PLAYBILL PLAYLIST: Tony Winner Laura Benanti Picks Favorite Songs by Female Writers

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27 Nov 2013

Laura Benanti
Laura Benanti
Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Laura Benanti, who took home the 2008 Tony Award for her performance in Gypsy and will star in the upcoming The Sound of Music Live!, picks her favorite songs by female writers as part of Playbill.com's Playbill Playlist series.

Benanti will star Elsa Schrader alongside six-time Grammy winner Carrie Underwood as Maria, "True Blood" star Stephen Moyer as Capt. Georg von Trapp, Tony Award winners Audra McDonald as Mother Abbess and Christian Borle as Max Dettweiler and Tony nominee Christiane Noll as Sister Margaretta.

The singer-actress, who recently released her album "In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention: Live At 54 Below," was Tony-nominated for her performances in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Into the Woods and Swing! and has also been seen on Broadway in The Sound of Music, Nine, The Violet Hour, The Wedding Singer and In the Next Room.

The Broadway leading lady celebrates women in this week's Playbill Playlist by picking a handful of her favorite songs by female artists and telling us why they made her list.

For more information on The Sound of Music Live!, click here.

"Caught a Lite Sneeze," "Crucify" and "God" (Tori Amos). All of these songs hold special meaning for me. I felt very awkward and unattractive as a teenager, and Tori Amos made me feel powerful and creative. She is beautiful in an atypical way. Her TALENT is the thing that was most important. To this day she is my favorite artist.

"Manhattan" (Sara Bareilles). Anyone who has ever been through a breakup will be moved by this song. It holds a special meaning to me. 

"Never Is A Promise" (Fiona Apple). Her voice and musicianship are so special. This song is so gorgeous in its simplicity.

"I Win" (Abra Moore). I guess I'm seeing a theme here… Anyone who has ever gone through a breakup will appreciate this song.

"Rocks and Water" (Deb Talan). She is best known for being part of the duo the Weepies. I love her solo stuff. Something about this song really speaks to me.

"Mary" (Patty Griffin). She is such a remarkable singer-songwriter. I love the storytelling and imagery in this song.

"If I Wrote You" (Dar Williams). My friend Bobby Creighton introduced me to this artist. She is so poetic. This song in particular moves me.

"Not Prepared" (Maddy Wyatt). Maddy is a friend of mine. She is so incredibly talented. I want EVERYONE to know her name and experience her remarkable music.