BWW Review: Laura Benanti is Refreshingly Real at BYU

BWW Review: Laura Benanti is Refreshingly Real at BYU

Tony winner and five-time Tony nominee Laura Benanti regaled the audience with her delicious humor, inimitable acting, and distinctive vocals at Brigham Young University as part of its BRAVO! season on Friday, September 7, 2018.

A queen of the Broadway stage with such credits as SHE LOVES ME, THE WEDDING SINGER, GYPSY, NINE, and WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, she has also played many memorable roles on television in shows such as ELI STONE, GO ON, NASHVILLE, SUPERGIRL, and THE LATE SHOW WITH Stephen Colbert as Melania Trump. The ultimate combination of these two aspects of her career was her lauded performance in NBC's THE SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE!

In a stripped down setting with Michael Rafter at the piano, Benanti showcased her legit vocals in a glorious opening medley of three songs from SHE LOVES ME and in odes to the bookends of her career--a comedic send-up of her first leading performance on Broadway in THE SOUND OF MUSIC and "I Could Have Danced All Night" from her upcoming dream role in MY FAIR LADY. The eclectic musical selection ran the gamut from Joni Mitchell to Stephen Sondheim to Beyonce.

Most refreshing about the evening was Benanti's comfort on stage as she shared intimate moments with the audience and told hilarious stories with a sense of humor and comedic flair that was absolutely pitch perfect. Never in a rush to get to the next song, she shared her life with the audience in a way that left them utterly enraptured and laughing hysterically. What a treat to get to know this talented woman while enjoying both her humor and her music.

Completely gracious, Benanti seemed genuinely grateful for the opportunity to work with BYU students in a master class earlier in the day, her brief experience in Utah, and the reception she received from the concert audience. She even expressed the desire to return to BYU with the show she performs with her mother. Everyone in that audience will eagerly await the possibility of her return.

For more information about future BRAVO! performances at BYU and to buy tickets, visit arts.byu.edu.

Photo Credit: Laura Benanti

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From This Author Tyler Hinton

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