Benanti's official website says the actress will play Julia in the new musical, which is based on the Adam Sandler film of the same name. Benanti recently wed Chris Barron and will appear on the FX series "Starved," which debuts Aug. 4 at 10 PM ET.
Laura Benanti most recently portrayed Claudia in the Tony-winning revival of Maury Yeston’s Nine. 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.
As previously reported, The Wedding Singer will also star Stephen Lynch in the title role and Jason Antoon as his rival, Jimmy. No official casting has been announced.
Producers Margo Lion, New Line Cinema and the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle announced that the production will open at a Jujamcyn Theatre in April 2006; previews are set to begin in March.
Prior to its Broadway bow, The Wedding Singer will world premiere at the 5th Avenue Theatre. Previews will begin at the Washington theatre Jan. 31, 2006, with an official opening scheduled for Feb. 8. The limited engagement will play through Feb. 19. The Wedding Singer features music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin and a book by Beguelin and Tim Herlihy. Producer Lion told the New York Times that two songs from the film — composed by Adam Sandler and Herlihy — will also make it into the Broadway production.
The musical, according to a press announcement, concerns "Robbie Hart, [who] lives in his grandmother’s basement in New Jersey and sings in a wedding band. His dreams of being a singer/songwriter are long gone, replaced now by a burning desire to find the right girl and settle down. When his fiancée leaves him standing at the altar, he becomes a wedding planner’s worst nightmare, taking out his bitterness on stage . . . until his eye—and heart—turn to a new friend, Julia, but she’s engaged to a wealthy Wall Street broker."
Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore co-starred in the 1998 film, which was directed by Frank Coraci. The original film featured a screenplay by Tim Herlihy.
Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar's previous projects include The Rhythm Club and Wicked City. Beguelin is currently at work on the book for the stage version of Disney's Aladdin, and together they are writing the musical adaptation of the film "Get Shorty."