The Sound of Music Live!

“Laura Benanti made a luscious and surprisingly sympathetic minx out of the Baroness.”
— People Magazine
“The radiant Laura Benanti, as Elsa Schraeder, can now be certfied as as an expert spelunker, for the feats of mining she did to surface errant bits of comedy. When Elsa breaks up with Von Trapp and sulks off stage near the end, you hate to see her go. Though Benanti looks good while she leaves.”
— The Daily Beast
“Laura Benanti was appropriately sultry as Elsa Von Hottie.”
— The Hollywood Reporter
“Benanti was glamorously witty as Elsa.”
— Associated Press
“The night’s most powerful musical performances, [were] between Broadway veterans Laura Benanti as Von Trapp’s fiance Fraulein Schrader and Christian Borle...”
— The Daily News
“We’d also be remiss if we didn’t point out Broadway legend Laura Benanti as Elsa. Though Laura has enjoyed quite a bit of success on television — her credits include roles on “Go On,” “Royal Pains” and “Law & Order: SVU” – we have a feeling that The Sound of Music is going to finally make her a household name.”
— Hollywood Life
“Laura Benanti brought a level of complexity to the Baroness that I’d never seen before, plus she rocked some seriously great outfits (pink top, red pants, anyone?). Her songs were far the best in the show...”
— Time Out New York
“Laura Benanti scored big time as the Baroness Elsa Schraeder, Maria’s rival for the Captain’s affection. The baroness is usually set up almost as a villain but Benanti was stylish, witty and sneakily funny — her duet with Christian Borle’s Max, “How Can Love Survive?,” was a sly delight.”
— New York Post
“Benanti absolutely nailed Elsa’s charming self-absorption and managed to turn a potentially one-note character into a believable woman.”
— The Onion / AV Club

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

“Stealing every scene, and earning full audience devotion, is Laura Benanti... Benanti is brilliantly funny...she stops the show cold with a telephone song (“Model Behavior”) that approaches the heights of Sondheim’s “Getting Married Today.”
— Variety
“Former Gypsy co-stars Patti LuPone and Laura Benanti steal scenes as, respectively, Lucia, the vengeful wife of an unfaithful man, and Candela, a ditzy model whose latest lover may be a terrorist.”
— USA Today
“The show-stealing performance comes from a laugh-out-loud Laura Benanti”
— New York Daily News
“But only Ms. Benanti...holds our attention, in an overcharged comic performance...”
— The New York Times
“The show also has serious assets. Chief among them is Benanti, who brings the slightly dim, skimpily dressed Candela to outrageous, hilarious life. Benanti milks the lamest lines to the max, whips up laughs out of thin air and slays with a song, “Model Behavior,” that consists of a series of frantic phone messages delivered at lightning speed.”
— New York Post
“Ms. Benanti...makes a bold and energetic impression as Candela, galloping away with the best-in-show ribbon.”
— The Wall Street Journal
“Laura Benanti... almost steals the show as Candela. Watching her...is one of the most uplifting bits of clowning I’ve seen since Katie Finneran hijacked “Promises, Promises” in her inebriated barroom scene.”
— LA Times
“One standout performance is by Benanti, who plays a model with a bubble-headed zaniness that recalls Reese Witherspoon in “Legally Blonde.” Benanti literally hops about in high heels and a teeny-weeny skirt, barely stays in her Catherine Zuber-designed costume and has a wonderful manic song, “Model Behavior.”
— Associated Press
“Benanti offers comic relief as the ditsy model Candela, who learns that she’s dating a terrorist.”
— Time Out New York

SPECIAL MENTIONS OF 2009 

"Laura Benanti confirmed she's one of our finest stage actresses with a pair of stand-out performances this year. First, she lit up Christopher Durang's Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them at the Public Theater, then she waltzed off with Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room or the vibrator play on Broadway. A great part of her charm derives from the geeky way in which she seems unaware of her own beauty, and her scenes with Maria Dizzia in the latter show are pure comedy gold -- they're nervous and excited like schoolgirls about to solve a delicious mystery." -Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New York Post

 

In The New Room, or The Vibrator Play

“Benanti negotiates sharp shifts in mood and priority with grace, converting every hairpin turn into a comedic arabesque. She makes considered collisions of period and contemporary sensibilities, and they almost always pay off.”
— New York Magazine
“Benanti is a charmer in a tricky part...”
— New York Magazine

Why Torture Is Wrong, And The People Who Love Them

“Laura Benanti, last seen on Broadway stripping as Gypsy Rose Lee, flashes breezy comic flair as the lone voice of reason.”
— New York Daily News
“...a lovely anchoring performance...”
— The New York Times

Gypsy

“Ms. Benanti, in the performance of her career, traces Louise’s path to becoming her mother’s daughter out of necessity. The transformation of the waifs Louise into the vulpine Gypsy Rose Lee is completely convincing. And you’re acutely aware of what’s lost and gained in the metamorphoses.”
— The New York Times
“Benanti’s ability to navigate the tomboy’s transformation into the stage-prowling stripper Gypsy Rose Lee is plenty impressive; her ability to do so while breezing through a dozen other emotional shadings - a plain girl’s heartsickness, the petulance of a star - makes it astonishing. If she isn’t the definitive Louise, I’d be awfully eager to see who is.”
— New York Magazine
“The beautiful Laura Benanti, who breaks your heart in Gypsy, should win a Tony every time she appears in a show. Benanti is terrific, handling that transformation with more skill than any Louise I’ve seen, and standing toe-to-toe with LuPone in one of drama’s most effective shouting matches.”
— New York Post

The Wedding Singer

“As Robbie’s love interest, Julia, Laura Benanti fills screen star Drew Barrymore’s shoes with her own girl-next-door charm... her playful sweetness is a constant delight.”
— USA Today

A Little Night Music
 

“Portraying Egerman’s frivolous virgin bride, Benanti’s vibrant soprano underscores the character’s childlike appeal...”
— Variety

Nine

“As Guido’s artistic muse, Claudia, Benanti also reveals a poised intelligence rare among young actors.”
— USA Today

Into the Woods

“Ms. Benanti sings like an angel. But her character is convincingly of this earth, combining poise and bewilderment as Cinderella lands the Prince she discovers she doesn’t really want.”
— The New York Times
“Benanti is an amazing performer... Unlike many young performers who feel they have to launch a frontal assault on an audience to make an impression, Benanti has an almost Zen-like stillness, which matches up nicely with that flowing mountain stream she calls her singing voice.”
— Toronto Star

Time and Again

“She is flat-out gorgeous, sings like an angel, and inhabits a character with the sort of presence and total conviction granted only to a precious few.”
— Philadelphia Inquirer

Swing!

“Laura Benanti scores: a fine singer and dancer as well as a skilled actress.”
— New York Magazine

The Sound of Music

“Unaffectedly graceful and with a bell-clear voice, this newcomer is surely a star in the making.”
— Newsday