Today we have part 2 of a special guest blog from Cinderella herself, Laura Osnes, writing about her experiences with Rodgers and Hammerstein. Cinderella makes its Broadway debut this week. The original television cast recording of Cinderella starring Julie Andrews is now available in an eco-friendly softpack as well as part of the Rodgers & Hammerstein – The Complete Broadway Musicals box set.
In March of 2012, I had the unique pleasure of bringing a more unknown RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN leading lady to life in The New York City Center ENCORES! production of Pipe Dream. The original 1955 Broadway production unfortunately flopped, pushing it into near obscurity. For me, this proved to be a rare treat getting to meet my character, Suzy, and discover her voice with hardly a preconceived notion! Set in Monterey, California and based on John Steinbeck’s novel Sweet Thursday, the musical follows the quirky romance between Doc, a marine biologist, and Suzy, a working girl of sorts who bums around from place to place. I have to admit it’s an odd story and even some of the lyrics are a bit ridiculous, but that familiar lilt of Rodgers & Hammerstein still pulses undeniably through every melodic vein of its score. Thanks to the City Center and the supportive RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN Organization, a live cast recording of our production allows these little, otherwise forgotten RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN gems to live on!
Just a month after exploring a completely unfamiliar character in Pipe Dream, I was invited to sing one of the most recognized females in all of musical theater history. That ten-year-old girl who played the third-youngest Von Trapp child in her community theater production of The Sound of Music, now had tears streaming down her face at the opportunity to portray Maria Von Trapp on the stage of Carnegie Hall. I can quite honestly say it was a truly magical night singing such beloved songs as “My Favorite Things,” “Do, Re, Me,” “I Have Confidence” and “The Sound of Music” alongside a lush fifty-nine-piece orchestra. The most memorable moment of all for me was literally confessing the joyful lyrics that ring so true in my being: “My heart will be blessed with the sound of music …”
I am eternally grateful to these two brilliant song writers, whose treasured tunes continue to triumph through the ages! And I’m truly indebted to the loyal team at the RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN Organization for trusting me with so many of their heroines. I am thrilled to partner with them again this spring, humbly stepping into the glass slippers of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. The script has been playfully and wittily rewritten by Douglas Carter Beane, but all the original songs (plus a few additional gems from the RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN repertoire!) remain intact. The gorgeous score still sails, timeless and priceless in its melodies and sentiments. I couldn’t be more excited to sing them and represent this iconic princess for the first time on the Broadway stage.
– Laura Osnes