Last night, Melissa Benoist and Jeremy Jordan joined a line-up of stars at Feinstein’s/54 Below to celebrate “Supergirl” alum, Tony Award-winner, Laura Benanti. Benanti is currently headlining the Broadway revival of She Loves Me at Studio 54—directly upstairs from Feinstein’s/54 Below—a show for which she’s earned her fifth Tony Award nomination.
Titled “We Love Her,” the performance was produced and hosted by CenterOnTheAisle.com’s Steve Schonberg as a celebration of Benanti’s incredible career since her Broadway debut nearly 20 years. The occasion was also a vehicle to present Benanti with the 2nd annual Center On The Aisle “Our Leading Lady” Award, which was awarded to Kelli O’Hara in 2015.
The show featured songs performed by Benanti on Broadway and TV, with Jeremy Jordan offering a soulful rendition of “Cry Me a River” (Swing) and Melissa Benoist joining Laura in a duet of “Gasoline & Matches” (ABC’s Nashville). Benanti also treated the audience to “Vanilla Ice Cream” from She Loves Me, and performed a touching duet with her mother, vocal coach Linda Benanti (“Children Will Listen,” from Into the Woods).
“Thank you so much for this beautiful award, and thank you to my friends and family for your heartfelt sentiment and singing,” Benanti told the audience after accepting the “Our Leading Lady” award, which she was selected to receive by writers at Center On The Aisle. “I love Broadway so much, and I have since I was a very little girl. This is a dream come true and I’m really grateful.”
In addition to the duet with her mother, and songs led by the starry line-up, “We Love Her” included solos by Laura’s husband, Patrick Brown (“Something Good”) and by her father, Broadway veteran, Marty Vidnovic (“Laura”). The evening was music directed by composer and lyricist, Georgia Stitt.
Guests featured in the show included:
· Laura Benanti (She Loves Me, “Supergirl”, “Nashville”)
· Melissa Benoist (“Supergirl”, “Glee”)
· Jeremy Jordan (Newsies, “Supergirl”, “The Last Five Years”)
· Michael Urie (Buyer & Cellar, “Ugly Betty”, “Cocktails & Classics”)
· Michael Arden (Spring Awakening, “Anger Management”)
· Todd Haimes (Artistic Director, Roundabout Theatre Company)
· Molly Ephraim (Into the Woods, “Last Man Standing”)
· Alexandra Silber (Fiddler on the Roof)
· Julia Murney (Wicked, The Wild Party)
· Eric Anderson (Waitress, Soul Doctor)
· Jessica Rush (Gypsy, Jersey Boys)
· Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Women on the Verge…, “The Ensemblist”)
· Kathy Searle (“Baby Mama”)
· The Skivvies
· Todd Almond
· Sarah Saltzberg (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee)
· Kelly Hutchinson (The Master Builder, “The Good Wife”)
· Chelsea Nachman
· Family: Linda Benanti (mother), Patrick Brown (husband), Marty Vidnovic (father), Sal Benanti (dad)