Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Interview: Laura Benanti On Performing As Herself, Scripted Characters & Melania

pixeltracker

Tony Award winner Laura Benanti will be debuting at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in their Cabaret Series September 23rd, 24th & 25th

BWW Interview: Laura Benanti On Performing As Herself, Scripted Characters & Melania

Laura Benanti, Tony Award winner and one of Broadway's favorite leading ladies, will be debuting at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in their Cabaret Series September 23rd, 24th and 25th. Including songs from her self-titled CD in her set list, Laura will certainly wow the Samueli Theatre audience. Had the chance to throw out a few inquiries to the enchanting Ms. Benanti.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview, Laura!

Which songs will you be singing from your recently released self-titled CD for the Samueli Theatre audience?

My album has been out for almost a year. I will be singing "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk," "What are you doing the rest of your life?" "The Party's Over," and any more.

You've been involved with a long, long list of musicals. Any particular musical tune that you never get tired of singing?

"Vanilla Ice Cream" (from SHE LOVES ME).

BWW Interview: Laura Benanti On Performing As Herself, Scripted Characters & Melania Did you get early voice lessons from your mom Linda, a vocal coach?

I did! But she never pushed them on me. I always asked her and then would be quite impatient while she remained an actual angel.

What was your go-to audition song when you were starting out?

Stephen Sondheim's "One More Kiss" from FOLLIES, "You Can Always Count On Me" from CITY OF ANGELS, and "Moonfall" from MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD.

You had a fascination with the music of Stephen Sondheim growing up. What was it like to finally meet and work with him?

I like musicals but I LOVE Sondheim. Meeting and working with my hero was an absolute dream come true. I will never get used to it, and never be cool around him.

Who originated the idea of you being Melania Trump?

Actually, my friend Kevin Daly tweeted it to me when he announced he was running. I didn't think much of it. Then I was on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to promote SHE BWW Interview: Laura Benanti On Performing As Herself, Scripted Characters & Melania LOVES ME and he put our photos side by side. I sort of did the "face," and everyone laughed and then it was done. A few months later after Melania's famously plagiarized Michelle Obama speech I got a call from The Late Show asking if I wanted to come in that night and give the impression a go. And it took off!

Describe that night your name was announced as the winner of the 2008 Tony Award for Outstanding Feature Actress in a Musical. What do you remember? Or was it all a blur?

It felt like everything was slow motion and a blur all at the same time. A culmination of my childhood dreams and my life's work. I am forever grateful.

Did your four-year-old daughter encourage you to compose your very fun TikTok videos?

Fortunately, she doesn't know what TikTok is, but she certainly inspired them!

Do you prefer performing as yourself in cabarets or completely enveloped in a scripted character?

I am very lucky that I love them both!

BWW Interview: Laura Benanti On Performing As Herself, Scripted Characters & Melania What's in the near future for Laura Benanti, besides a return to Feinstein's/54 Below in October?

I have a very fun TV project that I'm not able to announce yet, as well as some other creative projects in the works. Gossip Girl will return for a season two as well. I feel very fortunate to have worked so much during the pandemic.

Thank you again, Laura! I look forward to experiencing your show at Segerstrom.

For tickets to see and hear Laura Benanti live at Segerstrom September 23rd, 24th & 25th, log onto www.scfta.org

Audience Advisory: All ticket holders must wear a mask AND provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of performance.


Related Articles View More Los Angeles Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

From This Author Gil Kaan