6 Things of Note from "Frank and Friends"

For those of you that don't know, everyone's favorite whipping boy composer (as of late, I mean), Frank Wildhorn, has been hosting a once-a-month cabaret at the Birdland Jazz Club called "Frank and Friends." Because it does not matter that Wonderland and Bonnie & Clyde were flops - we still remember fondly when Wildhorn had some bizarre, if irresistibly fun shows (yes, they do exist).

Will the genetically gifted please check-in?!
Last night, Frank kicked it up a notch and brought in the big guns - Laura Osnes, Stark Sands and Melissa Van Der Schyff, all of which have been in an incarnation or two of Bonnie & Clyde, joined Constantine Maroulis of the upcoming Jekyll & Hyde revival for...a collection of Wildhorn classics and then some. My girl Ali of BwayNews and I were present for this event because...well duhhh. Here are some things that crossed my mind at one point or another during the evening, because shutting off my brain for 90 minutes is an impossible feat...

The guest list in question is... - actually, not that many people. From what I can spot, Megan Hilty was present, looking wonderful and macking on her boyfriend, while Deborah Cox stepped out to support her fellow costar and composer. As one does, naturally...otherwise, those rehearsals would just be plain awkward (and delicious in a drama sense).

Perfection does exist and it is called Laura Osnes - Honeys, I can't even...she's so flawlessly presented and strikingly-beautiful, it is almost scary in a Stepford Wives kind of way. A purple, strap-less dress showing off her petite and delicate frame, coupled with her full o' fab hair and jewelry...she looked impeccable, she knew it and we all noticed. It is as if a spec of lint or dirt has never graced her person before. I am waiting for the day when a photo of her is released and her face is covered with chocolate while she is wearing sweatpants...you know, like the rest of the human race.

Don't look now, you guys...Osnes is hauling major ass - As if looking like a trillion bucks wasn't enough - because it isn't when you are Laura Osnes - she was on stage far more then her contemporaries creating musical orgasms for ears everywhere. Anyone who has ever heard her sing knows that there is crystal-clear emotion projected in every syllable...and the world is a better place as a result (especially her always amazing rendition of "How 'Bout a Dance"). During a duet between Osnes and Wildhorn - yes, he sang for a bit - he flat-out asked asked her to carry his ass. Hey, you can't fault the guy for having self-awareness. Naturally, she did...and didn't even break a sweat. Pfft, Laura probably doesn't even sweat, you guys...just another day in the life, right Laura?

It's like an ad for teeth whitening
or a dentist office.
Oh look, it's Melissa Van Der Schyff! - I didn't realize how much I missed the gal since I last saw her on Broadway. Her wonderful performance as Blanche Barrow was not lost on me and that got me thinking...she is doing another show soon, right?! Last night, she looked great in a killer black dress and sang her face off, as expected. One of the evening's highlights is when she and Osnes teamed up for "Candle in the Wind" from The Civil War; their combined voices are a textbook definition of harmonious. Also, those girls are just plain lovely...I want to go shopping with them and be their besties.

A Jekyll & Hyde preview anyone!? - I could be wrong, but I think Constantine Maroulis' last outing on Broadway was his Tony-nominated turn in Rock of Ages. If that's the case, then Jekyll & Hyde is a wonderful return trip back because that show is high-camp and cray cray that needs someone willing to commit to the over-the-top antics of a man with two identities. That's a little more demanding then wannabe rocker, but hey, I think he is going to pull it off. And man, can Maroulis bring it vocally - he gave a great rendition of "This is the Moment" and if anything, my interest factor in the show shot up just as he silenced any critics of his casting (which as far as I know, there aren't many).

Pinky Fingers Up because Stark Sands is Classy as Fu** - Much like Maroulis, Sands return to Broadway in the upcoming Kinky Boots, which just had its first rehearsal as it prepares for its out-of-town tryout in Chicago, is a welcome thought. Partially because Stark Sands could read a traffic sign and it would be stellar. Chatting up Stark after the show (after he had just rocked "You Can Do Better Than Him" from Bonnie & Clyde), it was endearing as he gushed over his love for playing Clyde Barrow in an early run of the show and feeling sad about leaving the role behind to go play Tunny in American Idiot's Broadway run. Also endearing was his high praise of Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan, especially when he admitted that he can't sing like the latter...ummm, have you heard you Stark? I know you are an all-american gentleman and everything with your cordial charm and manners, but still...so polite was he, I think I duped myself into going to Chicago for Kinky Boot's debut run. Hey, there aren't many things better then seeing one classy, talented guy lead a Harvey Fierstein/Cyndi Lauper campfest complete with male backup dancers in short-shorts, heels and/or knee-high boots. Except maybe winning the lottery or world domination...

Photo Credit: David Gordon
Photo Credit: Laura Osnes Instagram/Twitter

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