Laura Osnes

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Laura Osnes
Laura Osnes1.jpg
Born Laura Ann Osnes
(1985-11-19) November 19, 1985 (age 29)[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!.

Long-time boyfriend, Nathan Johnson proposed to Osnes on December 23, 2006.[3] They were married on May 11, 2007.

They currently live in Manhattan with their dog, Lyla.

In 2015, Osnes was a judge and mentor for the Songbook Academy, a summer intensive for high school students operated by the Great American Songbook Foundation and founded by Michael Feinstein.[4]

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!.[5]


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.[6] 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.[7] 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,[8] and then sang at Dreamlight Theatre Company's "Bright Lights" concert series on the evening of January 26 entitled A Night with The Ladies.[9]

Stage career[edit]

In March 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 production's original star, Kelli O'Hara, returned from maternity leave.[10] She then starred as Bonnie Parker in the world premiere of Bonnie & Clyde at the La Jolla Playhouse from Nov. 10 to Dec. 20, 2009.[11][12] Osnes returned to the role of Nellie in South Pacific on Broadway on January 5, 2010. She played her final performance on August 8, 2010.[13][14] She reprised the role of Bonnie in Bonnie & Clyde at the Asolo Repertory Theatre, Sarasota, Florida in November and December 2010.

Osnes 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.[15] For this role Osnes received nominations for the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical[16] as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.[17] She was also nominated for an Astaire Award for excellence in dance. Osnes departed the production on September 11, 2011.[18]

Beginning previews on November 4, 2011 with a December 1 opening night, Osnes once again played Bonnie, this time in the Broadway debut of Bonnie and Clyde at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. She was joined by her Asolo Rep castmate Jeremy Jordan as Clyde.[19] The show received negative reviews, had lackluster ticket sales and closed on December 30, 2011. Despite the critics distaste for the production, Bonnie and Clyde earned Osnes her first Tony Award nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Musical.[20]

Osnes next 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.[21]

In January 2012, she played the title character in a reading of a reworked adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Cinderella.[22] She then led the Encores! stage concert 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.[23] On April 24, 2012, Osnes headlined a concert performance of The Sound of Music at Carnegie Hall (New York City) as Maria. Also featured were Tony Goldwyn as Captain von Trapp, Brooke Shields as Elsa Schraeder and Patrick Page as Max Detweiler.[24]

Laura and co-star Santino Fontana in Cinderella on Broadway

Osnes starred in the title role of Cinderella on Broadway, which began previews at the Broadway Theatre on January 25 and opened on March 3, 2013.[25] Osnes received positive reviews,[26] won a 2013 Drama Desk award[27] and was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance.[28] She left the production on January 26, 2014 and was replaced by Carly Rae Jepsen.[29]

Osnes starred as Polly Peachum in the Atlantic Theatre Company's Off-Broadway revival of The Threepenny Opera from March to May 2014.[30] For this role, Osnes received her second nomination for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.[31]

She is appearing in a new musical, Bandstand, directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, which premieres at the Paper Mill Playhouse, New Jersey from Ocober 8, 2015 through November 8. The musical has music by Richard Oberacker and book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Oberacker.[32]

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; [33] the show was not picked up by the network. In 2013, she voiced a guest spot for the Nickelodeon children's show Team Umizoomi as "Sunny the Sunshine Fairy."[34] In 2013 she appeared in an episode of the CBS television series Elementary.[33][35]

In 2015, she was the guest artist for the annual Pioneer Day Concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Music for a Summer Evening, broadcast on BYUtv.[36]


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[37]
 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 
Songs of Daniel and Laura Curtis
Daniel and Laura Curtis
"When You Smile"
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)[38]
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 Nominated
Astaire Award Excellence in Dance Nominated
2012 Tony Award Best Lead Actress in a Musical Bonnie & Clyde Nominated Audience Award Favorite Lead Actress in a Musical Won Audience Award Favorite Onstage Pair (with co-star Jeremy Jordan) Nominated
2013 Tony Award Best Lead Actress in a Musical Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Nominated
Drama Desk Award Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Astaire Award Excellence in Dance Nominated Audience Award Favorite Lead Actress in a Musical Won Audience Award Favorite Onstage Pair (with co-star Santino Fontana) 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. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Gans, Andrew; Kenneth Jones (25 Jun 2008). "Keeling and Spencer Will Be Danny and Sandy in Grease in July". 
  6. ^ Gans, Andrew (19 Aug 2008). "Grease Star Osnes Cast in Kennedy Center's Birdie". 
  7. ^ Gans, Andrew (26 Sep 2008). "Osnes, Blum, Stanek and More Join Cast of Oct. 21 Pride & Prejudice Concert". 
  8. ^ Evan, Russo, Zolli, Osnes and Wilson Set for Rock Tenor Showcase Jan. 11
  9. ^ Kudisch, Zien, Osnes, Larsen and More Will Be Part of A Night with the Ladies Jan. 26
  10. ^ Hetrick, Adam."Grease's Osnes to Succeed O'Hara in South Pacific,", February 12, 2009
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Stark Sands and Laura Osnes Are Bonnie and Clyde in NYC Reading of Wildhorn Musical,", February 4, 2009
  13. ^ "Laura Osnes Re-Joins 'South Pacific'; Kelli O'Hara Takes Final Bow Jan. 3"
  14. ^ "O'Hara Will Return to 'South Pacific' in Time for "Live from Lincoln Center" PBS Broadcast" Playbill
  15. ^ "Bon Voyage! 'Anything Goes', With Sutton Foster and Joel Grey, Opens on Broadway"
  16. ^ "Outer Critics Circle Nominees Include 'Sister Act', 'Anything Goes', 'Book of Mormon'" Playbill
  17. ^ "56th Annual Drama Desk Nominations Announced; 'Book of Mormon' Scores 12 Nominations" Playbill
  18. ^ "Hope Springs Eternal: Erin Mackey Will Be New Ingenue of 'Anything Goes'" Playbill
  19. ^ "Inside Bonnie & Clyde's Photoshoot"
  20. ^ "Laura Osnes Broadway Credits and Awards", accessed September 27, 2015
  21. ^ "Stage Tube: Sutton Foster, Glenn Close, Patti LuPone & More Honor Barbara Cook at Kennedy Center Honors - The Musical Tribute!"
  22. ^ "Laura Osnes Leads Broadway-Bound Cinderella Reading this Month"
  23. ^ "Laura Osnes to Lead Pipe Dreams for City Center Encores!"
  24. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Carnegie Hall Is Alive with 'The Sound of Music' April 24; Laura Osnes Stars" Playbill, April 24, 2012
  25. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Now Is the Time: 'Cinderella', Starring Laura Osnes, Opens on Broadway March 3", Playbill, March 3, 2013
  26. ^ Gardner, Elysa. "Cinderella casts a new spell on Broadway", USA Today, March 3, 2013
  27. ^ "Special Coverage: All the 2013 Drama Desk Award Winners – 'Matilda', 'Vanya and Sonia', 'Pippin', 'Virginia Woolf' and More!",, accessed May 22, 2013
  28. ^ Purcell, Carey (2013-06-09). "Kinky Boots, Vanya and Sonia, Pippin and Virginia Woolf? Are Big Winners at 67th Annual Tony Awards". Playbill. Retrieved 2103-06-10.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  29. ^ Cinderella's Final Bow! Laura Osnes & Santino Fontana Say an 'Impossible' Goodbye, Retrieved January 28, 2014
  30. ^ "Laura Osnes, F. Murray Abraham and Mary Beth Peil to Star in 'The Threepenny Opera' at Atlantic Theater Company" Playbill, Retrieved April 26, 2014
  31. ^ "2014 Drama Desk Award Nominations - Gentleman'S Guide Leads with 12; Followed by Bridges, Fun Home, Aladdin, Rocky & More", broadwayworld, retrieved April 26, 2014
  32. ^ Simoes, Monica. "See Laura Osnes and Corey Cott Go 1940s in 'Bandstand' Musical Rehearsals!" Playbill, September 25, 2015
  33. ^ a b "Laura Osnes Film and TV"], accessed September 27, 2015
  34. ^ "'The Sunshine Fairy' Full Cast & Crew, 2013", accessed September 27, 2015
  35. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Tony Nominee Laura Osnes Will Appear on Upcoming Episode of "Elementary"" Playbill, August 27, 2013
  36. ^ [1]
  37. ^
  38. ^

External links[edit]