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).

http://broadwayworld.com/article/Photo-Coverage-Inside-the-BONNIE-CLYDE-Gypsy-Robe-Ceremony-20111207
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 Broadway.com'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.

Let's get in the car and just remember.

Remember the extreme talent that Hillary and I have for talking about Meghann Fahy in posts that have nothing to do with her?

This is not one of those posts.

SIX MONTHS AGO, I was on the other side of the country, enjoying some lovely California sunshine, when I got a text from Hillary that included the words "Sam Brown," "official on BroadwayWorld," and "MEGHANN FAHY." (Caps lock is our go-to font when texting about Meghann Fahy. Our phones actually autocorrect to it. So.)

FIVE MONTHS AGO, in the blistering heat of early August, Hillary and I took a roadtrip. Just a couple girls out on the highway. With Hillary's mental roadmap, and somewhat of a curfew, just two girls with somewhere very important we had to be - the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Connecticut to see The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown.

(We apologize deeply for this outrageously outdated post. Life got crazy. You know the deal.)

All this time later, it still makes us flail when we remember how much we loved this new work by Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk. Going into the show, we weren't quite sure what to expect. Yeah, we'd fallen in love with the five or six songs that seem to have become staples at theatre-related concerts and cabarets. We took into account our sheer excitement to see The Fahy back onstage, after loving her so much in Next to Normal. (We also knew that we'd have gone to see the show even if it hadn't included her. Because that would have *maybe* meant our girl Laura Osnes in the title role. Guh.) But in all seriousness, we could not be bigger fans of anything than Kerrigan-Lowdermilk's writing, and that's where our greatest excitement and curiosity stemmed from. We didn't really know anything about the characters in the show, and couldn't wait to learn more about them.

Photo thanks to Goodspeed's Facebook page!
Ultimately, I think that the show's staying power is really what took us by surprise. Sam Brown was not just a fun, cutesy show that we enjoyed and promptly forgot about. The title character, played by Ms. Fahy, is a high school senior, with a loving parents (Catherine Porter and Stephen Bogardus), a boyfriend, Adam (Andrew Durand), and a best friend, Kelly (Melissa Benoist) who's a year older than Sam, embedded in the honeymoon phase of college freedom, and ready to give Sam mountains of advice on how to approach her upcoming freshman year. Although she is clearly an intelligent girl with a bright future ahead of her, Sam's parents seem to be more enthusiastic about their daughter's upcoming graduation than Sam herself. Thus begins the audience's journey of watching Sam navigate a transitory time in her life, and discovering that something about Kelly's presence in Sam's life is not quite right.

The structure created by Kerrigan and Lowdermilk is the perfect combination of songs with a more narrative function, and songs that have a definitive beginning and end. At an intermission-less hour and a half, we're curious to know if the show was trimmed down or added to for this production, or if a two-act version of the show was ever considered. And speaking of songs, Hillary and I were pretty much walking on air from the time we took our seats in the theater, because, well, an hour and a half of  Kerrigan-Lowdermilk songs that we'd never heard before? Come on. The show's score was so undeniably THEM, in that the music and lyrics were mostly very simple but so layered, clever, and insightful. Hearing the many musical themes that recurred throughout the show was what made us realize that these two people wrote a SHOW, not just a collection of gorgeous songs. I still find myself floored when I think about "Freedom" in the context of the show - Sam begins the song in a very dampened mood, which was always apparent from the demo recording of the song, but seeing the show and having the foresight that Sam's relationship with Kelly will change forever after this roadtrip together is a total revelation. The only slight hesitation we had about any part of the score concerns "I Wouldn't Change Anything," sung by Sam's parents. In a moment where Sam steps back from her storytelling to consider what would happen if she could go back in time and ignore a life-altering phone call, it felt a little out-of-the-moment to me to focus on her parents' point of view. With that said, we trust the writers' creative decisions completely, and felt our connection to Sam's parents return with Sam's eventual acknowledgment that she couldn't change or ignore the past.

As you've probably gathered by now, there's a big reveal in the middle of the show that we just can't bring ourselves to give away. We're positive that Sam Brown will continue onward and upward after its successful run in Connecticut, and want to give you another reason (as if you needed another one) to go see it when it does! So, our last comment on the subject will be this: we know you could sing "Run Away With Me" in your sleep. We know you wish you could belt "Freedom" as fiercely as Annaleigh Ashford and Meghann Fahy. These songs, plus a few others, have been in the blog- and concert- spheres FOREVER, thanks to the wonders of YouTube, and yet Kerrigan and Lowdermilk managed to avoid revealing this big secret, or even hinting at it. Mad props to you, Kait and Brian. It makes us wonder if performers who've sung these songs in the context of a concert were briefed about the show, because knowing the reveal makes a huuugeeee difference in the way any character approaches Sam.

As expected, the production was perfectly cast. It was truly awesome to watch Ms. Fahy grow onstage as she gains experience and learns how to use her voice differently. "Remember This" is basically our lives in a nutshell, and her delivery of it was spot-on. She IS the youthful maturity that defines Sam, and we wish we could have returned to the show later in its run to see her progression with the character. Mr. Durand proved the biggest pleasant surprise for us, playing Adam with the perfect balance of funny, dorky, and sweet, with a GREAT voice that I'd forgotten about since I saw him in Spring Awakening several years ago. (For shame, Michelle...for SHAME!) Our ongoing love of all things Next to Normal gave special significance to seeing Ms. Porter as Mom. She. Was. Hilarious. From impersonating Celine Dion, to flinging cookies into the front row, to bringing a whole new level of uncomfortableness to "Do you need to go into the CVS for something?" Porter played up an awareness of the outrageousness of Mom while still remaining sensitive and vulnerable as a mother who just wants the best for her daughter. As Dad, Mr. Bogardus was great as well, although his character had the least to do. I kind of wish they could have expanded a bit more on his relationship with Sam, although I tend to be biased towards father-daughter storylines. And Ms. Benoist as Kelly brought the right amount of sass to make the character loveable and relatable instead of obnoxious.

I wish we could conclude this post with demanding instructions to go see The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown immediately. Sadly, the show's month-long run is long ended, and its future is unclear at this point in time. If you're so inclined, you can stay up-to-date with Kerrigan and Lowdermilk's latest ventures on Facebook and Twitter, and take a glimpse at the remnants of the Goodspeed production on their website. Because it was pretty great. And we would have bought you all tickets to see it if we could have. (Transportation included. Yes, we loved it that much.)

Wild Animals You Should Know

Wild Animals You Should Know, the New York debut of playwright Thomas Higgins, played downtown at MCC Theater's Lucille Lortel Theatre from November 4 to December 11. Hillary and I were drawn in by the casting of the production, which included the awesome talents of Jay Armstrong Johnson, Gideon Glick, Patrick Breen, and Alice Ripley, and picked up a pair of tickets to check it out. While our overall reaction to the intermission-less play was fair to middling, we spent more time discussing Wild Animals... than most other shows we'd seen as of late, which is the basis for this post.

  • The premise of the play, as depicted on the show's artwork: Matthew (Johnson) and Jacob (Glick) are Boy Scouts, about to embark on a camping trip. They are accompanied by Matthew's dad, Walter (Breen), who isn't much of an outdoorsman, but is convinced to go along and spend time with his son by his wife, Marsha (Ripley), since he's just been laid off and now has time to spare, although he hasn't yet told his son about this development. Also on the camping trip are Scoutmaster Rodney (the engaging John Behlmann), and Larry (Daniel Stewart Sherman), another chaperone whose son we never see onstage.
  • The relationship between Matthew and Jacob is interesting. Jacob is very clearly gay and secure with who he is. He's attracted to Matthew, who agrees to strip-tease for him via Skype as a birthday present...but we really never find out if Matthew is or isn't gay. The only thing we know for sure is that Matthew is a narcissist, a domineering kid who achieves everything in his life with ease, who everyone likes and wants, who doesn't really care about Boy Scouts, and who is cunning enough to know exactly how to use his power and presence over others to manipulate them and get what he wants.
  • Before the camping trip, Matthew and Jacob spy on Scoutmaster Rodney through their neighboring windows, and happen to see him with another man. Matthew sets out to "ruin" him, and his scheming eventually works - Rodney resigns, never having done anything offensive and clearly torn up about losing his place in the organization. Here, we felt that the star of the show was Mr. Johnson. The character he created was, in many ways, quite terrifying. Those fortunate enough to fall into his circle of friends were set, but those who crossed over to his bad side should be worried. As Matthew, Mr. Johnson did a wonderful job of walking the line between making us want to be friends with him and making us despise his manipulative guts.
  • We thought that Walter was the most interesting character of the bunch, although still a bit underdeveloped. For instance, he had the knowledge to advise Rodney how to clean graffiti off his garage doors, and at one point in the play, Matthew called him a "little bitch," which isn't the first insult that comes to mind for a son to call his father. Along with a slightly effeminate nature and his dislike of the outdoors, the thought crossed our minds that perhaps Walter had been teased for his sexuality as a boy. We also would have liked a deeper backstory for Rodney. Why did he decide to become a leader in and feel so strongly about an organization that traditionally rejects homosexuality? (The play explained that Rodney had lost his lover and needed something to fill his time, and that he simply liked the outdoors, but we would have liked something more.)
  • The final scene showed Matthew and Rod looking out their respective neighboring windows as Matthew began to strip...but we didn't get a clear sense of whether Rod was looking at Matthew, or away from him. If Rod was looking, it defeated the entire purpose of his character's defensive nature over the situation. If he wasn't looking, that made Matthew seem like a ruthless, pompous tool. So.
  • Ms. Ripley's part was very small and could have been played by anyone, but it was nice to see a genuine smile from her on-stage, even if it was for a very short time. We also never thought we'd see her chug a can of beer and crush it against her forehead.
  • Mr. Glick's character was fairly stereotypical, but he really stood out in one scene in particular, where he finally confronted Matthew and stood up to him.

Overall, we thought that the playwright just wasn't able to settle on a focus for his play, and as a result, it delved into a few too many issues without saying anything definitive about any of them. For instance, all the scenes were organized with above-the-stage projections of titles from different sections of the Scoutmaster Handbook, which was fine, but too often they felt like separate entities, with no connecting thread between them. In our humble opinion, though, the cast outshone the material they were given, and hey - a play that makes us exercise our brains and critical skills is never a bad thing.

Snape, Snape, Severus Snape...in Seminar!

"Fraud is a way of life in a capitalist culture - especially in the arts," muses one of the characters in Seminar, a new play by Teresa Rebeck now playing at the Golden Theatre. As we're introduced to four students enrolled in a writing seminar, each of whom aspires to transform their life and career in a costly but prestigious ten-week session, it quickly becomes apparent that the tools of the trade include not only pen and paper, but a thick skin as well. How much of yourself can you put into your writing and still feel comfortable with sharing it? Is a trust fund child with limited "real world" experience automatically ineligible to write anything of substance or worth? In a world where the more ridiculous the story, the better it sells, does truth matter?

Seminar's four pupils are all extremely driven to their craft, but each struggles with how much of themselves to reveal through their written words. Douglas (Jerry O'Connell), is the most outwardly pretentious of the bunch, too eager to write what he thinks other want to read. Izzy (Hettienne Park) is the token Asian, lively and exotic, but lacking in substance. Martin (Hamish Linklater) is bookish and shy, with hidden potential in his personal and professional life that is slowly peeled away over the course of the play. Kate (Lily Rabe) injects herself fully into her writing, but her enormous rent-controlled apartment (in which she plays host to the class) and defensive nature about her class privilege awaken the doubts of her teacher.

And who better to play instructor to these young writers in need of direction and reality than Severus Snape himself? As Leonard, Alan Rickman is wonderfully arrogant, dangerously pitiless, and deliciously heartless. Or so it seems. The experience of watching someone so commanding of the stage broached the same level as seeing a show starring Mark Rylance. It seemed as though, upon Mr. Rickman's command, the nails in the stage floor would have unscrewed themselves and timidly backed away in awe. Leonard has no hesitations in alternately ripping apart the work of a student who has spent six years working on the same story, or praising the work of a student who prolifically pours his soul into pages and pages of writing, but has never had the courage to show it to anyone until now. As two girls who consider ourselves to be writers in one sense or another, it was easy to identify with the anxiety of sharing your most personal writing with others, the pride that comes with compliments from a figure of respect, and the humiliation of the opposite.

Seminar is more of a "people sitting around and talking" play than a "lots of events transpire in a short amount of time" play, but Teresa Rebeck's script keeps things moving. We felt completely taken in by and engaged with her dialogue, which was mostly very conversational and flowed easily and naturally from the mouths of the actors. (The only exception, in my opinion, was the occasional lapse into an "I'm reciting dialogue!" mode that mostly occurred with the character of Izzy.) There were quite a few middle-to-high-brow references thrown in, but the mention of e-books and Somalia didn't feel overblown or exclusive to the audience.

Any problems we had with the production fell on the play itself, as the cast was superb. I was pleasantly surprised by Mr. O'Connell's work. As a pompous over-intellectual who continually refers to the "interiority and exteriority"of his previous writing environments, he proved himself anything but a ploy of stunt casting. Ms. Rabe was also a force, and it was fascinating to watch Kate battle to maintain self-confidence in her work and relationships with Martin and Leonard.

So, we were completely immersed in these characters, to some extent because we've muddled through the same issues as writers...and then the last two scenes happened, and I immediately felt disconnected from everything transpiring on stage. Without spoiling too much, I'm hard-pressed to remain a fan of stories that turn in the direction of "who's sleeping with who," and feel that there are often other ways of addressing the complexities of human nature. In addition, the questions left unanswered by the play are universal ponderings about the commercial value of art, which can never be answered objectively or definitively. Although that doesn't mean these questions are not worth addressing, I felt that Rebeck's writing discussed them in an obvious way. In particular, a line spoken by Kate towards the play's conclusion, stating in summary that "people are complex, and if you never understand that, you'll never be a good writer," felt like an unnecessary prod from the playwright to recognize the complexity of her characters.

It was at this point that Martin, who had been my favorite character throughout the play due to his insecurities, fell off the radar with which I could identify. Additionally, the value of life experience to a writer is thrown even more into question:

  • We never find out what Martin wrote - just that Leonard instantly thinks it's profound, and that Martin subsequently rejects his praise. This development was slightly confusing, as Martin sacrificed a lot to get into Leonard's class and was clearly looking for some form of approval before he shied away from it. Can you call yourself a writer if no one ever reads your work, or if you don't permit yourself to make a living from it? Can an artist "sell out" to break into the business, and then pull back and do it for the art? Martin didn't seem to think so. Us? We'd like to think so, but who are we to say?
  • Leonard's writing career was ruined by a supposedly false accusation of plagiarism, but now he's respected for traveling to war-torn countries and writing about the horrors there. When Kate writes - under the shield of fiction, of course - he shoots her efforts down, which implies that it's only worthy to tell the stories of the underdogs of the world, and that people don't want to read about rich, white people who complain about the difficulties of writing for a career. But, an extremely simplified summary of Seminar as a whole would be just that - a bunch of moderately well-off white people sitting around and complaining about the difficulties of being a writer. Hm...a conundrum.
Barring a few issues with the play's ending, though, we thoroughly enjoyed Seminar and its accessible yet thought-provoking nature. And after seeing it, we're even more excited for Smash (beginning February 6 on NBC) because Ms. Rebeck is the creator and a writer for the show. While Glee is more of a happy-go-lucky, gloss-over-sad-news-with-a-song look at the theatrical world, I'm interested to see if Smash provides a more cynical look at the industry, just as Seminar gave a harshly honest look into what it takes to be a "writer," and what it means to be considered one.

It's Delovely! Some of our favorite things about Anything Goes

Catching up on those posts that we are ridiculously behind on, Michelle and I would like to bring to you our favorite things about the current revival of Anything Goes. Michelle has seen the show twice; I've seen it three times. Between the two of us, we've managed to narrow down our list from "everything about this wonderful, entertaining show" to the following favorites. In no particular order:

  • Sutton Foster. Is this really a surprise? The woman is one of few true triple threats on Broadway. She has an amazing voice, she's a great comedic actress, and the woman can dance like nobody's business. She effortlessly leads the company in all the big dance numbers, she does splits at the drop of a hat, and then she belts out these ridiculous high notes effortlessly. And while she may not be the seductive sexpot previous Reno Sweeneys have been, there is no denying that Sutton brings her own brand of sexiness to the role. Comedy and a sense of humor are sexy, not to mention how she totally rocks the blonde wig. Michelle may have only begun to worship at the altar of Sutton Foster after seeing this show, but I've been a big fan ever since I heard her on the OBCR of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Getting to see her do her thing live on stage was truly a magical theater experience. Her second Tony Award was incredibly well-deserved.
  • Joel Grey. He is 79 years old, completely adorable, and performing on Broadway 8 times a week. He's a bonafide stage legend, and he is hilarious as Moonface Martin. Watching him perform "Friendship" - his duet with Sutton Foster's Reno Sweeney - is hysterical. They each try to one up each other in ridiculous antics to the point where they (and the audience) are almost in stitches of laughter. His "Be Like the Bluebird" is also one of the sweetest and most touching moments in the show.
  • Colin Donnell. To put it simply, this man is ridiculously charming. Tall, dark, handsome, and with a voice like a dream, his Billy Crocker is equally charming complimenting Reno in "You're the Top" as he is wooing Hope Harcourt during "De-Lovely." He's charming when he dances. He's even charming when he's being a jerk. Did we mention that he's charming? We were absolutely charmed by him.
  • The big group dance numbers. There's something about the titular Act I-ending "Anything Goes" and the Act II-opening "Blow Gabriel Blow" that is just so damn infectious, and that something is the choreography. Kathleen Marshall did a masterful job choreographing this show. The tapping in "Anything Goes" is simply ridiculous. We cannot comprehend how these actors are able to tap dance like that while singing, much less how they tap their way through the dance break only to then have to sing upon completing it. We assume they all secretly have an extra pair of lungs - one set for dancing, the other for singing. The footwork and synchronization are incredible, too; we were fortunate enough to see "Anything Goes" performed from the tenth row after rushing the show, getting standing room tickets, and then being upgraded to these awesome seats after audience members failed to show (thanks, ushers!), and it was a real treat to just get to watch their feet that closely while they were dancing. The end of Act I leaves both of us with ridiculous smiles on our faces. And the choreography in "Blow, Gabriel Blow" is just as enchanting, even if it is a completely different style. Our favorite part is when the male ensemble members are spotlit as they jump out of their chairs and join in the number. Definitely a beautiful visual.
  • The music. Cole Porter was a freaking genius, y'all. While Anything Goes may have a plot that is less than realistic, it is all held together by Porter's classic songs and fabulous score. His way with words, particularly in "You're the Top" and "De-Lovely," are simply delightful. The audience leaves the theater humming the melodies from about five different songs, and the Overture is one of my all-time favorites.
  • BONUS FAVORITE: Laura Osnes. Okay, this one's kind of cheating because Michelle never saw her in the role (and regrets this very much), but since we are both kind of obsessed with her, I figured I'd make an exception. Nothing against Erin Mackey, who has a lovely voice and is a wonderful Hope Harcourt, but there was just something about Laura Osnes in this role that was magical. She had great chemistry with Colin Donnell, and their dancing in "De-Lovely" was breathtaking. Laura Osnes also has one of the most incredible voices I've ever heard. Her legit soprano has such warmth to it, you can almost hear her smiling as she sings. Her emotion bleeds through her singing, whether her character is happy, sad, or mad. Also, the giggle/laugh thing she does on the cast recording during "De-Lovely" is the kind of adorable that puppies, bunny rabbits, rainbows, and unicorns are made of. Basically, we love her, and her Hope Harcourt was a delight to watch.
Anything Goes is currently playing at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. Don't miss this wonderful show!