Laura and Santino to Help Launch Bucks County Playhouse’s Inaugural Oscar Hammerstein Festival
Bucks County Playhouse will launch its first-ever Oscar Hammerstein Festival this season, opening with a weekend of events from September 26-28.
Named for the Broadway lyricist behind classic musicals including The King and I, Cinderella, and South Pacific, the festival will inaugurate a musical theater development program, focusing on the importance of lyrics in the creation of new musicals. The Oscar Hammerstein Festival is a yearlong program that offers expert mentorship to early-career composers and lyricists, culminating in a weekend with musical theater experts, artists, and enthusiasts and various events open to the general public.
Patrons can purchase passes to attend the opening weekend events, which will include a special benefit performance on September 27 entitled Getting to Know You: An Enchanted Evening of Oscar Hammerstein II, created and hosted by Ted Chapin, head of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. The concert will star Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana, the original Tony-nominated stars of Broadway’s Cinderella, Mandy Gonzales (In the Heights), and Lewis Cleale (The Book of Mormon), who will offer a musical overview of Hammerstein’s career. Sarna Lapine will direct, with musical direction by Andy Einhorn. The benefit concert will also include the second annual Bucks County Playhouse Hall of Fame induction.
“As a producer of new musicals, I have become increasingly concerned that lyric writing is not getting the attention it deserves,” said Robyn Goodman, Bucks County Playhouse executive producer. “The lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein have stood the test of time and show us how metaphor, poetry and simplicity have been lost in the age of Twitter and texting.”
“Bucks County has a long history as the home to some of the great theatre artists through seven decades, from Mr. Hammerstein to George S. Kaufman, Moss Hart, and currently Christopher Durang,” added Alexander Fraser, BCP’s producing director. “We want to bring a new generation of talented writers together with mentors to inspire them and bring back the art of lyric writing as practiced by the great Oscar Hammerstein.”
For more information about the festival or to purchase a Festival Pass, click here.
Laura and Nathan Attend GenR Annual Summer Party
Laura and Nathan Attend the 4th Annual GenR Summer Party at the James Hotel on July 16th [x4 HQ]
Laura, Santino & More Join New York Philharmonic’s 2014-15 Season
If you’ve been dream casting Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana in more romantic musicals after hearing about the Transport Group’s The Music Man concert, well, you’re in luck. The Broadway duo, as well as The Phantom of the Opera headliner Norm Lewis and Oscar winner Marion Cotillard, have joined the lineup of the New York Philharmonic’s 2014-15 season.
Osnes and Fontana will lead A Broadway Romance on February 14, 2015. The Valentine’s Day concert will feature romantic tunes from scores including West Side Story, She Loves Me, Carousel and Follies. Of course, the duo know how to bring a love story to the stage after both receiving Tony nominations for their performances in Cinderella. The concert will be conducted by Tony winner Ted Sperling.
Lewis will take part in a special New Year’s Eve concert, A Gershwin Celebration. He will join jazz singer Dianne Reeves in performing jazz-inspired selections from the Gershwin songbook. The concert, conducted by Bramwell Tovey, will also feature the composer’s Cuban Overture and Catfish Row, a suite of music from Porgy and Bess (for which Lewis received a Tony nod in 2012).
From June 10 through June 13, 2015, Cotillard will star in the U.S. premiere of Joan of Arc at the Stake, an oratorio by Arthur Honegger. The staged production will be helmed by Côme de Bellescize and conducted by Alan Gilbert. The actress took home an Oscar for portraying Édith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, and also starred in the film adaptation of the musical Nine.
As previously announced, the New York Philharmonic will also present a semi-staged production of Showboat from November 5 through November 8. Broadway alums Vanessa Williams, Julian Ovenden and Lauren Worsham are set to star.
Bryce Pinkham, Adriane Lenox, Laura Osnes, Lisa O’Hare and Lauren Worsham Will Sing Their Heart Out
Tony nominee Bryce Pinkham, who co-stars in the Tony-winning A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, will host Broadway Sings Its Heart Out July 28 at Joe’s Pub.
The 7 PM concert will benefit Zara Aina, the organization founded by Pinkham and Lucas Rooney that offers children in Madagascar “the tools to succeed as students and story tellers by delivering school supplies to their villages and producing their original works of theatre.”
The evening will feature the talents of Tony winner Adriane Lenox, Laura Osnes, Jacob Ming-Trent, Kate Schutt, Griffin Matthews, Matt Gould, the cast of Witness Uganda and Pinkham’s Gentleman’s Guide co-stars Lisa O’Hare and Lauren Worsham.
A VIP reception will kick off the evening at 6 PM; doors for the performance will open at 6:30 PM.
Tickets, priced $100 and $250, are available via Publictheater.org or by calling (212) 967-7555. (All proceeds will benefit Zara Aina. Donors can also make a tax-deductible donation to Zara Aina through its fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas, or donate directly through its website, www.zaraaina.org.)
Laura & Santino to Star in The Music Man Concert
A dream role come true! Laura Osnes will reunite with her princely Cinderella costar Santino Fontana for the Transport Group’s concert presentation of The Music Man on August 11. Guys, we all totally called this one. The one-night-only event, helmed by artistic director Jack Cummings III, will play the Irene Diamond Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center.
The two will be joined by Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Alexandra Silber, Mary Testa, Jill Paice, Heather Mac Rae, Jeffry Denman, Stanley Bahorek, David Greenspan and D.C. Anderson. Complete casting will be announced at a later time.
Osnes made her Broadway debut in Grease, and his since starred in South Pacific, Anything Goes, Bonnie and Clyde and Cinderella. She also appeared in the off-Broadway revival of The Threepenny Opera and the Encores! concert production of Faust earlier this year. Fontana most recently starred on Broadway in Act One; his additional credits include Cinderella, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Billy Elliot and Sunday in the Park with George. On screen, his voice can be heard in Frozen.
The Music Man features music and lyrics by Meredith Willson and a book by Willson and Franklin Lacey. It centers on Harold Hill, a traveling con man who poses as a band leader—despite not knowing the first thing about playing an instrument. Marian Paroo, the town librarian, sees through his act, but as the two fall in love, Hill risks being revealed as a fraud. The musical includes such famous songs as “Good Night My Someone,” “Seventy-Six Trombones,” “Gary, Indiana,” “Shipoopi” and “Til There Was You.”
In previous years, the Transport Group has staged concert productions of Once Upon a Mattress and Baby.
Laura to Release New Single ‘When You Smile’, 8/10
Two-time Tony Nominated Actress, Laura Osnes will release the new single, ‘When You Smile’, on August 10th.
The song was written especially for Laura by writing duo Daniel and Laura Curtis, whose last album ‘Love on 42nd Street’ featuring performers such as Lea Salonga, Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo topped the iTunes Vocal Chart and Amazon Broadway chart.
Daniel Curtis said, “From the moment we first heard Laura Osnes sing we were so keen to write a song for her. As with the majority of our music we like to write specifically for a voice and with Laura we were inspired to write something that could have come out of the 1950′s musical era. It has been such privelege to work with her on this song.”
Laura Osnes made her Broadway debut playing Sandy in Grease with the reality show ‘You’re The One That I Want!’ She then went on to take over the role of Nellie Forbush from Kelli O’Hara in South Pacific, starred in the Tony-winning revival of Anything Goes, and earned Tony Award nominations for both title characters in Bonnie and Clyde and Cinderella as well as winning the Drama Desk Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical for Cinderella.
Michael Cerveris & Laura Osnes Star in Faust at Encores!
Tony winner Michael Cerveris and Tony nominee Laura Osnes will star for one-night-only in Encores! Off-Center’s Randy Newman’s Faust. As previously reported, Grammy, Oscar and Emmy award winner Newman will play the Devil in the concert at the New York City Center’s Mainstage on July 1. The show will be directed by Thomas Kail and choreographed by Marcos Santana.
Along with Cerveris (Assassins) as Angel Rick, Osnes (Cinderella) as Margaret and Newman, the production’s cast will also include Isaiah Johnson (Peter and the Starcatcher) as Lord, Vonda Shepard (TV’s Ally McBeal) as Martha, Brooklyn Shuck as Angel Child, Tony Vincent (Jesus Christ Superstar) as Henry Faust and Broadway Inspirational Voices.
A darkly comic modern-day take on the Faust story, Randy Newman’s Faust was first seen in 1993. In Newman’s retelling, God and the Devil fight for the soul of Henry Faust, a student at the University of Notre Dame. The musical played at both San Diego’s La Jolia Playhouse and Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, as well as being released as an album with Newman as the Devil, James Taylor as Lord, Don Henley as Henry Faust, Elton John as Angel Rick, Linda Ronstadt as Margaret and Bonnie Raitt as Martha.