Photo credit: Jenny Anderson
Tony Award-winner and five-time Tony Award nominee LAURA BENANTI is a highly celebrated stage and screen actress, with dozens of credits to her name. A native of Kinnelon, New Jersey, she won Paper Mill Playhouse’s Rising Star Award for her portrayal of Dolly Levi in her high school production of Hello, Dolly!, and from there, she went on to take Broadway by storm, making her Broadway debut at the young age of 18 as Maria in The Sound of Music, opposite Richard Chamberlain.
Benanti is currently starring as Eliza Doolittle in Lincoln Center’s revival of “My Fair Lady,” and was most recently seen onstage in Steve Martin’s hit Broadway play, Meteor Shower, where she costarred alongside Amy Schumer and Keegan Michael Key. Other Broadway roles include Amalia Balash in She Loves Me, for which she was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards. For Lincoln Center, Laura was nominated for a Tony Award and won the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her starring role in the Broadway production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and also starred in their Broadway production of Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play. Ms. Benanti earned the 2008 Tony Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, a Drama Desk Award, and an Outer Critics Circle Award for her revelatory portrayal of Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy opposite Patti LuPone. Other Broadway roles include The Wedding Singer, Nine (starring Antonio Banderas), her Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award-nominated performance of Cinderella in Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, and her Tony nominated turn in Swing!.
Her television credits include recurring and guest appearances “Younger,” “The Detour,” “Supergirl,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Nashville,” “The Good Wife, “Elementary,” “Nurse Jackie,” “The Big C,” NBC’s “The Sound of Music Live” and many more. She frequently appears on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in her comedic portrayal of First Lady Melania Trump.
Other distinguished theater performances include the Public Theater’s production of Christopher Durang’s Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them, Perdita in The Winter’s Tale at the Williamstown Theatre Festival opposite Kate Burton, Anne in A Little Night Music at the L.A. Opera opposite Victor Garber, Eileen in Wonderful Town opposite Donna Murphy, and Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella, both for City Center Encores! Ms. Benanti has performed numerous concert engagements, both solo in her critically-lauded “Tales from Soprano Isle,’ and with her mother, in their duo show “The Story Goes On.” In September 2013, she released her debut album, “In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention: Live at 54 Below” on Broadway Records to rave reviews.
She currently resides in Manhattan with her husband Patrick and daughter Ella.
Photo credit: Michael Tammaro
Known for his entertaining programs and clever humor, Michael Krajewski is a sought-after conductor of symphonic pops. He is Principal Pops Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and previously served as Music Director of The Philly Pops and Principal Pops Conductor of the Houston Symphony and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
As a guest conductor, he has performed with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; Boston and Cincinnati Pops; and San Francisco, Baltimore, Detroit, Indianapolis, Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and National Symphonies. In Canada, Krajewski led Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic and the Edmonton, Winnipeg and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphonies. Other international appearances include performances in Dublin and Belfast, with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Spain’s Bilbao Symphony Orchestra.
Krajewski holds degrees from Wayne State University in Detroit and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and trained at the Pierre Monteux Domaine School for Conductors. He lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife Darcy.