Laura Osnes parlays reality TV win into successful Broadway career

By all accounts Laura Osnes is not just a ‘flash in the pan.’ This weekend the actress took to the Broadway stage in the starring role of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.

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Laura Osnes in the title role of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”

Photo by Carol Rosegg

Born and raised in the Twin Cities suburbs, Osnes has long been involved in musical theater, playing numerous roles throughout her youth at Eagan High School, Children’s Theatre Company, and Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.

But as Jeff Lunden report for National Public Radio, Osnes got her big break through a reality TV show called “Grease: You’re the One that I Want.” As the winner she got to star in the Broadway production.


“I let the whole Grease experience be a springboard for me,” Osnes says. “I wanted to use the exposure I got from that very wisely, to continue a successful career. It’s taken a lot of work and perseverance.”

It’s paid off. With Cinderella, Osnes will be playing her fifth lead role on Broadway in six years.

Ted Chapin, president of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, says coming to Broadway from a reality TV show was not a “terribly welcoming circumstance.”

“We don’t like to be told by television audiences — well, maybe now with American Idol we can be,” he says. “But for Laura to have come to this town in the lead in that Grease production, and then to have turned out to be the real deal is what’s so surprising, delightful and wonderful for all of us.”

Director Kathleen Marshall compares Osnes to such Broadway greats Shirley Jones and Barbara Cook.

You can read the full NPR story here.

In addition, Osnes was back home in the Twin Cities last year, and sat down for this interview at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.