54 Below

Broadway Princess Party

Kelly Ostazeski

Broadway's princesses have been traveling the country for a year now, after sold out engagements in Los Angeles and New York City, these talented singers have begun a tour. I have had the privilege of attending three of their concerts, the most recent of which was the holiday party on December 17 at Sony Hall in New York. I previously attended the concerts at 54 Below in June and New Jersey Performing Arts Center in September.

The Broadway Princess Party was created by Tony Nominee and star of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella on Broadway, Laura Osnes, with musical director Benjamin Rauhala, and now features Grammy nominee Courtney Reed, original Princess Jasmine in Aladdin on Broadway, and Tony Nominee Susan Egan, original Belle on Broadway in Beauty and the Beast, as well as the voice of Meg in the animated movie Hercules.

As a lifelong fan of Disney, princesses, and musicals, this concert sounded like a dream come true. Both concerts at 54Below in June sold out in less than an hour. When the princesses perform in New York City, there are often guest stars. Since the 54Below show happened on a Monday, Christy Altomare (star of Anastasia on Broadway), Liz Callaway (the singing voice of Anastasia in the animated film), Adam Jacobs (the original Aladdin on Broadway), Jeremy Jordan (Newsies), Corey Cott (Newsies), and Derek Klena (the original Dimitry in Anastasia on Broadway) were able to join the party.

The tour was joined by guest star Adam J. Levy, who sings the role of prince whenever the princesses want to do a duet. At Monday's concert at Sony Hall, he joined Reed in singing "A Whole New World" from Aladdin, and Osnes in singing "Love Is an Open Door" from Frozen.

Also on Monday in New York, Liz Callaway, Adam J. Levy, Corey Cott, and new guest princess Stephanie Styles joined. Styles will appear in Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Kiss Me, Kate next year.

If you love Disney, doesn't it sound like the greatest night of your life to hear these iconic songs sung by incredible singers and sometimes the original performers? It truly doesn't get any better than Susan Egan singing "I Won't Say I'm in Love" from Hercules or "Home" from Beauty and the Beast. Or Liz Callaway singing "Once Upon a December" and "Journey to the Past" from Anastasia. (Although if you were lucky enough to attend the June concert at 54 Below, you would've heard the "Journey to the Past" duet by Callaway AND Christy Altomare, which was later released a single.) These two amazing singers are worth the price of admission alone; they sound exactly the same as they did in the movies in 1997.

Courtney Reed sings "These Palace Walls" from Aladdin, and treats us with a story about how Jasmine was always her favorite princess and it's a dream come true that she got to originate the role on Broadway. She also sings an incredible rendition of "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas and "How Far I'll Go" from Moana. At the holiday concert, instead of her Aladdin song, she sang "All I Want for Christmas is You".

Laura Osnes sings an incredible medley of songs from every musical version of Cinderella, including "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" from the animated film, "In My Own Little Corner" from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, "On the Steps of the Palace" from Into the Woods, "Lavender's Blue" from Disney's live action movie, and more...all in one epic song.

Another medley was performed at the holiday concert: Susan Egan sang "Something There" from Beauty and the Beast, Osnes sang "Jingle Bells", and Reed sang "Jingle Bell Rock"...it sounds crazy, but somehow it worked.

Other highlights: Stephanie Styles's impression of Snow White while singing "Someday My Prince Will Come", Corey Cott and Laura Osnes singing "Something To Believe In" from Newsies, the three princesses singing "A Million Dreams" from The Greatest Showman and "Let It Go" as the finale, an incredible guest vocalist singing "Almost There" from The Princess and the Frog, Laura Osnes's power medley of every other princess they had to cut to make time for the Christmas songs (in which she plays Rapunzel, Mulan, Esmeralda, Pocahontas, Aurora, and Ariel all in one song), and Liz Callaway singing "My Grown Up Christmas List".

At every concert, they feature the winner of the Unleash Your Inner Princess contest, where they choose a guest vocalist to be the local princess and perform on stage. In New Jersey, a girl sang "How Far I'll Go" from Moana and at Monday's holiday concert, the winner sang "Almost There" from Princess & the Frog. Both girls were excellent. They also hand out prizes for anyone who comes dressed in cosplay - because who wouldn't want to attend a princess party as a princess?

If these talented vocalists are coming to your area in the near future, and if you love Disney at all, I recommend going. It's an incredible night of music and magic, especially for those who love princesses. The performances I attended were some of the theatrical highlights of my year, and I'm already looking forward to the next time I see them. The VIP meet and greet with the princesses is also worth it!