Laura Benanti to replace Lauren Ambrose in MY FAIR LADY

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I was wondering that also. If Ambrose would return at the end of the run to appear in a live broadcast, as Kelli O’Hara did in South Pacific. I don’t think so. There must have been some friction surrounding her early exit.

I could be wrong, but I doubt that she signed for less than a year. She probably found the role and the absence from her family to be too taxing and was let out early. 

The one exception might be if it were generally agreed that Lauren was better in the role than Laura. She was, after all, Tony nominated. This is a possibility not safe to talk about here.

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I'm pretty sure her early exit is due to her being cast in the Apple series. It's quite interesting that many here hopped on the Diana Rigg calling out Lauren Ambrose for being unprofessional train without noticing the Diana Rigg calling Lauren Ambrose's performance "definitive" train running alongside it.

Updated On: 8/24/18 at 03:19 AM
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Hmmm. Do you think that Ambrose had an out in her contract if she were cast in a certain television show? 

I think it much more prestigious to play the lead in a Bartlett Sher, Lincoln Center Theater classic. But maybe after six months the prestige degenerated into fatigue.

I don't consider it a slam dunk that Benanti will equal or surpass Ambrose. Which of these actresses is not like the others:

Julie Andrews

Audrey Hepburn

Lauren Ambrose

Laura Benanti

Who is the least likely to be called "demure."

It should be great fun to see how Benanti handles the acting in the 2nd Act. 

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The second act MFL confrontation scenes are very similar to the Louise/Rose confrontation scenes in the second act of Gypsy, and so I'm sure Benanti will be firing on all cylinders for those lengthy book scenes. I'm also looking forward to hearing the score sung by a Broadway musical theater veteran. 

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OlBlueEyes said: "Hmmm. Do you think that Ambrose had an out in her contract if she were cast in a certain television show?

I think it much more prestigious to play the lead in a Bartlett Sher, Lincoln Center Theater classic. But maybe after six months the prestige degenerated into fatigue.

I don't consider it a slam dunk that Benanti will equal or surpass Ambrose. Which of these actresses is not like the others:

Julie Andrews

Audrey Hepburn

Lauren Ambrose

Laura Benanti

Who is the least likely to be called "demure."

It should be great fun to see how Benanti handles the acting in the 2nd Act.
"

But if we're comparing Elizas, let's keep in mind that one of these actresses didn't actually entirely sing her own songs. (Hint: It was Audrey Hepburn.)

Even if she may not be the aesthetically ideal choice to you, no doubt Benanti will sing the sh!t out of that score.

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OlBlueEyes said: "The one exception might be if it were generally agreed that Lauren was better in the role than Laura. She was, after all, Tony nominated. This is a possibility not safe to talk about here."

Except that you just did. winkLet's not get melodramatic. This is a message board, not the Spanish Inquisition. 

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Musicaldudepeter said: "The second act MFL confrontation scenes are very similar to the Louise/Rose confrontation scenes in the second act of Gypsy, and so I'm sure Benanti will be firing on all cylinders for those lengthy book scenes. I'm also looking forward to hearing the score sung by a Broadway musical theater veteran."

Not really. My Fair Lady is after all half a Shaw play. The books scenes are mostly taken directly from Pygmalion and demand so much mormore than Gypsy. It’s not just “firing on all cylinders,” it deals with confusion, doubt, realization, epiphany, and the final transformation leading up to Without You to complete Eliza’s arch, justifying Sher’s new ending and making it inevitable and breathtaking. 

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Dancingthru's points are all astute. The "book scenes" in MFL are really a play, and among the most demanding in musical theater. One reason the role is so taxing -- so often noted, from the Andrews memoir through the McCutcheon struggles in London -- is that push-pull between the singing demands and the equally challenging stand-alone sections lifted from Shaw.  The demands on the human voice are unique -- singing in one range while playing the emotional story beats in another -- it has taxed many.  

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Anyone who saw GYPSY knows that Benanti is more than capable of handling a transformation arc. Her final scenes in that production were incredible and far from the shy Louise she presented in the first scenes. Also given her status and relationship with Sher, I'm sure she will receive ample time with him. 

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Totally just booked a 48-hour trip to see Benanti in this. She will be transcendent. Also catching Lifespan of a Fact and an early preview of TKAM while I’m in town! Can’t wait! (Seeing MFL November 11, in case any of you are.) Looks like they’ve sold several tickets even since yesterday for the three dates I was considering.
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Good for her, I guess. I'm sure we won't hear anything about a "Broadway starlet" like Laura Benanti only doing a seven show week. After all, that kind of vitriol is only appropriate when we're talking about those inherently undeserving, untalented TV actors who dare steal precious space on the Broadway stage, right?
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When it's announced in advance - Midler - no one really cares. It's a different situation.

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OlBlueEyes said: "Hmmm. Do you think that Ambrose had an out in her contract if she were cast in a certain television show?

I think it much more prestigious to play the lead in a Bartlett Sher, Lincoln Center Theater classic. But maybe after six months the prestige degenerated into fatigue.


She may have only signed on for six months, to begin with. But even then, surely she had an out clause in her contract if offered a television or film role. That's not at all uncommon, and especially for an actor who often works in those mediums, seems likely.  

And yes, of course, it was prestigious to open the production, which she did and got a Tony nomination for.  But that's yesterday's news. At this point moving on to star in a film seems like a more prestigious next step.

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She may have only signed on for six months, to begin with. But even then, surely she had an out clause in her contract if offered a television or film role. That's not at all uncommon, and especially for an actor who often works in those mediums, seems likely.  

Well, you probably know better than me. But it was such an in-demand role. And look what it is going to do to the box office. All those Trump supporters demanding refunds. (Joke, but there will be some.) I wonder if Laura was told to abstain from politics? I guess we'll find out.

Even if she may not be the aesthetically ideal choice to you, no doubt Benanti will sing the sh!t out of that score.

What causes you to say that Laura is not aesthetically appealing to me as Eliza? I thought that I made it pretty clear that I was really looking forward to comparing how two actresses of different personalities played the role in the same production.

Except that you just did.wink Let's not get melodramatic. This is a message board, not the Spanish Inquisition.

It was meant to be funny. Guess it wasn't. But I'm innocent! I've nowhere expressed an opinion as to whether Laura's prospective performance will be better or worse than Lauren's. I'm going to wait to see her first.

OK. I'm guilty. Although I've found Lauren to be very endearing, I wonder if Laura's natural comedic ability might draw more laughs from the audience.

 

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I can only get to NYC for a Sunday performance.  So if I am reading/understanding correctly, Ms. Benanti does Sundays but not Tuesdays (which is different than Lauren Ambrose)

Thanks for confirming before I order tix!

 

 

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FranklinDickson2018 said: "I can only get to NYC for a Sunday performance. So if I am reading/understanding correctly, Ms. Benanti does Sundays but not Tuesdays (which is different than Lauren Ambrose)

Thanks for confirming before I order tix!
"

That's correct! However, you should note that Kirsten Anderson starts taking on the Tuesday night performances on October 30 (as well as that Benanti is out of the show from November 16 to 18). 

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Thank you very much!

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Did anyone else get tickets for November 21st performance at 8pm? I'm so afraid Laura won't be in due to Thanksgiving being the next day 

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On YouTube there may or may not be footage of the Ascot scene with Lauren's book scene on display. It brought back all the reasons why I loved her performance.

That said, I have seriously been watching and re-watching Benanti's "Vanilla Ice Cream" and getting more and more incredibly excited about her singing the hell out of those songs.

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Elfuhbuh said: "Good for her, I guess. I'm sure we won't hear anything about a "Broadway starlet" like Laura Benanti only doing a seven show week. After all, that kind of vitriol is only appropriate when we're talking about those inherently undeserving, untalented TV actors who dare steal precious space on the Broadway stage, right?"

This was never about Ambrose personally. Had it been announced at the beginning it would have been a different story. You're always going to have the trolls who come out, but I don't think the backlash would've been as large. 

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And if she hadn't reduced her performances weekly, we'd get (more) people grousing about her performance or her calling out.

People need to over it. It's live theatre. If you want a guarantee you'll be seeing a certain actor giving their best performance, go to a movie.

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Looks like Benanti started rehearsals today! According to her Instagram post, it doesn’t look like she actually event went in for the first audition (that Ambrose booked).
"Oh look at the time, three more intelligent plays just closed and THE ADDAMS FAMILY made another million dollars" -Jackie Hoffman, Broadway.com Audience Awards
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Usually when there's a situation like this where one member of the cast (or sports team) says something derogatory about another and it goes public, the director will try to restore peace. A keystone of that is the need to have the parties, together or alone, discuss the situation and insist (1) that both are back on friendly terms with each other and (2) the media exaggerated the situation and (3) each, according to the other, is giving the greatest acting display of the 21st Century in the show.

I have seen no such interview or video of either of them backing away from the controversy.

Anyone else see anything?

 

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Why is this the first time Benanti has shared the story that she didn't even audition the first time around? Instead she said that they told her "hard pass," which to me implies that she did audition. There is certainly no shame in her passing on the role to stay home with her daughter OR in her not getting the role after auditioning.

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