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Laura Benanti | Lauren
Benanti has brought her unique abilities to comedies, dramas and musicals since she took Broadway by storm at the age of 18. She received a Tony nomination, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle award for her starring role in the Broadway production of "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" for Lincoln Center, where she also starred in Sarah Ruhl's "In the Next Room" (or "The Vibrator Play"), for which she garnered critical acclaim for her heartbreaking and brave performance. Earlier that season, Benanti demonstrated her "breezy comic flair" in the Public Theater's production of Christopher Durang's "Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them."
Benanti gave "the performance of her career" and earned the 2008 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her revelatory portrayal of Gypsy Rose Lee in "Gypsy," opposite Patti Lupone and directed by Arthur Laurents. Her other Broadway roles include her Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award-nominated performance of Cinderella in Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods" and her sultry Tony-nominated turn in "SWING!" She also starred opposite Antonio Banderas as his muse in the celebrated revival of "Nine." Benanti began her multifaceted career as Maria in "The Sound of Music" opposite Richard Chamberlain.
Other distinguished theater performances include Perdita in "A Winter's Tale" at the Williamstown Theater Festival opposite Kate Burton, Anne in "A Little Night Music" at the Los Angeles Opera opposite Victor Garber, and Eileen in City Center Encores "Wonderful Town" opposite Donna Murphy.
Benanti can be heard on a multitude of recordings and debuted her solo show at the Kennedy Center in the spring of 2010. Most recently she starred in NBC's "The Playboy Club." Other television roles include recurring roles on "The Big C," NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Life on Mars," as well as her heralded portrayal of Billie on "Starved" and a recurring role on "Eli Stone."
Benanti made her leap to the silver screen in 2005 in the film "Take the Lead" opposite her "Nine" co-star Antonio Banderas, as his love interest. She can also be seen in the independent films "Falling for Grace" and "Meskada"; the latter debuted at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.
Benanti currently resides in New York City and enjoys songwriting.