Laura Osnes

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Laura Osnes
Laura Osnes1.jpg
Born Laura Ann Osnes
(1985-11-19) November 19, 1985 (age 28)[1]
Burnsville, Minnesota
Occupation Singer/Actress
Spouse(s) Nathan Johnson (May 11, 2007-present)

Laura Ann Osnes (born November 19, 1985)[1] is an American actress and singer known for her work on the Broadway stage. She has played starring roles in Grease as Sandy, South Pacific as Nellie Forbush, Anything Goes as Hope Harcourt, and Bonnie and Clyde as Bonnie Parker, for which she received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. She also starred in the title role of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella on Broadway, for which she received a Drama Desk Award and her second Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.


Osnes was born in Burnsville, Minnesota, raised in Eagan, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul,[2] and is a professed Christian. Her first acting performance was in the second grade, where she played a munchkin in The Wizard of Oz. She attended Eagan High School. Laura attended the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point for one year as a Musical Theatre major, before dropping out to pursue a professional career.

In 2005–2006 she returned to Minneapolis to be a performing apprentice at the Children's Theatre Company, performing in Working, Aladdin Jr., Prom, and Pippi Longstocking. She also played the lead of Sandy in Grease at the nation's largest dinner theatre, the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, but her run was cut short when she was chosen to compete in the nationally televised Broadway talent competition Grease: You're the One that I Want!.

Osnes is married to Nathan Johnson (as shown in the March 18, 2007 episode of Grease: You're the One that I Want!), whom she met when both were understudies on Aladdin. They were originally planning to marry on March 24 and honeymoon in Aruba, but postponed the wedding so that she could participate in the competition. Because the schedule conflicted with March 25, 2007 episode, they rescheduled the wedding to May 11, 2007. They live in Manhattan.

Grease: You're the One that I Want![edit]

Laura Osnes was nicknamed "Small Town Sandy" in the show, even though Eagan is a large suburb of St. Paul, a major U.S. city. She was a favorite to win during the entire course of the show, never showing up in the "sing-off" bottom two during the show's run. She was named the winner on March 25, 2007, which meant she would perform the lead character of Sandy opposite Max Crumm, the show's male competitor who won the role of "Danny".

Osnes and Crumm played their final performances as Sandy and Danny on July 20, 2008, and they were succeeded by Ashley Spencer and Derek Keeling, two of the runners-up of Grease: You're the One that I Want!.[3]


Osnes starred in the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' Broadway: Three Generations, a three-act evening featuring condensed versions of Girl Crazy, Bye Bye Birdie, and Side Show. The show was presented at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater October 2–5, 2008.[4] She then played Elizabeth (Lizzy) Bennet for the concert version of the new Broadway-aimed musical Pride & Prejudice (musical) that was presented October 21, 2008 at the Eastman Theatre in Rochester, New York.[5] In early December Osnes returned home to Minneapolis and performed in a local Christmas pageant. On January 11, 2009 she took part in the Rock Tenor Showcase, a showcase of a new concert experience that melds classical and Broadway music with rock-n-roll songs, at the Florence Gould Hall in Manhattan,[6] and then sang at Dreamlight Theatre Company's "Bright Lights" concert series on the evening of January 26 entitled A Night with The Ladies.[7]

Broadway career[edit]

On March 10, 2009, Osnes took over the role of Ensign Nellie Forbush in the Lincoln Center Theater Broadway revival of South Pacific. She stayed with the show through October 4, 2009, when the show's original star, Kelli O'Hara, returned from maternity leave.[8]

She then starred as Bonnie Parker in the world premiere of Bonnie & Clyde; the musical played at the La Jolla Playhouse from Nov. 10 to Dec. 20, 2009.[9][10]

Osnes returned to the role of Nellie Forbush in the Broadway production of South Pacific on January 5, 2010. She played her final performance on August 8, 2010. O'Hara once again returned to the production two days later to film the "Live from Lincoln Center" broadcast of the show.[11][12]

Osnes reprised the role of Bonnie Parker in Bonnie & Clyde at the Asolo Repertory Theatre, Sarasota, Florida in November and December 2010.

She then played Hope Harcourt in the Broadway revival of Anything Goes, which began previews on March 10, 2011 and officially opened on April 7, 2011 starring Sutton Foster and Joel Grey.[13] For this role Osnes received nominations for the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical[14] as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.[15] She was also nominated for an Astaire Award for excellence in dance. Osnes departed the production on September 11, 2011.[16]

Beginning previews on November 4, 2011 with a December 1 opening night, Osnes once again played Bonnie Parker, this time on Broadway as Bonnie & Clyde made its Broadway debut at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. She was joined by her Asolo Rep castmate Jeremy Jordan as Clyde Barrow.[17] Other cast members included Melissa van der Schyff (2003's Big River) as Blanche Barrow, Claybourne Elder (Road Show) as Buck Barrow, and Louis Hobson (Next to Normal) as Ted Hinton.[18] Despite a generally positive audience reception, due to negative critics' reviews and lackluster ticket sales the show closed on December 30, 2011.

Osnes then performed at the 2011 Kennedy Center Honors in a tribute to Barbara Cook alongside Sutton Foster, Rebecca Luker, Kelli O'Hara, Patti LuPone, Glenn Close, and Audra McDonald.[19]

In January 2012, she played the title character in an industry-only reading of a reworked adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Cinderella.[20] She then led the Encores! production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Pipe Dream, based on John Steinbeck's novel Sweet Thursday. Under the direction of Marc Bruni, the production ran from March 28 to April 1, 2012.[21]

On April 24, 2012, Osnes headlined a benefit performance of The Sound of Music at Carnegie Hall as Maria Rainer. Also featured were Tony Goldwyn as Captain von Trapp, Brooke Shields as Elsa Schraeder and Patrick Page as Max Detweiler. In August 2012, it was announced that Cinderella would begin performances at the Broadway Theatre on January 21, 2013; performances were later rescheduled and officially began January 25, 2013, with a March 3 opening night.[22] Osnes was awarded a 2013 Drama Desk award and was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in Cinderella. She concluded her run on January 26, 2014 and was replaced by Carly Rae Jepsen.[23]

Osnes starred as Polly Peachum in the Atlantic Theatre Company's Off-Broadway revival of The Threepenny Opera from March to May 2014.[24] For this role, Osnes received her second nomination for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.[25]

Osnes will release a new song called 'When You Smile' by composers Daniel and Laura Curtis on August 10, 2014.

Broadway credits[edit]

Preceded by
(Original Revival Cast)
Sandy Dumbrowski, Grease
August 19, 2007 - July 21, 2008
Succeeded by
Ashley Spencer
Preceded by
Kelli O'Hara
Nellie Forbush, South Pacific
March 10, 2009 - October 4, 2009
Succeeded by
Kelli O'Hara
Preceded by
Kelli O'Hara
Nellie Forbush, South Pacific
January 5, 2010-August 8, 2010
Succeeded by
Kelli O'Hara
Preceded by
(Original Revival Cast)
Hope Harcourt, Anything Goes
April 7, 2011 - September 11, 2011
Succeeded by
Erin Mackey
Preceded by
(Originated Role) ¤
Bonnie Parker, Bonnie & Clyde
December 1, 2011 - December 30, 2011
Succeeded by
(Show Closed)
Preceded by
(Original Broadway Cast) ¤
Ella, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella
March 3, 2013 - January 26, 2014
Succeeded by
Carly Rae Jepsen

¤ = Tony Award nomination.

Television and Film[edit]

In 2011 Osnes was cast in the pilot for HBO's The Miraculous Year, starring Lee Pace, Susan Sarandon, Patti LuPone, Eddie Redmayne and Norbert Leo Butz; the show was not picked up by the network. In 2013, she voiced a guest spot for the Nickelodeon children's show Team Umizoomi and appeared in an episode of the CBS television series Elementary.


Cast Recordings
Year Title Music & Lyrics Role
Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey
 Sandy Dumbrowski 
 Pride and Prejudice (Demo) 
 Amanda Jacobs, Lindsay Warren Baker 
 Elizabeth Bennet 
 Bonnie & Clyde (Demo) 
 Lyrics by Don Black, Music by Frank Wildhorn 
 Bonnie Parker 
Anything Goes
Cole Porter
 Hope Harcourt 
 Bonnie & Clyde
 Lyrics by Don Black, Music by Frank Wildhorn 
 Bonnie Parker 
 Encores! Pipe Dream (Live Recording)
 Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II 
 Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella[26]
 Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II 
Year Title Main Artist Contribution
Carols for a Cure, Vol. 7
 Holiday songs; sold to benefit BC/EFA 
 "Jolly Old St. Nicholas/Up on the Housetop" with Grease cast 
Untitled (Demo)
 Kait Kerrigan, Brian Lowdermilk 
 "How to Return Home" 
  What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up  
Scott Alan
Our First Mistake
 Kait Kerrigan, Brian Lowdermilk 
"My Heart is Split" with Meghann Fahy
Scott Alan: Live
Scott Alan
K-L Live
 Kait Kerrigan, Brian Lowdermilk 
"The Girl Who Drove Away"
Carols for a Cure, Vol. 15
 Holiday songs; sold to benefit BC/EFA 
 "Happy Christmas, Little Friend" with Santino Fontana & Ann Harada 
Solo Albums
Year Title Notes
Dream a Little Dream: Live at the Cafe Carlyle
Featuring Jeremy Jordan, Tom Wopat and husband Nathan Johnson
If I Tell You (Songs of Maury Yeston)[27]
Based on Osnes' 2012 Maury Yeston concert at 54 Below


Year Award Ceremony Category Production Result
2003 Star Tribune Theatre Award Outstanding Youth Performer of the Year The Wizard of Oz (Children's Theatre Company) Won
2009 San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Lead Performance in a Musical Bonnie & Clyde (La Jolla Playhouse) Won Audience Award Favorite Replacement South Pacific Won
2011 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Anything Goes Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Anything Goes Nominated
Astaire Award Excellence in Dance Anything Goes Nominated
2012 Tony Award Best Lead Actress in a Musical Bonnie & Clyde Nominated Audience Award Favorite Lead Actress in a Musical Bonnie & Clyde Won Audience Award Favorite Onstage Pair (with co-star Jeremy Jordan) Bonnie & Clyde Nominated
2013 Tony Award Best Lead Actress in a Musical Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Best Lead Actress in a Musical Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella Nominated
Drama Desk Award Best Lead Actress in a Musical Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella Nominated
Astaire Award Excellence in Dance Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella Nominated Audience Award Favorite Lead Actress in a Musical Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella Won Audience Award Favorite Onstage Pair (with co-star Santino Fontana) Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella Won
2014 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical The Threepenny Opera Nominated


  1. ^ a b "30 Under 30 - Laura Osnes". 2011. "Age: 25 (11/19/1985)" 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Gans, Andrew; Kenneth Jones (25 Jun 2008). "Keeling and Spencer Will Be Danny and Sandy in Grease in July". 
  4. ^ Gans, Andrew (19 Aug 2008). "Grease Star Osnes Cast in Kennedy Center's Birdie". 
  5. ^ Gans, Andrew (26 Sep 2008). "Osnes, Blum, Stanek and More Join Cast of Oct. 21 Pride & Prejudice Concert". 
  6. ^ Evan, Russo, Zolli, Osnes and Wilson Set for Rock Tenor Showcase Jan. 11
  7. ^ Kudisch, Zien, Osnes, Larsen and More Will Be Part of A Night with the Ladies Jan. 26
  8. ^ Hetrick, Adam."Grease's Osnes to Succeed O'Hara in South Pacific,", February 12, 2009
  9. ^ Jones, Kenneth.Osnes and Sands Are La Jolla's Bonnie & Clyde; Winningham and Van der Schyff Also Cast "Osnes and Sands Are La Jolla's Bonnie and Clyde,", July 13, 2009
  10. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Stark Sands and Laura Osnes Are Bonnie and Clyde in NYC Reading of Wildhorn Musical,", February 4, 2009
  11. ^ Laura Osnes Re-Joins SOUTH PACIFIC; Kelli O'Hara Takes Final Bow Jan. 3
  12. ^ O'Hara Will Return to South Pacific in Time for "Live from Lincoln Center" PBS Broadcast
  13. ^ "Bon Voyage! Anything Goes, With Sutton Foster and Joel Grey, Opens on Broadway"
  14. ^ Outer Critics Circle Nominees Include Sister Act, Anything Goes, Book of Mormon
  15. ^ 56th Annual Drama Desk Nominations Announced; Book of Mormon Scores 12 Nominations
  16. ^ Hope Springs Eternal: Erin Mackey Will Be New Ingenue of Anything Goes
  17. ^ Inside Bonnie & Clyde's Photoshoot
  18. ^ Cast for BONNIE & CLYDE on Broadway
  19. ^ STAGE TUBE: Sutton Foster, Glenn Close, Patti LuPone & More Honor Barbara Cook at Kennedy Center Honors - The Musical Tribute!
  20. ^ Laura Osnes Leads Broadway-Bound CINDERELLA Reading this Month
  21. ^ Laura Osnes to Lead PIPE DREAMS for City Center Encores!
  22. ^ "Cinderella, With Laura Osnes, Victoria Clark, Harriet Harris and More, Will Hold Court at Broadway Theatre",, August 7, 2012
  23. ^ Cinderella's Final Bow! Laura Osnes & Santino Fontana Say an 'Impossible' Goodbye, Retrieved January 28, 2014
  24. ^ Laura Osnes, F. Murray Abraham and Mary Beth Peil to Star in The Threepenny Opera at Atlantic Theater Company Playbill, Retrieved April 26, 2014
  25. ^ "2014 Drama Desk Award Nominations - GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE Leads with 12; Followed by BRIDGES, FUN HOME, ALADDIN, ROCKY & More" broadwayworld, retrieved April 26, 2014
  26. ^
  27. ^

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