Benanti Will Return to Gypsy in The Naked Genius Benefit; Cerveris to Co-Star

News   Benanti Will Return to Gypsy in The Naked Genius Benefit; Cerveris to Co-Star Tony Award winners Laura Benanti and Michael Cerveris will star in a one-night-only reading of Gypsy Rose Lee's The Naked Genius, a benefit for the Mint Theater Company, June 14 at Caroline's on Broadway.

Laura Benanti and Michael Cerveris
Laura Benanti and Michael Cerveris Photo by Ernio Hernandez and Aubrey Reuben

Benanti, who earned a Tony Award for starring in the title role of Gypsy opposite Patti LuPone, will again inhabit the legendary ecdysiast opposite her In the Next Room co-star Cerveris.

The Mint reveals that the reading will present "the original, unadulterated script" of The Naked Genius. Eleanor Reissa will direct the 8 PM reading.

According to the Mint, "The Naked Genius, tells the story of a burlesque performer named Gypsy Rose Lee — author of a recently published memoir entitled 'I'll Bare All.' The cast of characters includes her manager, her mother, her publisher, four Chihuahuas and Ramona the Baby Chimp. It's a sweet farce about the struggle Gypsy faces between her desire for respectability and her burlesque roots."

Originally titled The Ghost in the Woodpile, the play's original producer renamed the production The Naked Genius and cast Joan Blondell (much to Lee's public displeasure) in the role of Honey Bee Carroll. Lee had written the part for herself. George S. Kaufman staged the play that ran for 36 performances at the Plymouth Theatre on Broadway.

Lee's son, Erik Preminger, and Anne Kaufman (whose father directed the original production of the play) will serve as co-chairs of the benefit that will begin with dinner at 6 PM.

For tickets phone (212) 315-0231 or visit MintTheater.

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