A few years ago, a Minnesota gal named Laura Osnes won a reality show competition that selected the new Sandy in Grease!, and that was just the beginning.
She followed that with other Broadway credits like Anything Goes, Bonnie & Clyde (Tony nomination), and the upcoming Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
In other words, she got a career!
And last night, Osnes made a very strong cabaret debut at Cafe Carlyle.
Her voice is supple and sweet and she has a cheery personality (though when her very first bit of patter included the fact that she’d be selling CDs after the show, I knew she also has the hard edge needed to make it big).
Osnes trilled through various R&H songs, belted a terrific “Don’t Rain On My Parade” along with a tape of herself doing it at 12, and sang a lovely “When She Loved Me” in tribute to her late mother.
She also brought up two amiable duetting partners–her husband Nathan Johnson, who sang “A Whole New World” with her just like they did in a Children’s Theatre production in Minnesota, and Anything Goes‘ Joel Grey, who sparred with her on a friendly version of “Friendship”.
They fumbled some of the words, but they were cute about it, and then Grey went on to give her a pineapple in a large Tiffany’s box so they could duet on the pineapple song from Cabaret.
Doing “Fever” may not have been not the best idea for Osnes because she had to work to try to simulate sizzling sexuality–pretty as she is, she’s better off either chirpy or mournful.
And “Femininity” was fun, though she hasn’t mined all the humor and innuendo in it yet.
But she’s new! This pineapple is far from a lemon.
In fact, Laura Osnes is a bright new bowl of cherries on the cabaret world’s fancy table.