Laura Osnes, Broadway’s former Cinderella who left an upcoming Hamptons concert event rather than get a Covid vaccine, is no longer a Princess: A Disney concert tour set to begin this fall has replaced Osnes with Christy Altomare, star of Broadway’s Anastasia.
The new casting was confirmed to Deadline by a spokesperson for the Disney Princess – The Concert tour. According to the rep, the multi-city concert tour “will follow Disney Concerts’ COVID-19 safety policy, requiring cast and touring crew to be fully vaccinated, and will adhere to all local health protocols at each tour stop in an effort to maintain a safe concert experience for our patrons, local crews, and the entire touring company.”
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The 85-city U.S. tour was announced in May, with the first leg of the tour then set to star Osnes alongside Susan Egan (‘Belle’ from Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast), Courtney Reed (‘Jasmine’ in Broadway’s Aladdin), and Aisha Jackson (‘Anna’ in Broadway’s Frozen). Altomare had been scheduled to join the tour next year, but now will take over for Osnes when the tour begins in Macon, Georgia, on Nov. 1.
Osnes, who in addition to playing the title role in Broadway’s Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella has appeared on stage in Bandstand, South Pacific and Bonnie and Clyde, announced earlier this week that she had dropped out of an August 29 Crazy for You benefit concert in East Hampton, New York, rather than get a Covid-19 vaccine. (She disputed earlier media reports that she had been fired).
In a lengthy Instagram post on Tuesday, Osnes defended her vaccine refusal by saying, “I stand by the decision my husband and I, with input from our physician, have made for ourselves, our family planning, and our future. There is much that is still unknown.” Osnes is married to photographer Nathan Johnson.
Osnes’ apparent reference to “family planning” drew widespread condemnation – no evidence exists to indicate that the Covid vaccines interfere with, or harm, pregnancy or prospective pregnancy. The actress’ vaccine skepticism prompted considerable debate among Broadway insiders, most notably between Hamilton actor Javier Muñoz and the Tony-winning Tonya Pinkins. Muñoz, who lives with HIV and has survived cancer, wrote an open letter on Instagram imploring Osnes to reconsider her position, to which Pinkins tweeted, “Read your letter. If @LauraOsnes died from the vaccine you wouldn’t care . Or is your comfort more important than her sovereignty?” (According to the CDC, no causal link between vaccination and death has been established, and even the possibility of severe reactions is rare.)
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