretty much anything, and do it flawlessly. Her singing anything by Kerrigan and Lowdermilk is pretty much guaranteed to blow your mind.

Here's a performance of a song written by new musical theater composers Kooman and Dimond. Maybe it's the lighting and angle of this video, but this song gives us chills every time. Please also appreciate the effortless way she switches between her belt and her head voice. And the emotion - there are tears in her eyes by the time she finishes the song. She puts so much emotion and feeling into her singing that you end up feeling everything she is. Love love love.

Laura Osnes singing the words "lederhosen," "donkey-punching," and "cocktober." Need we say more? Also, the way she says "happy taco."

We stumbled upon this video about a month ago and have watched it an embarrassing number of times since (you know, if we were the type who got embarrassed by our love and appreciation for outrageously talented Broadway performers). We can't decide which part is our favorite - listening to her hit these increasingly high notes, or listening to the audience's reaction to her hitting these increasingly high notes. (Who are we kidding- our favorite part is definitely the vocal range she displays here. Ridiculous in the best sense of the word).
So apparently, Laura Osnes has a penchant for wearing fluffy animal slippers backstage at her Broadway shows. During South Pacific, they were ducks. For Bonnie and Clyde, they were puppies. If we're being perfectly honest, she could wear a paper bag and make it look like the most fashionable thing ever. These slippers are no exception. Adorbs.

We're not ashamed to admit it: we fucking loved this show and are devastated that it closed already. We're anxiously awaiting the day the OBCR is released, and listening to the demo obsessively until then. And Laura Osnes in this show? Was a star. We don't care if critics thought she was "cold" (she was not; we're pretty sure she and Jeremy Jordan could have powered all of 45th Street with the heat they generated) or if she didn't play Bonnie mean enough (we respectfully disagree); she was perfection in this role. Not only did she truly make a ravishing redhead (and how unfair is it that this woman looks equally gorgeous as a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead?), but her singing and acting for this role were phenomenal. She sucked us in from the very beginning. Heck, there were moments where she wasn't even the focus of the scene, and we still couldn't stop watching her on stage. Her presence and star power are just amazing, and she deserved far more accolades than she got for this role. Watching her slap Clyde back was pretty near the highlight of our entire year of theater-going, and watching her bring the house down with "Dyin' Ain't So Bad" on closing night, fighting back tears even as she belted her face off, was one of the single greatest moments we've ever experienced with live theater. Just... incredible.

And now for the grand finale. We waited and waited for an appearance by Laura on Show People, an interview series by's Paul Wontorek, and the final product was more than we could have dreamed of. She's well-spoken and gracious and humble and honest, even when it comes to talking about her abs (which, for the record, are damn impressive). She bakes cookies for people (you know, on her limited time off from being a LEADING LADY ON THE BROADWAY). She was a Broadway enthusiast growing up. She's still a bit starstruck about being "chums" with Frank Wildhorn and Sutton Foster. The meanest thing she's ever done is not sign an autograph at the stage door. In the midst of show biz, she's stuck to her moral standards. And she's still caught up in the magic of being on Broadway. The flawlessness knows no bounds.


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