Benanti, a show spokesperson confirmed, will not perform at the St. James Theatre Sept. 25-Sept. 28 and Oct. 14-18. In her absence standby Jessica Rush will likely play the role of wallflower Louise, who becomes famed stripper Gypsy Rose Lee.
It seems that Benanti will also get the chance to sing on the new season of ABC-TV's "Eli Stone," which returns Oct. 14 at 10 PM ET. In an interview for comicbookresources.com, "Stone" creator Marc Guggenheim said, "Let me put it this way, I am not bringing [Benanti] back after she won a Tony award just to have her not sing. It is simply a crime against humanity that she did not sing last year."
"Eli Stone" is the story of "a lawyer who finds himself at a crossroads in life," according to press notes, "caught between the man he has become and the man he wants to be... even if that means being a prophet." The series also stars Jonny Lee Miller, Victor Garber, Loretta Devine, James Saito, Matt Letscher, Natasha Henstridge, Sam Jaeger and Julie Gonzalo.
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.
Gypsy plays the St. James Theatre, which is located in Manhattan at 246 West 44th Street. Tickets are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting www.telecharge.com.