Linda and Laura Benanti



By Sandi Durell


The Story Goes On – it runs in the family as these two glorious voiced, stunning looking sopranos hold their audience at 54 Below (on February 20) in the palm of their hands.

Of course, we knew what Laura was capable of, having seen this Tony Award winner recently on stage in Meteor Shower (with Amy Schumer) and She Loves Me, pregnant and nauseous, giving a prime example with a taste of  “Vanilla Ice Cream (Harnick & Bock).”

But Mom, Linda, hadn’t performed in 36 years although she lays claim as an accomplished actress/singer on and off Broadway, having appeared in nine Broadway shows and receiving five Tony nominations. What’s a good daughter to do but create an arena where the duo can soar . . . together! And so this is their third time returning to 54 Below where they can wow and wow they do!

Laura juggles a busy career as well as her now one year old Ella, while Linda is enjoying the renewal of being back in the saddle singing on stage (albeit having an active television career).

From the witty lyrics of “The Grass is Always Greener” (from Woman of the Year – Kander & Ebb) to a nostalgia trip back to Laura at 17 and her first Broadway show, taking over Rebecca Luker’s role in The Sound of Music (Rodgers/Hammerstein II), Laura is the queen of comedic takes as she explains her Vasalovagel moment – shake, shaky shake when taking the limelight!

The two take turns offering up songs from their careers – i.e. Linda with “Mira” (from Carnival – Bob Merrill) – her first audition; an emotional, take your breath away “The Man that Got Away” (from A Star is Born – Delibes/Gondinet/Gille/Lerner & Loewe/Arlen & Gershwin). The two dueted lovingly and harmonically on “Children Will Listen” and concluded a capella with one of the most touching renditions I’ve heard of “A Quiet Thing” (from Flora the Red Menace – Kander & Ebb). They take your breath away!

They are surrounded by the exceptionally talented Todd Almond on piano-musical director, with Brian Ellingson on bass.


Linda and Laura: The Story Goes On continues at 54 Below – 254 West 54 Street (Cellar)

thru February 23 – all shows at 7 pm