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Laura Benanti Cast as Lead in Wedding Singer Musical

BroadwayWorld has received word that Laura Benanti has been cast in the upcoming The Wedding Singer musical in the role of Julia, played on film by Drew Barrymore. Benanti is expected to appear alongside Stephen Lynch who will play the title role, and Felicia Finley as Linda, the ex-girlfriend. Casting remains unconfirmed by the production at this time.

The Wedding Singer musical will be based on the 1998 film, which starred Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. The score is being written by Matthew Sklar, with lyrics by Chad Beguelin, and a book by Tim Herlihy and Chad Beguelin. The show is set to premiere in Seattle at the 5th Avenue Theatre in late January of 2006, and on Broadway in April 2006.

Benanti is currently doing double duty, having carefully arranged shooting of both "Take the Lead," a new film opposite Antonio Banderas, and the upcoming FX sitcom, "Starved." Laura recently performed her one-woman show, "Blame it on My Youth" at Feinstein's and prior to that, appeared as Catherine in the World AIDS Day Concert of Stephen Schwartz's "Pippin."

Laura received a Tony nomination for her performance as Cinderella in the 2002 revival of Into the Woods, as she did for Swing! in 1999. Benanti, the daughter of Martin Vidnovic, made her Broadway debut as Maria in the revival of The Sound of Music the year before; she was 18 years old. Her last Broadway appearance was as Claudia in the revival of Nine, and other New York credits include the Actors' Fund Benefit Concert of Hair, Time and Again at MTC and Wonderful Town at Encores! Regionally, she has been seen in A Little Night Music, Man of La Mancha and A Winter's Tale.

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