Laura Osnes as Cinderella with Victoria Clark as her Fairy Godmother, performing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC (Jenny Anderson/Broadway.com)
Laura Osnes’ Broadway career got off to an unusual start. Instead of going through the standard cattle-call audition process, she took part in the nationally televised reality competition “Grease: You’re the One that I Want!” in 2007, which cast the stars of the Grease revival on the Great White Way. Osnes was a fan favorite from the beginning and ultimately scored the role of leading lady Sandy. After Grease’s Broadway run, she went on to play leading parts in South Pacific, Anything Goes and Bonnie & Clyde, plus many regional productions. Now, Osnes returns to the Broadway stage to take on a classic, playing the title role in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. The revamped fairy tale opens at the Broadway Theatre in NYC March 3. Want to know more about the show’s stunning star? Read on for The Dirt.
What did you want to be when you were a teen?
An actress on Broadway.
If you could dance with any performer, past or present, who would it be?
Oh, Gene Kelly! Except I could never keep up.
Most-played song on your iPod:
I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this, but it’s a song called “This Never Happened Before” that was cut from Bonnie & Clyde. Fortunately, we got to record it as a bonus track on the cast album, and I still love to listen to it.
New: Wizard of Oz
Old: Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
I’ve seen them all way too many times—and I’m so excited for The Hobbit!
With The Prince, Santino Fontana (Jenny Anderson/Broadway.com)
Biggest guilty pleasure:
Ice creeeeeeeam. Just kidding. Probably peanut butter.
Things you can’t live without:
My husband—and our dog Lyla
What are your pet peeves?
Slow walkers on NYC streets and cleaning Lyla’s potty off the floor
Who’s your dance crush?
Ryan Steele, duh.
What’s the strangest thing in your dance bag?
All my dance stuff is in a bin under the bed. The strangest thing in there’s a bag of bobby pins with rhinestones on them left over from my dance competition days.
Do you have any pre-performance habits?
I’ve made a tradition of “planking” before or during every show, and I also do lots of lip-trills.
What’s your dream role?
Belle in Beauty & the Beast or Marion Paroo in The Music Man
What’s your most embarrassing onstage moment?
It was during a matinee performance of South Pacific on Broadway for a bunch of students. I was wearing only a bathing suit, and I tripped and fell on one of the set pieces with my bare legs flailing everywhere. The kids were not forgiving with their laughter. I made it through the scene, but started bawling the second I got offstage. I was so embarrassed.
What has been your proudest onstage moment so far?
I think that would be taking my bow on opening night of Grease on Broadway. It was my very first Broadway show, and I will never forget that moment. My dream had come true.
DID YOU KNOW?Cinderella is the only Rodgers and Hammerstein musical written for TV. The musical was first broadcast live on CBS in 1957, starring Julie Andrews.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
There's a story Kate Walker, director of dance at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, loves to tell about Emma Sutherland, who just graduated from the program. "We were watching the students run a really long, challenging piece," Walker recalls. "Several kids couldn't quite make it through. But Emma did make it all the way to the end, which is when she walked up to us faculty and very politely asked, 'May I please go throw up?' "