Home / Artists / PHOTOS: Broadway/TV Stars Join COTA in Celebrating Laura Benanti with “We Love Her”

PHOTOS: Broadway/TV Stars Join COTA in Celebrating Laura Benanti with “We Love Her”

Benanti with Jeremy Jordan and #COTA Steve Schonberg

Benanti with Jeremy Jordan and #COTA’s Steve Schonberg

By #COTA Staff / Photo Credit: Jerritt Clark

Last night, a line-up of Broadway and TV stars came out to help Center On The Aisle (#COTA) celebrate Tony winner, Laura Benanti, at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Playing to a sold-out, packed house, these performers all took the stage to sing songs from Benanti’s career — directly below Studio 54 where Laura is headlining in She Loves Me, the show for which she’s earned her fifth Tony Award nomination.

Stars in attendance and in the show included Jeremy Jordan, Melissa Benoist, Michael Arden, Molly Ephraim, Alexandra Silber, Michael Urie, Julia Murney, and more.

Titled “We Love Her,” the performance was hosted by #COTA’s editor-in-chief, Steve Schonberg, in recognition of Laura’s incredible career that began its first chapter on Broadway nearly 20 years ago. Benanti was also presented with #COTA’s 2nd annual “Our Leading Lady” award by Schonberg. Last year’s recipient was Tony winner, Kelli O’Hara.

Benanti performed as well, singing “Vanilla Ice Cream” from She Loves Me, and a touching duet with her mother, vocal coach Linda Benanti (“Children Will Listen,” from Into the Woods). She also went country, a throwback to her time on ABC’s “Nashville,” performing “Gasoline and Matches” with her “Supergirl” co-star, Melissa Benoist.

“Thank you so much for this beautiful award, and thank you to my friends and family for your heartfelt sentiment and singing,” Benanti told the audience after accepting the “Our Leading Lady” award, which she was selected to receive by writers from #COTA. “I love Broadway so much, and I have since I was a very little girl. This is a dream come true and I’m really grateful.”

In addition to the duet with her mother, the audience was treated to songs by Laura’s husband, Patrick Brown (“Something Good”) and by her father, Broadway veteran, Marty Vidnovic (“Laura”). The evening was music directed by composer and lyricist, Georgia Stitt.

In addition to the photos below, head to the #COTA Facebook page for video clips shot live during the show at www.facebook.com/CenterOnTheAisle.

Benanti with the 2nd annual #COTA "Our Leading Lady" Award

Benanti with the 2nd annual #COTA “Our Leading Lady” Award

Michael Urie with The Skivvies

Michael Urie with The Skivvies remind everyone to “Look Up” from their phones.

The Skivvies - Nick Cearley and Lauren Molina

The Skivvies – Nick Cearley and Lauren Molina / “I Like Musicals”

Linda Benanti duets with her daughter, Laura, on Sondheim's "Children Will Listen"

Linda Benanti duets with her daughter, Laura, on Sondheim’s “Children Will Listen”

Todd Haimes, Artistic Director of the Roundabout Theatre Company, shared that Benanti was Scott Ellis' only pick for Amalia in "She Loves Me."

Todd Haimes, Artistic Director of the Roundabout Theatre Company, shared that Benanti was their only pick for Amalia in She Loves Me.

Singer and songwriter, Todd Almond / "He Comes for Conversation"

Singer and songwriter, Todd Almond / “He Comes for Conversation”

Michael Arden sings "I'll Miss the Man" from Pippin, the show where they first met and performed together

Michael Arden sings “I’ll Miss the Man” from Pippin, the show where they first met and performed together

Kathy Searle questions Benanti's choice of TV projects, with a roast of "The Playboy Club."

Kathy Searle questions Benanti’s choice of TV projects, with a roast of “The Playboy Club.”

Julia Murney sings "Unusual Way" from Nine

Julia Murney sings “Unusual Way” from Nine

Last Man Standing's Molly Ephraim looks back "On The Steps of the Palace" from Into the Woods (in which she co-starred with Benanti)

Last Man Standing’s Molly Ephraim looks back “On The Steps of the Palace” from Into the Woods (in which she co-starred with Benanti)

Benanti's husband, Patrick Brown, realizes that somewhere in his youth or childhood, he must have done something good / "Something Good" from "The Sound of Music"

Benanti’s husband, Patrick Brown, realizes that somewhere in his youth or childhood, he must have done something good / “Something Good” from The Sound of Music

Schonberg says Benanti is a woman of few words... or at least Twitter would have you believe that - as proven by a dramatic reading by her friends

Schonberg says Benanti is a woman of few words… or at least Twitter would have you believe that – as proven by a dramatic reading by her friends

Groovy and hep, Kelly Hutchinson, Chelsea Nachman and Sarah Saltzberg go "beatnik" with Benanti's tweets

The very groovy Kelly Hutchinson, Chelsea Nachman and Sarah Saltzberg go “beatnik” with Benanti’s tweets

Alexandra Silber sings "Somebody, Somewhere" from The Most Happy Fella

Alexandra Silber sings “Somebody, Somewhere” from The Most Happy Fella

Benanti and Supergirl, Melissa Benoist, duet on a very country, "Gasoline and Matches"

Benanti and Supergirl, Melissa Benoist, duet on a very country “Gasoline and Matches”

Cal showed his sweeter side; Waitress' Eric Anderson sings "The Ukelele" song

Cal shows his sweeter side; Waitress‘ Eric Anderson sings “The Ukelele Song”

Gypsy alum, Jessica Rush, puts a playful spin on "Little Lamb" before a big reveal

Gypsy alum, Jessica Rush, puts a playful spin on “Little Lamb” before a big reveal

Jessica Rush closes her number with "Let Me Entertain You"

Jessica Rush closes her number by revealing “Let Me Entertain You”

Benanti's father, Broadway veteran, Marty Vidnovic serenades with the classic, "Laura."

Benanti’s father, Broadway veteran, Marty Vidnovic serenades with the classic, “Laura.”

Nikka Graff Lanzarone goes back to "Women on the Verge" with "Model Behavior"

Nikka Graff Lanzarone goes back to “Women on the Verge” with “Model Behavior”

Schonberg explains to Benanti that she was selected for the award for her gifts on stage and her giving nature with friends, fans and colleagues.

Schonberg explains to Benanti that she was selected for the award for her gifts on stage and her giving nature with friends, fans and colleagues.

Benanti with her "Our Leading Lady" award from #COTA

Benanti with her “Our Leading Lady” award from #COTA

Benanti offers up "Vanilla Ice Cream" to close the show

Benanti offers up “Vanilla Ice Cream” to close the show

"Vanilla Ice Cream"

“Vanilla Ice Cream”

Benanti with Melissa Benoist

Benanti with Melissa Benoist

Jeremy Jordan and Laura Benanti

Jeremy Jordan and Laura Benanti

Molly Ephraim and Laura Benanti

Linda and Laura Benanti

Molly Ephraim and Benanti

Molly Ephraim and Benanti

Benanti with husband, Patrick Brown

Benanti with husband, Patrick Brown

Benanti with Alexandra Silber

Benanti with Alexandra Silber

Benanti with music director -- composer and lyricist -- Georgia Stitt

Benanti with music director — composer and lyricist — Georgia Stitt

Benanti and Todd Almond

Benanti and Todd Almond

Benanti with father, Marty Vidnovic

Benanti with father, Marty Vidnovic

Benanti with producer and host, Steve Schonberg

Benanti with producer and host, #COTA’s Steve Schonberg

Julia Murney and Benanti

Julia Murney and Benanti

Star couple, Jessica Rush and Eric Anderson with Benanti

Star couple, Jessica Rush and Eric Anderson with Benanti

Kelly Hutchinson, Sarah Saltzberg and Chelsea Nachman with Benanti

Kelly Hutchinson, Sarah Saltzberg and Chelsea Nachman with Benanti

Benanti with Nikka Graff Lanzarone

Benanti with Nikka Graff Lanzarone

Eric Anderson and Jessica Rush

Eric Anderson and Jessica Rush

About #COTA

Center On The Aisle -- or #COTA) for short -- was founded by theater expert, Steve Schonberg in 2014, and the site now boasts a team of 15 expert writers and reviewers. Steve created the site to help casual theatergoers easily access informative and entertaining content to help them engage more with the theater, and make confident and informed decisions when selecting shows. With this mission, the #COTA team applies their deep theater knowledge and attendance at hundreds of shows a year to create the site's content. That's quite a task! Covering Broadway, off-Broadway, cabaret, dance, music and more, the #COTA team provides a range of valuable perspectives to inform and engage readers. After all, the theater is part of our history, heritage and cultural identity - it should be engaged in as often as possible. Welcome, again, to #COTA and please come again.

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