Benanti Is First "Gypsy" to Win the Tony

News   Benanti Is First "Gypsy" to Win the Tony Laura Benanti is the first actress to have played the role of Gypsy Rose Lee in a Broadway production of Gypsy to win a Tony Award for her performance.
Tony winners Laura Benanti and Boyd Gaines
Tony winners Laura Benanti and Boyd Gaines

When asked why she believes she won the award when the other actresses who played the role did not, Benanti said, "Well, I guess you have to look at who else was in their [Tony] category. And, Arthur Laurents, Patti LuPone and Boyd Gaines — that's probably why."

Sandra Church originated the role of the wallflower-turned- stripper in the 1959 Broadway production of Gypsy. Subsequent Louises included Zan Charisse (1974), Crista Moore (1989) and Tammy Blanchard (2003).

As for future plans, Benanti said, "I'm happy where I am. I'm not a huge planner. I kind of let the universe bring me what I want to. . . I'm just happy where I am right now."

Prior to Gypsy, Laura Benanti was most recently on Broadway in The Wedding Singer. She played Claudia in the Tony-winning revival of Maury Yeston's Nine, and she received Tony Award nominations for her performances in Swing! and the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. She was also seen in The Sound of Music, Time and Again and the City Center Encores! mounting of Wonderful Town. Benanti's regional credits include roles in A Little Night Music, Man of La Mancha and A Winter's Tale.

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