Thursday, January 9, 2014

Laura Benanti

Call this woman crazy and eclectic! This entry certainly pushes the boundaries of cabaret talk, but the more I pondered it, maybe not. TCCAN has been doing a bit of introspection lately as to what we define as cabaret, and I have been getting some interesting input from members that is sometimes contradictory even though echoing similar themes. Two words that remain constant however are "authentic" and "intimate." Strangely this clip contains both although no one would ever label it cabaret.

If you do not know, Laura Benanti is a reputable Broadway personality. She has huge credits to her name; the Wedding Singer, Gypsy, Into the Woods. She is stellar in all, but outright fame has been elusive to her. Attempts at television like the Playboy Club have failed. She has a cabaret following and from her material and talent - I would bet it is captivating. She may now be recognized at-large as Elsa in "that television version of Sound of Music where someone stepped on her dress." Ironically, she performed Maria on Broadway earlier in her career and I am curious if she had any notes for Carrie Underwood.....

But this clip is the premiere of a new web video series hosted by If this is any indication of things to follow, it will also be stellar. She starts by pulling off a rap jingle. Then decides to entertain the mass mobs in Times Square among all the other notable icons who are hawing a product; Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty and numerous Superheroes. Only, she participates in the guise of perhaps Broadway's most likely dismal role = Fosca from Sondheim's Passion. In black period dress, shawl, etched eyebrows and mole on cheek, she rambles from tourist to tourist serenading them with unfamiliar phrases of song and story. Cabaret? Yes/ No? Unlikely. But authentic and intimate - surprisingly YES! Hilarious. The video would not embed, so old school - follow the link.

Life With Laura - Fosca

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