The two-time Tony Award nominee with no website of her own laughs embarrassingly about an over-the-top fan site that presents her as a New York vocal sensation as sizzling as the Big Apple itself.
“Actually, it’s very sweet that someone would have the time and want do that,” said Broadway singer Laura Osnes about laura-osnes.com, full of striking portraits, newsy notes, current projects and other information.
Make no mistake, the 29-year-old Osnes reigns indeed as a sensation.
Enough to star in Broadway’s “Cinderella,” “Bonnie and Clyde” and “Grease,” among others.
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Enough to have wowed audiences and crusty critics alike during a two-week solo show run at Manhattan’s legendary Café Carlyle four years ago — an engagement that spawned one of her two discs “Dream a Little Dream: Live At the Café Carlyle.”
Osnes’ latest solo show comes to the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic’s Cabaret at The Commons series at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. When she spoke by phone from the New York apartment she shares with husband, Nathan, and their chihuahua mix, Lyla, she still sought finishing touches to a 55-minute performance that she expects to highlight theatrical music. Previous shows have included some pop and other tinges — and fairly successfully.
The New York Times, after Osnes’ cabaret debut, hailed her as “the new Julie Andrews.”
“I was a little trepidatious at first (about cabaret),” she said, adding that this newest presentation represents a mix of her three previous solo installments.
“The cool thing about cabaret is that people can see the real Laura. It’s not about actually being Nellie Forbush singing ‘Wonderful Guy’ (in “South Pacific,” which she did). Obviously, I’m not in costume with this, so I feel like I’m giving an audience the story behind it and what that particular song means to me.”
Other than having a pianist and maybe a bass player with her, cabaret performances put her front and center.
“You certainly don’t have anything to hide behind,” she said. “You don’t have the advantages of lighting or costumes or sets. I’ve had to learn to trust that I’m enough.”
The local series, launched last year, has drawn 215 to a sold-out 400 people in a setting larger than most club shows — but one that earned positive feedback from performers. The show concept and lineup itself has gotten rave reviews, according to Philharmonic executive director Margaret Powers.
One ticket buyer told Powers, “It’s such a great opportunity to see top-notch talent — and five minutes later, we still can be at home.”
Osnes understands that people who have seen her success might not fully understand that she still can relate to struggle and rejection in a hardscrabble show business.
“Are you kidding?” she asked with a laugh. “I did a whole cabaret show of songs from shows where I made it to a final callback and didn’t get booked.”
On a personal note, the Minnesota native mentioned she will mark her 30th birthday while remaining in Columbus on Thursday for a master class on vocal basics for choral students at Columbus North High School. A master class involves an expert teaching developing students of a discipline or field.
But Osnes said she feels like more than a teacher, especially before a young audience, and especially before females, since she feels she’s cast as a role model.
“It’s a wonderful responsibility to be in a wonderful place of influence,” she said.
Who: Tony Award nominee Laura Osnes’ 55-minute solo show as part of the Cabaret at The Commons series.
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Where: The Commons, 300 Washington St. in Columbus.
Tickets: $15, $30 and $50, available at thecip.org or 812-376-2638, ext. 1.