The Axelrod’s 2019 Gala will star Laura Benanti, who won her Tony Award for her performance as Gypsy Rose Lee in the 2008 revival of Gypsy, starring Patti Lupone and directed by original book writer Arthur Laurents. A five-time Tony Award nominee, Benanti is a highly celebrated stage and screen actress, who recently ended her critically acclaimed run on Broadway as Eliza Doolittle in Lincoln Center’s revival of My Fair Lady. Her Broadway credits include Steve Martin’s Meteor Shower, Amalia Balash in She Loves Me (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominee), Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy opposite Patti LuPone (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards),In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Tony nomination, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards winner), Into the Woods (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), The Wedding Singer, and Nine (starring Antonio Banderas).
Other distinguished theater performances include Perdita in The Winter’s Tale at the Williamstown Theater Festival, Anne in A Little Night Music at the L.A. Opera, and Eileen in Wonderful Town and Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella, both for City Center Encores! Her television credits include recurring and guest appearances on Younger, The Detour, Supergirl, Law & Order: SVU, Nashville, The Good Wife, Elementary, Nurse Jackie, The Big C, NBC’s The Sound of Music Live and as First Lady Melania Trump on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.