Laura Osnes & Santino Fontana Set for A BROADWAY ROMANCE Valentine's Day Concert with New York Philharmonic
Ted Sperling will conduct the New York Philharmonic and vocalists Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana in A Broadway Romance, a one-night-only Valentine's Day concert, Saturday, February 14, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. The program will feature songs from popular musicals ranging from Bernstein's West Side Story and Gershwin's Girl Crazy to Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel and Stephen Sondheim's Company, woven together to tell a unified narrative of a romance from beginning to end, from meeting to first date to falling in love to marriage.
Ted Sperling led the Philharmonic in a similar program, Broadway Night with the Philharmonic, during its July 2013 Bravo! Vail residency, with vocalists Betsey Wolfe and Andrew Samonsky. During the following summer's residency, Mr. Sperling led the Philharmonic with Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana - who starred together on Broadway in Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella - as well as Christine Ebersole in Broadway Night with the Philharmonic: The Music of Frank Loesser. Ted Sperling most recently appeared with the Philharmonic conducting and directing its semi-staged production of Kern & Hammerstein's Show Boat, in November 2014.
Ted Sperling's recent collaborations with the New York Philharmonic include Show Boat in November 2014; Broadway Night with the Philharmonic at Bravo! Vail in July 2013; An Enchanted Evening with Paulo Szot, the 2013 Spring Gala; and Anywhere I Wander: The Frank Loesser Songbook, the 2012 Spring Gala. He conducted Brian Stokes Mitchell in the original Broadway productions of Kiss of the Spider Woman and Ragtime. Mr. Sperling was recently appointed the artistic director of the Collegiate Chorale; he has led the chorale in performances of The Firebrand of Florence, The Grapes of Wrath, The Mikado, and Song of Norway, all at Carnegie Hall. This season he will also be performing with the Chicago, Pittsburgh, Westchester, Phoenix, and Detroit symphony orchestras, as well as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. As a regular guest at 92nd Street Y's Lyrics and Lyricists series, Mr. Sperling hosted a program about Fanny Brice in May 2014. He has frequently worked with Victoria Clark, Deborah Voigt, Audra McDonald, Nathan Gunn, Paulo Szot, Kelli O'Hara, and Vanessa Williams. Mr. Sperling won the 2005 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his orchestrations of The Light in the Piazza, for which he was also music director. Other Broadway credits include the Tony Award-winning revival of South Pacific, Guys and Dolls, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Full Monty, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Angels in America, My Favorite Year, Drood, Les Mise?rables, and Sunday in the Park with George. Ted Sperling was an original cast member of the Broadway musical Titanic, playing bandleader Wallace Hartley. His Off-Broadway credits include A Man of No Importance, Wise Guys, A New Brain, Saturn Returns, Floyd Collins, Falsettoland, and Romance in Hard Times. Mr. Sperling's directing credits include the World Premieres of The Other Josh Cohen, See What I Wanna See, Charlotte: Life? Or Theater?, and Striking 12, as well as a revival of Lady in the Dark. For the Public Theater, he directed gala performances of The Pirates of Penzance with Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, Martin Short, and Eric Idle, and Cabaret with Anne Hathaway, Harvey Feierstein, Linda Lavin, Rau?l Esparza, and Eddie Redmayne. He has conducted the scores for the films The Manchurian Candidate and Everything Is Illuminated, and directed the short film Love Mom, starring Tonya Pinkins. He is creative director of the 24 Hour Musicals and a consultant to the Public Theater.
Laura Osnes was most recently seen on Broadway as the title role in Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella (Drama Desk Award; Tony, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama League Award nominations). She also starred in Frank Wildhorn's Bonnie and Clyde (Tony Award nomination), creating the role of Bonnie at Asolo Repertory Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse (San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award). She appeared as Hope Harcourt in the Tony-winning revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Astaire Award nominations), Nellie Forbush in Lincoln Center's production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific, and in her Broadway debut as Sandy in the most recent revival of Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey's Grease. Other New York credits include Weill's The Threepenny Opera (Drama Desk Award nomination), directed by Martha Clarke at the Atlantic Theater Company; Encores! Productions of Arthur Schwartz's The Band Wagon, Randy Newman's Faust, and Rodgers & Hammerstein's Pipe Dream; and a one-night-only concert of The Sound of Music at Carnegie Hall. On television, Ms. Osnes has been seen on the CBS series Elementary, in the HBO pilot The Miraculous Year (written by John Logan and directed by Kathryn Bigelow), HBO's documentary Six by Sondheim, and the Kennedy Center Honors salutes to Barbara Cook (2011) and Dustin Hoffman (2012). Her many concerts and cabarets include performing with Michael Feinstein, the New York Pops, and the Pasadena Pops and appearing in such venues as Carnegie Hall, The Cafe? Carlyle, 54 Below, NJPAC, Las Vegas Smith Center, and the Los Angeles County Arboretum. In addition to being heard on several cast recordings, Laura Osnes has two solo albums, Dream a Little Dream: Live at The Cafe? Carlyle and If I Tell You: The Songs of Maury Yeston. Ms. Osnes's gowns are provided by Dennis Basso. Laura Osnes has previously appeared with the New York Philharmonic as part of SONDHEIM: The Birthday Concert (also aired on PBS) in 2010, and concert celebrating Frank Loesser during the Orchestra's Bravo! Vail residency in July 2014.
Santino Fontana was nominated for a 2013 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for his work in Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella. He was most recently seen as Moss Hart in Act One at Lincoln Center Theater. Other Broadway appearances include Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest (Clarence Derwent Award), Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs (Drama Desk Award), Elton John's Billy Elliot, and Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George. Off-Broadway he appeared in Stephen Karam's Sons of the Prophet at the Roundabout Theatre (Lucille Lortel and Obie Awards) and Harvey Schmidt's The Fantasticks, as well as Andrew Grosso and The Essentials' Perfect Harmony, for which Mr. Fontana served as co-writer. For television, Mr. Fontana recently wrapped filming for Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle, and co-stars in Showtime's upcoming Crazy Ex Girlfriend. His other television credits include The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie, A Gifted Man, Royal Pains, and Made in Jersey. On film, Mr. Fontana will star in the upcoming Universal film The Nest alongside Tina Fey and Amy Poehler; he also appeared in Disney's Frozen, Paramount's Jack Ryan, and Nancy, Please (Tribeca Film Festival 2012). He has also appeared on the web series Submissions Only. After graduating from the Guthrie/University of Minnesota's Actor Training Program, Santino Fontana played the title role in Hamlet at the Guthrie at age 23. He previously appeared with the Philharmonic during its Bravo! Vail residency in July 2014, in a program celebrating the work of Frank Loesser conducted by Ted Sperling.
Photo by Walter McBride