Laura Benanti (Photo: Jenny Anderson)
Lincoln Center Theater has announced that Tony Award winner Laura Benanti will assume the role of Eliza Doolittle in its award-winning production of Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady, directed by Bartlett Sher, for a limited engagement beginning Tuesday, October 23 and currently scheduled through Sunday, February 17, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Lauren Ambrose, who originated the role in this production, will play her final performance on Sunday, October 21 before leaving to begin work on M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming Apple series.
“Eliza Doolittle has been my dream role for as long as I can remember, so I couldn’t be more excited to join this brilliant company,” Benanti said. “Working with Bart and getting to be part of this show is a dream come true.”
Ms. Benanti joins a cast of 37 headed by Harry Hadden-Paton, Norbert Leo Butz, Rosemary Harris, Allan Corduner, Jordan Donica, Linda Mugleston, and Clarke Thorell, with Cameron Adams, Shereen Ahmed, Kerstin Anderson, Heather Botts, Rebecca Eichenberger, SuEllen Estey, Christopher Faison, Steven Trumon Gray, Adam Grupper, Michael Halling, Joe Hart, Todd A. Horman, Sasha Hutchings, Mary Claire King, Kate Marilley, Liz McCartney, Justin Lee Miller, Rommel Pierre O’Choa, Keven Quillon, JoAnna Rhinehart, Tony Roach, Lance Roberts, Blair Ross, Paul Slade Smith, Samantha Sturm, Matt Wall, Michael Williams, Minami Yusui, and Lee Zarrett. Beginning October 30, Kerstin Anderson will play the role of Eliza Doolittle at all Tuesday evening performances. Harry Hadden-Paton is appearing with the support of the Actors’ Equity Association.
Laura Benanti returns to LCT having appeared in its productions of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Tony and Drama League nominations; Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards) and In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (Outer Critics Circle and Drama League nominations). Winner of the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards for her performance as Gypsy Rose Lee in Arthur Laurents’ production of Gypsy opposite Patti LuPone, her other Broadway credits include her Tony-nominated performances in the recent revival of She Loves Me (also Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama League nominations), Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods(also Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), and Swing!.
Ms. Benanti’s other theater credits both on Broadway and off include Steve Martin’s Meteor Shower opposite Amy Schumer, Christopher Durang’s Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them at The Public,Wonderful Town and Gypsy at City Center Encores!, The Wedding Singer, Nine with Antonio Banderas, Time and Again at the Manhattan Theatre Club, A Little Night Music at L.A. Opera, A Winter’s Tale at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Jane Eyre and Man of La Mancha at Paper Mill Playhouse, and the 1998 production of The Sound of Music opposite Richard Chamberlain, in which she made her Broadway debut.
Ms. Benanti has received recent late night attention for her portrayal of First Lady Melania Trump on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” as well as critical acclaim for her performance in NBC’s “The Sound of Music Live!.” Some of her other TV credits include “Younger,” “Supergirl,” “Nashville,” “The Good Wife,” “Nurse Jackie,” and Jason Jones and Samantha Bee’s TBS comedy “The Detour,” for which she will be a series regular on the upcoming season. Ms. Benanti has also performed concerts in venues around the country including performances at the Kennedy Center Honors and Fords Gala for President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama.