Broadway star Laura Osnes, a Tony and Drama Desk Award-nominated actress whose starring role as Sandy in “Grease” impressed crowds, will be hopelessly devoted to putting on a great show at the University of Findlay as the September Donnell Broadway Concert Series Guest Artist. Accompanying her on piano will be award-winning Broadway musician Phil Reno.
The concert will take place Sunday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Winebrenner Building. Tickets are $30 for adults, $27 for senior citizens, and $10 for non-UF students. They can be purchased at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts’ box office at 200 W. Main Cross St., or online at www.mcpa.org. Admission will be free for UF students, faculty, and staff with a valid University ID.
Osnes’ Broadway debut was as Sandy in the 2007 “Grease” revival. She earned the role by winning the most viewer votes cast during the run of the NBC reality series “Grease: You’re the One that I Want.” She has since performed leading roles in recent revivals of “South Pacific” and “Anything Goes,” as well as “Bonnie and Clyde,” for which she received her first Tony Award nomination for best actress in a musical. She went on to play the title role in the 2013 Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” which earned her a second Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award nomination for best actress in a musical.
The Minnesota native and professed Christian most recently appeared on Broadway in the 2017 musical “Bandstand.”
After “Grease,” Osnes starred in the 2008 Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ “Broadway: Three Generations,” a three-act evening featuring condensed versions of “Girl Crazy,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” and “Side Show.” Subsequent off-Broadway performances have included “Pride and Prejudice” presented in 2008 at the Eastman Theatre in Rochester, New York; the “Rock Tenow Showcase” at the Florence Gould Hall in Manhattan; and Dreamlight Theatre Company’s “Bright Lights” concert series in January, titled “A Night with The Ladies.”
Her major film debut was in the Hallmark movie, “The Key of Love,” which was released this summer. She also played Shirley MacLain in the FX mini-series “Fosse/Verdon,” broadcast in April, which detailed the professional and personal relationship between director-choreographer Bob Fosse and actress and dancer Gwen Verdon.
Osnes is also the cofounder of The Broadway Princess Party, a well-reviewed roadshow that features iconic princess songs, and shares hilarious and heartfelt stories of their royal antics backstage, on stage, and beyond.
Osnes’ piano accompanist for this concert will be Phil Reno. Originally from Tiffin, Ohio, he is the musical director and vocal arranger for the smash hit, “Something Rotten!,” a Tony Award-nominated musical comedy that opened on Broadway in 2015. Reno received two Grammy nominations for his work on the “Something Rotten!” cast recording. His first Grammy nomination was for the cast recording of “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Reno’s other Broadway work has included “The Producers,” “Promises Promises,” “Though Shalt Not,” “Cats,” and “Dame Edna: The Royal Tour.” He has also contributed orchestrations for the television show, “Broadway Under the Stars,” and the film adaptation of “The Producers.”
Thomas ’70 and Kathleen Donnell established the Thomas and Kathleen Donnell Broadway Concert Series Endowment Fund in conjunction with the University of Findlay’s Give Voice to your Values campaign.
The Donnell Broadway Concert Series invites noted Broadway artists to visit campus each academic year in the fall and spring. The series provides in-concert entertainment for students and community members, as well as opportunities for UF musical theatre students to learn from accomplished professionals in master classes.
University of Findlay music professor emeritus Micheal Anders, Ph.D., organizes each concert series.