Laura Osnes, left, and Santino Fontana in "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella."

As he geared up to watch the Tony Awards ceremony on Sunday, Children’s Theatre artistic director Peter Brosius beamed with pride over Burnsville-born nominee Laura Osnes, who was up for the Tony for her performance of the title character in “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.”

Osnes, an Eagan High School graduate, has a deep history of stage work in the Twin Cities, including at the Children’s Theatre, where her many roles included Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.”

“She brought her gorgeous voice and unbelievable emotional access to all her characters,” said Brosius. “We feel thrilled to have played a small part in her evolution.”

Brosius recalled that Osnes kissed her husband, Nate Johnson, for first time on the CTC stage when both were cast in “Aladdin.”

Alas, Osnes did not win the Tony for playing the title character in “Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s Cinderella”; “Pippin” star Patina Miller won the trophy.

It was the second trip to the Tony ceremonies as an honoree for Osnes, who was nominated but did not win last year for playing the lead in Frank Wildhorn’s “Bonnie & Clyde.”

There are many Twin Cities connections to the Tonys.

Santino Fontana, a graduate of the inaugural class of the Guthrie Theater/University of Minnesota BFA program, was nominated for playing the prince in “Cinderella” opposite Osnes. He did not win in his first trip as an honoree to the Tonys.

Twin Cities theatergoers will be able to see the work of the some of the Tony winners and nominees in the upcoming season.


Cirque du Soleil's "Amaluna," directed by Diane Paulus

Diane Paulus, the artistic director of the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard who won the Tony for best direction of a musical for “Pippin.” She staged directed Cirque du Soleil’s “Amaluna,” a circus treatment of “The Tempest,” that opens Sept. 26 under the grand chapiteau at the Mall of America.

The Guthrie Theater’s own production of Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” which took the best-play Tony, will be part of the 2013-2014 season. Joel Sass directs the production that opens in July 2014.

Twin Cities connections extended South, to Chicago.Former Guthrie managing director David Hawkanson, who has a similar managerial role at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, stood onstage alongside artistic director Martha Lavey on Sunday as she accepted the tony for best revival of a play. Steppenwolf won for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” whose director, Pam Mackinnon, also won a Tony.

In fact, Chicagoans, who have been celebrating on social media, have reasons to be proud of the Windy City’s theater scene.

Tracy Letts, who won a best play Tony as a playwright for “August: Osage County” in 2008, won an acting Tony on Sunday for his portrayal of George in “Virginia Woolf.”


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