Laura Osnes

Laura Osnes

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Laura Osnes
Laura Osnes.jpg

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Born Laura Ann Osnes
(1985-11-19) November 19, 1985 (age 32)[1]
Burnsville, Minnesota, U.S.
Occupation Singer, actress
Spouse(s) Nathan Johnson (m. 2007)

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 Saint Paul, Minnesota,[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. Osnes 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 ArtsBroadway: 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 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. However, despite the critics distaste for the production, Osnes received rave reviews for her performance as well as 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]

Osnes starred as Julie Jordan in the Lyric Opera of Chicago‘s production of Carousel, alongside Steven Pasquale, in spring 2015. The production closed on May 3, 2015.[32] The production received positive reviews.[33]

She took part in the world premiere of the new original musical, Bandstand, directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, which premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse, New Jersey from October 8 through November 8 of 2015. The musical has music by Richard Oberacker and book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Oberacker.[34] Osnes most recently starred in the musical on Broadway at the Jacobs Theatre, with her co-star Corey Cott. It opened on April 26, 2017, with previews beginning March 31.[35] The production closed on Broadway on September 17, 2017, after 24 previews and 166 regular performances.

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; [36] 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.”[37] In 2013 she appeared in an episode of the CBS television series Elementary.[36][38]

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.[39] She also performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Orchestra at Temple Square, and the Bells on Temple Square for the annual Christmas Concerts of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in December (2015), broadcast on PBS.[40] On July 4, 2017, she performed in PBS’ A Capitol Fourth, which was broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.[41]

Theatre Credits[edit]

Broadway & Off-Broadway
Year Title Theatre Role Notes
2007-2008 Grease Sandy Brooks Atkinson Theatre Broadway
2008 Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth Bennett Eastman Theatre New York Concert
2008-2009 South Pacific Nellie Forbush Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater Broadway
2009 Bonnie and Clyde Bonnie Parker La Jolla Playhouse La Jolla
2010 Bonnie and Clyde Bonnie Parker Asolo Repertory Theatre Sarasota
2011 Anything Goes Hope Harcourt Stephen Sondheim Theatre Broadway
2011 Bonnie and Clyde Bonnie Parker Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre Broadway
2012 The Sound of Music Maria Von Trapp Carnegie Hall New York Concert
2012 Pipe Dream Suzy Encores! New York Concert
2013-2014 Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella Cinderella Broadway Theatre Broadway
2014 Threepenny Opera Polly Peachum Atlantic Theater Company Off-Broadway
2014 The Band Wagon Gabriella Encores! New York Concert
2015 Carousel Julie Jordan Civic Opera House Chicago
2015 Bandstand Julia Trojan Paper Mill Playhouse New Jersey
2017 Crazy For You Polly Baker David Geffen Hall New York Concert
2017 Bandstand Julia Trojan Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre Broadway
2018 On The Town Claire DeLoone Symphony Hall Boston Concert
2018 Show Boat Magnolia Hawkes County Bucks Playhouse Philadelphia Concert


Cast Recordings
Year Title Music & Lyrics Role
2007 Grease Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey  Sandy Dumbrowski 
2010  Pride and Prejudice (Demo)   Amanda Jacobs, Lindsay Warren Baker   Elizabeth Bennet 
2011  Bonnie & Clyde (Demo)   Lyrics by Don Black, Music by Frank Wildhorn   Bonnie Parker 
2011 Anything Goes Cole Porter  Hope Harcourt 
2012  Bonnie & Clyde  Lyrics by Don Black, Music by Frank Wildhorn   Bonnie Parker 
2012  Encores! Pipe Dream (Live Recording)  Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II   Suzy 
2013  Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella[42]  Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II   Ella 
2017  Bandstand  Music by Richard Oberacker, Lyrics by Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor   Julia Trojan 
Year Title Main Artist Contribution
2007 Carols for a Cure, Vol. 7  Holiday songs; sold to benefit BC/EFA   “Jolly Old St. Nicholas/Up on the Housetop” with Grease cast 
2009 Untitled (Demo)  Kait Kerrigan, Brian Lowdermilk   “How to Return Home” 
2010   What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up   Scott Alan “Easy”
2011 Our First Mistake  Kait Kerrigan, Brian Lowdermilk  “My Heart is Split” with Meghann Fahy
2012 Scott Alan: Live Scott Alan “Now”
2013 K-L Live  Kait Kerrigan, Brian Lowdermilk  “The Girl Who Drove Away”
2013 Carols for a Cure, Vol. 15  Holiday songs; sold to benefit BC/EFA   “Happy Christmas, Little Friend” with Santino Fontana & Ann Harada 
2014 Songs of Daniel and Laura Curtis Daniel and Laura Curtis “When You Smile”
2016 Hallelujah! Mormon Tabernacle Choir “Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful”, “Do You Hear What I Hear?”, “The Secret of Christmas”, “Christmas Bell Fantasy”, “Angels from the Realms of Glory”
Solo Albums
Year Title Notes
2012 Dream a Little Dream: Live at the Cafe Carlyle Featuring Jeremy Jordan, Tom Wopat and husband Nathan Johnson
2013 If I Tell You (Songs of Maury Yeston)[43] Based on Osnes’ 2012 Maury Yeston concert at 54 Below

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Category Production Result
2003 Star Tribune Theatre Award Outstanding Youth Performer of the Year The Wizard of Oz Won
2009 San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Lead Performance in a Musical Bonnie & Clyde 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
2017 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Bandstand Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated Audience Award Favorite Leading Actress in a Musical Nominated
Favorite Diva Performance Nominated
Favorite Onstage Pair (with co-star Corey Cott) Nominated
Actress (12 credits)
  Between the Black (Short)
 2013 Minute Motivations (TV Series)

Holiday Special (2013)
 2013 Elementary (TV Series)
Celia Carroll

We Are Everyone (2013) … Celia Carroll
 2012-2013 City of Dreams (TV Series)
Laura Osnes

The Ballad of Ofagina (2013) … Laura Osnes
Unexpected Song (2012) … Laura Osnes
 2013 Team Umizoomi (TV Series)
Sunny the Sunshine Fairy

The Sunshine Fairy (2013) … Sunny the Sunshine Fairy (voice)
 2013 Downton Abbey at 54 Below: Season 4, Episode 1 Sneak Peak (Short)
Jessica Brown Findlay (Lady Sybil Crawley)
 2013 Late Show with David Letterman (TV Series)

#20.125 (2013) … Cinderella
 2012 Pzazz 101 (TV Series)

With One Look (2012) … Laura
 2011 The Miraculous Year (TV Movie)
 2010 Etta, Kit, and Grace (Video short)
Miss. Grace

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