Laura Benanti is a Tony Award winning actress whose superb acting skills are perfectly complimented by her golden vocals. From theatre to television (most recently of NBC's Go On, starring Matthew Perry), it has been a joy to watch Laura's career rise since I met her in 2001 at the Drama Department Christmas party. I am thrilled to have the opportunity now to interview Laura for "Call Me Adam."
New York is ecstatic to have Laura back as she gears up to bestow her talent upon 54 Below with an all new show In Constant Search of The Right Kind of Attention from May 20-25. In this show, Laura fuses theatre standards with pop music and original songs. This is surely going to be an evening to remember! Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My mom and Julie Andrews.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Julie Andrews.
3. You are about to perform your new show In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention at 54 Below from May 20-25. How did you come up with the title and song selection for the show? The title was my friend's suggestion and my music director and arranger Todd Almond and I chose the music.
4. What are you looking forward to most about performing at 54 Below? What do they offer that another venue might not? I'm looking forward to the intimacy of that room. There is something so special about sharing a space like that with an audience.
5. What made you want to work with Todd Almond as your musical director? I had done a reading of one of Todd's shows a few years back, and then a demo of a piece he is working on with Sarah Ruhl. I'm such a huge fan of his work. He is also one of the loveliest people I have ever met.
7. This show is going to be recorded for a live CD. What excites you about this recording? I love live recordings. It will be my first album so I like the thrill of it being live.
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? That I'm neurotic.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Be still. Behold. Be true.
10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? The one where I end up with tons of money that I get to spend on fun things and also give away to people who need it. Whatever super power that is.
11. In addition to theatre, you have starred in two series of your own on television, FX's Starved and most recently NBC's Go On. What do you get from your television work that you do not get from your theatrical ventures? Money.
12. Favorite way to spend your day off? Walking in the park and laying in the grass.
13. Favorite skin care product? Clarisonic skin brush.
14. Favorite way to stay in shape? Pilates.
Laura Benanti was honored with the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award, and a Drama League nomination for her portrayal of "Louise/Gypsy Rose Lee" in the Patti LuPone revival of Gypsy. In addition to Gypsy, Laura has also lit up the Broadway stage in The Sound of Music ("Maria," opposite Richard Chamberlain), Swing! (Tony nomination: Best Featured Actress), Into The Woods ("Cinderella;" Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, LA Ovation and Tony nominations), Nine ("Claudia," opposite Antonio Banderas; Outer Critics Circle, Drama Leauge nominations), The Wedding Singer ("Julia Sullivan"), In The Next Room, or The Vibrator Play (Lincoln Center), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown ("Candela," Lincoln Center; Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards; Tony and Drama League nominations). In City Center's Encores series, Laura has delighted audiences in Gypsy ("Louise"), Wonderful Town ("Eileen"). Laura also dedicates her time to causes various benefits such as The Secret Garden ("Lily"), Hair, Pippin ("Catherine") and Children of Eden. Off-Broadway audiences have been dazzled by Laura in Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them, Time and Again ("Julia," MTC). She has peformed at LA Opera in A Little Night Music ("Anne") and Williamstown in The Winter's Tale ("Perdita," opposite Kate Burton). On the big screen, Laura has been seen in such films as Falling for Grace ("Princess Alexandra"), Take the Lead. Television fans know Laura from Open Books (CBS), Life on Mars (ABC), Eli Stone (ABC), Starved (FX). Laura is also featured on numerous recordings including several Broadway cast recordings, as well as "NEO," "The Stephen Schwartz Album" and "The Maury Yeston Songbook." Laura studies voice with her mother Linda Benanti, a former Broadway performer. She was raised in Kinnelon, NJ with her sister Marielle, by her mother and father, Dr. Salvatore Benanti. She is married to actor Steven Pasquale.