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12 Moving & Incredible Performances of Ahrens & Flaherty’s “Twelve Children” from Dessa Rose

Last updated March 21st, 2018 by Josh Ferri
12 Moving & Incredible Performances of Ahrens & Flaherty’s …

Ahrens & Flaherty’s Dessa Rose officially opened off-Broadway at LCT’s Mitzi Newhouse Theater on this date in 2005. The original production starred LaChanze as the title character, and act one concluded with the beautiful Ahrens & Flaherty gem “Twelve Children”. Whether you’re a big fan of the cult musical or if you have never heard the song before, get ready to be taken with the song and these dozen performances.

Kenita Miller (Understudy in the original production & current Once On This Island star)

Ok, this video actually starts at 4:45, but it’s the first video for a reason. Kenita is queen and she gives you a full-out, super-moving rendition.

Cynthia Erivo (star of the UK production)

Ok…discovering the Tony winner’s version of this was such a treat. DAMN!

Catherine Simpson

I really love her passion while performing. She is going for it!

Adrienne Brown

Adrienne led the 2011 production at University of the Arts, and wow. Her voice is so special and effortless. Come through after that 3 minute mark. I want to see her full production.

Aneesa Folds

Aneesa was most recently seen off-Broadway in This One’s For the Girls. She slays this. Her voice is so full and rich. She sells the story of this song—each lyric.

Erica Washington

This young lady’s voice is BEAUTIFUL. She is SINGING. #ParkNBark #Chills

Nattalyee Heather Randall

Well it’s clear to see why Nattalyee has starred in Dreamgirls, Ragtime, Hairspray and Hair around the country. She truly slays.

Ashley Blanchet

The Star to Be in the most recent Annie revival & Beautiful showstopper performed the song back in college and it was stunning.

Bryce Charles

I can’t tell if this is college or high school but either way, go Bryce. She takes her time with it and makes sure to deliver all the emotion.

Maya Richardson

Maya has some really beautiful quiet moments in this song. I loved her softness at 2:30. Beautiful. Then as the listing of names comes, she finds her strength and power. Into it.

Jessica Ayer

This is a sweet, more subdued performance which is also really nice.


Closing it out with LaChanze on the cast recording. What a shame there is no video anywhere of her performing this, even in concert.