I recently met a rabid fan of Broadway musicals (his name is Francois). I’ve never seen anything like it. His walls are papered with playbills starting from the 70s and he’s seen every Broadway show you can think of. When I told him I sometimes work with Laura Benanti he looked like he was going to faint. He then went on to name everything she’s ever been in, raved about her Tony winning performance in Gypsy and even knew exactly what she's doing now. Unlike Francois, I am not a fan of musicals. It makes me uncomfortable when someone is about to say something but instead suddenly starts to sing. And everything is so dramatic – I don’t know, maybe that kind of public display of emotion is a little too free for the Japanese in me (not to generalize about Japanese people, but it’s a culture more known for personal restraint, not wild free emotion). However, for me there is one exception – The Sound of Music. This may be because I saw it when I was so young, learned and know all the songs and still vividly remember the Von Trapp family singing and escaping into those beautiful mountains. I don’t know. If you ask me to watch a musical I will say no. But if you look in one of my cabinets right now you’ll find a boxed set of The Sound of Music.
A number of years ago Laura played the role of Maria in The Sound of Music on Broadway. When I found that out I peppered her with questions because I couldn’t help myself. She told me how she got into it and what it was like. And she told me the story about how nervous she was when Julie Andrews came to watch her. If you don’t know, Julie Andrews is the original Maria from the movie but has since lost her ability to sing. Afterward she told Laura that she never thought she’d hear herself sing again – until she heard Laura sing. Ever since, I’ve wanted to hear her sing but…well, you know, musicals.
I found out that tonight she will be Elsa Schraeder in NBC’s live performance of The Sound of Music. So I can’t wait to hear her sing. The Daily Beast has an article called, "Laura Benanti is about to be One of Your Favorite Things."
These are some photos of Laura when I did her makeup for fashion week. I’ve meant to post them but I just never got around to it. When I saw her on TV I remembered, and since she’s going to be performing tonight I’m posting them just for her. And Francois, of course.