Woman Crush Wednesday: Laura Osnes

In our Woman Crush Wednesday series, we will feature a woman whom we are fans of and admire. In our third installment, we’re featuring Broadway performer Laura Osnes, who celebrated her 34th birthday yesterday!

Who is our WCW?

Laura Osnes is an American  actress, singer, and dancer best known for originating the role of Ella in the original Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. She competed on the reality television show Grease: You’re the One That I Want!, winning the competition and the female lead role of “Sandy” in the 2007 Broadway revival of Grease. She made her Broadway debut in that musical and went on to originate two other roles on Broadway: Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde and Julia Trojan in Bandstand. Continue reading

Man Crush Monday: Aaron Tveit

In our Man Crush Monday series, we will feature a man whom we are fans of and admire. In our second installment, we’re featuring Broadway, film, and TV actor Aaron Tveit, who celebrates his birthday today!

Who is our MCM?

Aaron Tveit is an American actor and singer who is best known for portraying Tripp van der Bilt on Gossip Girl and Danny Zuko in FOX’s Grease Live. He made his Broadway debut as Link Larkin in Hairspray, replacing Matthew Morrison in the male lead role in 2006. Aaron remained on Broadway for the next few years as Fiyero in Wicked and originated the roles of Gabe in Next to Normal and Frank Abagnale, Jr. in Catch Me If You Can before focusing on TV and film in the 2010s.

The Ithaca College alumnus has had major TV roles as Mike Warren in USA’s Graceland and Gareth Ritter in CBS’s Braindead. He has also been in a plethora of movies, but his biggest and most notable film role was Enjolras in the 2012 film adaptation of Les Miserables, starring Hugh Jackman.

After nearly a decade, Aaron recently returned to Broadway, currently starring in Moulin Rouge! as Christian. He has been involved with the musical adaptation of the 2001 film since participating in the developmental lab in November 2017.

How did we discover him?

Considering we weren’t Broadway or musical theatre fans in the 2000s beyond High School Musical, we discovered Aaron like many other non-theatre kids/fans our age: through Gossip Girl. To us, he will forever be Tripp van der Bilt―although that’s certainly not our favorite role of his. We didn’t even know of his vocal abilities to begin with, which is honestly a shame. Sometime between Gossip Girl and the announcement of his casting in Grease Live!, we learned he could sing (and sing well). So when we watched Grease Live! we were formally introduced to the triple threat who is Aaron Tveit.

Honestly, we didn’t really follow his career until recently, though. As relatively new Broadway fans who knew of Aaron before watching any Broadway show, we of course had to go back to watch and listen to his previous Broadway performances and concerts. But his recent return to the Great White Way is what caught our attention now that we have an appreciation for musical theatre in addition to his talents.

Our Aaron Tveit Favorites

Favorite role:

  • Amanda: If Mike Warren ever sang, I might choose Mike Warren because he’s a compelling character that I found to be different from other roles Aaron’s done. But I really love his singing, so since Mike Warren didn’t sing, I’m going to have to choose Enjolras. Enjolras knows what he’s passionate about and isn’t afraid to go after it and work for it. Plus, he’s a bit sassy, which is fun.
  • Ashley: I jokingly want to say my favorite role that Aaron has done is when he played a former basketball player on an episode of Law & Order: SVU. But because I feel my favorite role of his has to be one in which he sings, I have to pick Enjolras. He’s a natural leader who’s respected by his peers and is dedicated to the fight.

Favorite song:

  • Amanda: “El Tango de Roxanne” from Moulin Rouge! The Musical

  • Ashley: “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story from “The Radio in My Head” concert

Favorite thing about Aaron:

  • Amanda: This is almost always a difficult question when we do these, but for some reason, it’s been the hardest for Aaron. I’d have to say my favorite thing about him is how chill and low key he is. In this recent article with Variety, it mentions he “tries to keep a low profile” pretty much whenever he isn’t working, opting to spend his free time watching golf or Netflix. I respect and admire that. And as a socially anxious introvert, I relate to that and would much rather spend and enjoy my time doing something chill like watching TV or read a book than go out somewhere. It makes him give off a very laid-back relaxed vibe that’s enticing.
  • Ashley: If I had more time to think about this answer, I, like Amanda, would probably say something more serious and meaningful. But, for now, I’ll just say I’m glad Aaron is a fellow LeBron James fan. Basketball is a huge part of who I am, and LeBron is one of the players who got me hooked on the game, so knowing about other LeBron fans is always great. It’s even better when a fellow fan is a Broadway performer, because then it’s my two main interests colliding, and I love that.

Favorite Instagram post from Aaron:

  • Amanda: I mean, it’s a picture of Aaron with a dog! It doesn’t get much better than that!

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My. Dude. #nationalpuppyday

A post shared by A A R O N T V E I T (@aarontveit) on

  • Ashley: I love basketball and Broadway. This post is the combination of these two, so how could it not be my favorite Instagram post of his?

Woman Crush Wednesday: Stephanie Styles

In our Woman Crush Wednesday series, we will feature a woman whom we are fans of and admire. In our second installment, we’re featuring Broadway actress Stephanie Styles, who recently celebrated her birthday!

Who is our WCW?

Stephanie Styles is an American actress, singer, and dancer best known for portraying the role of Katherine Plumber in the first North American tour of Disney’s Newsies. She made her Broadway debut earlier this year as Lois Lane/Bianca in Roundabout’s revival of Kiss, Me Kate and had roles in Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart and in Netflix’s Bonding. Continue reading

Dance Adventures: Our Favorite Male Dancers

Last week, Good Morning America host Lara Spencer became the news story instead of being the news reporter after she laughed at Prince George for taking and loving ballet. This immediately sparked outrage, especially among the dance and Broadway community and fandoms. As dance and musical theatre fans ourselves, we also found her comments to be offensive, insincere, and straight up rude. We are firm believers that dance is for everyone, so teasing boys for dancing―especially coming from a grown adult―is unacceptable.

Most of our favorite dancers are guys, so we are aware of the sheer talent and strength boys and men bring to dance. But this isn’t even about dance. This is about teasing someone for doing what they love, and that’s simply wrong, especially when you’re targeting an innocent child. Thankfully, Spencer has since apologized for her actions, and the dance community has used this as an educational moment to teach and show the world that dance is for everyone.

In light of these recent events, we want to show extra love, support, and appreciation for some of our favorite male dancers. Continue reading

Testing My Twin: Bandstand Edition

Two years ago today, we watched Bandstand on Broadway. It is one of our favorite musicals and has played a key role in furthering our interest in musical theatre. However, Bandstand is Ashley’s all-time favorite musical, so her knowledge of the show is more extensive. She was curious about how well Amanda knew the show. So, in honor of our Bandstand-iversary, Ashley quizzed Amanda on how well she knows Bandstand.

Man Crush Monday: Corey Cott

In our Man Crush Monday series, we will feature a man whom we are fans of and admire. In our first installment, we’re featuring one of our favorite Broadway performers, Corey Cott.

Who is our MCM?

Corey Cott is an American actor and singer from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, who is best known for portraying Jack Kelly in Disney’s Newsies the Musical on Broadway.

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Santa Fe from my Broadway Debut.

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After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in spring 2012, he joined Newsies as the Jack Kelly alternate and, in September, replaced Jeremy Jordan, Broadway’s original Jack Kelly. Corey remained in the role until Newsies closed on Broadway in August 2014.

Corey is also known for originating the role of Donny Novitski, a pianist/songwriter and World War II veteran, in Bandstand on Broadway, which opened in April 2017 and closed in September 2017. To portray Donny more authentically, he even learned to play piano for the show’s Broadway run.

Continue reading

Broadway Adventures: Our Favorite Broadway Princess Party Performances

Once upon a time in Midtown Manhattan, Princess Laura Osnes and her Fairy Godfairy Ben Rauhala invited their royal friends to gather and sing princess songs, celebrating the inaugural Broadway Princess Party. Little did they know they had just created a magical event that would bring them new adventures and a growing Princess Posse.

In the four years since that evening, the Princess Posse has ventured outside of New York, bringing magic to places all across the country.

Adam Jacobs (Broadway’s original Aladdin), Courtney Reed (Broadway’s original Princess Jasmine), Susan Egan (Broadway’s original Belle), Ashley, Amanda, Laura Osnes (Broadway’s original Cinderella), and Ben Rauhala (Fairy Godfairy)

We had the honor of attending a Broadway Princess Party last year in Schaumburg, Illinois, at Princess Courtney Reed’s homecoming show. Since then, our love for BPP and its royal family has only grown. We often find ourselves reminiscing about our experience with the show and enjoy watching the various BPP performances posted online.

In honor of BPP’s royal anniversary, we’re recalling some of our favorite performances.

Continue reading

Woman Crush Wednesday: Courtney Reed

In our Woman Crush Wednesday series, we will feature a woman whom we are fans of and admire. In our first installment, we’re featuring Broadway actress Courtney Reed, who recently celebrated her birthday!

Who is our WCW?

Courtney Reed is an American actress, singer, and dancer best known for originating the role of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin the Musical on Broadway. She was Jasmine on Broadway from February 2014 to  January 2018 and had been in the role since its initial staging in Seattle in 2011. Before Aladdin, she made her Broadway debut as an the ensemble member and understudy in Mamma Mia!. She later took on the roles of Carla, Nina, and Vanessa in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights. Continue reading

Broadway Adventures: Trouble and Trombone Dreams at ‘The Music Man’

Amanda and Ashley in front of the Goodman Theatre's "The Music Man" photo backdrop

Not long ago, the only things we really knew about The Music Man was the song “76 Trombones” and that its story centered around a con-artist traveling salesman. We had never heard “76 Trombones” in full, and we had never watched the movie either. But when we learned that Geoff Packard (who would get to continue the trombone dreams—more on this later) would be starring in The Music Man at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, we were sold and decided to finally see what the show had to offer.

We first watched Geoff perform two years ago when he portrayed Wayne Wright in the Broadway musical BandstandBandstand is one of our all-time favorite musicals, and Geoff did a tremendous job in the show. Knowing this, we didn’t want to miss out on what would surely be another great performance by him, nor did we want to miss out on an opportunity to support him while he’d be in our area.

Goodman’s production of the show began previews in late June, opened in July, and had its run extended TWICE. We chose to go Tuesday, August 6—just days after its original closing date of August 4. Continue reading