Review: ‘Michael Feinstein Presents Laura Osnes’ at AMP by Strathmore

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DC-based Broadway lovers rejoice: Michael Feinstein, reigning king of the Great American Songbook, is bringing his signature cabaret-style show to the DC region. Feinstein has partnered with Strathmore to curate a series of one-night performances by some of Broadway’s rising stars.

The series kicked off this week with a performance by two-time Tony Award nominee Laura Osnes. Osnes has starred on Broadway in Bonnie and Clyde (Tony nomination), Cinderella, (Tony nomination), and most recently Bandstand. She is set to return to Broadway later this year in a Susan Stroman helmed revival of Gershwin’s Crazy for You.

Laura Osnes. Photo courtesy of Strathmore.
Laura Osnes. Photo courtesy of Strathmore.

Osnes delighted a packed house with eighteen songs, mostly from shows she has appeared in. Her voice is especially well-suited for Rodgers and Hammerstein compositions and she imbued great emotional resonance to their songs, as well as songs by other heavy-hitting composers including Stephen Sondheim, Lerner and Loewe, George Gershwin and Stephen Schwartz. (See below for a complete song list).

Bandstand fans got a treat when Osnes announced that her co-star from that show, Corey Cott, was actually in the audience (sitting with fellow Broadway alum Krysta Rodriguez). Cott joined Osnes onstage for an adorable version of “Love Is an Open Door” from Frozen. He was a really good sport and had a line of autograph seekers almost as long as Osnes after the performance.

Between the songs, Osnes entertained the audience with stories of her life onstage and off. A gifted story-teller, she took the audience on a light-hearted journey with anecdotes of Broadway stars including Steven Pasquale, Kelli O’Hara and Matthew Morrison, and one gut-wrenching story about losing her mother to breast cancer. 

The show was delightfully punctuated by a trivia contest. Eight quick thinking (and quick catching) fans who matched lyric excerpt to show, got a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup that Osnes lobbed across the performance space. 

The AMP by Strathmore performance space definitely has the feel of Feinstein’s iconic NYC venues. If you are like me and you wish you could spend every night at Feinstein’s/54 Below in NYC, this isn’t a bad Broadway substitute! Especially when Michael Feinstein’s hand-picked talent, like Laura Osnes, graces the floorboards. Stay tuned for news on the next performers in the Feinstein Great American Songbook series.

Michael Feinstein Presents Laura Osnes played one-night-only on Wednesday, February 7th, 2018 at AMP by Strathmore – 11810 Grand Park Avenue, in Bethesda, MD. For information on future AMP by Strathmore shows, go online.

Laura Osnes sang 18 songs that – old or new – can all be argued to belong to the Great American Songbook. They are:

Shimmy Like They Do in Paree/I Want to Go to Hollywood (mashup) Maury Yeston, I Want to Go to Hollywood and Grand Hotel
I Have Confidence, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, The Sound of Music
Born to Entertain, Marvin Laird and Joel Paley, Ruthless! The Musical,
If I Loved You, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Carousel
Wonderful Guy, Rodgers and Hammerstein, South Pacific
Not for the Life of Me, Elmer Bernstein, Thoroughly Modern Millie
Love Is an Open Door, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Frozen
Midnight Princess Mega Medley – Loads of Disney princess songs melded into one incredible mash-up by her pianist and collaborator Benjamin Rauhala
(Trivia Break!)
Someone to Watch Over Me, George and Ira Gershwin, Oh, Kay!
How ‘Bout a Dance?, Frank Wildhorn and Don Black, Bonnie and Clyde
I Could Have Danced All Night, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, My Fair Lady
Green Finch, Stephen Sondheim, Sweeney Todd
Popular, Stephen Schwartz, Wicked
Love Will Come and Find Me Again, Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor, Bandstand
When Somebody Loved Me, Sarah McLachlan
Blue Medley: Shaking the Blues Away/Blue Skies, Irving Berlin
Encore: In My Own Little Corner, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cinderella

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Nicole Hertvik
A reformed child actor, Nicole got her B.A. in English Literature before wandering the globe for a decade, writing and teaching English in Prague, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, and Paris. She eventually landed in NYC where she received a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and dabbled in theater as an actor, script reader and dramaturg. Thrilled by the strong and diverse theater community she discovered in DC, Nicole wakes up every morning excited to contribute to DC Metro Theater Arts. Nicole is currently working on a master's degree in journalism at Georgetown University. Email: nicole@dcmetrotheaterarts.com, Instagram: @nicolehertvik, Twitter: @nicolehertvik, Facebook: Nicole Hertvik.