After making her Broadway debut in the 1998 production of The Sound of Music, over the next dozen years Laura Benanti worked regularly on Broadway in a number of shows, including Into the Woods, Nine, The Wedding Singer, and Gypsy. But after doing one show after another with only brief breaks in between, Benanti has been absent from Broadway for the last five years. She has finally returned as the lead in the revival of She Loves Me. Speaking with NJ.com, Benanti explains why she chose this particular show to make her Broadway return after such a long break.
Benanti admits that while she gets other offers, she was waiting for She Loves Me. She says, “I’m not going to say yes to anything. I held out for this particular show.”
She also explains why she wanted to play this particular role. “It’s a soprano part who’s at the heart of the piece and she also gets to be really funny. A lot of times when you’re the leading lady, you get to sing heartwarming songs and that’s it, and people don’t get a sense of who you truly are.”
Also, one of the main reasons why Benanti wanted to star in She Loves Me is because she hasn’t had many opportunities to display her comic side. Considering her last Broadway role was in 2011’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, She Loves Me let her show another side of her talent. She says, “I think that people are most comfortable when they can put you in a box — and that’s very easy to do that when someone can put you in more serious roles. I’m not blaming them for that — it’s just up to me to show people what I can do.”