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Laura Benanti Added to 'Women On the Verge'

Laura Benanti 2 Tony Award-winning actress Laura Benanti is the latest addition to a star-studded cast in Lincoln Center’s upcoming musical, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. According to Playbill.com, Benanti, who last appeared at Lincoln Center in In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play), will play Candela.

Stars previously announced for Women on the Verge include Sherie Rene Scott, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Danny Burstein, de'Adre Aziza, Mary Beth Peil, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, and Patti LuPone. (This production will reunite Benati and LuPone, who both won 2008 Tony Awards for their performances as mother and daughter in Gypsy.)

Based on Pedro Almodóvar's 1988 film of the same title, Lincoln Center Theater describes Women on the Verge as follows:

Both touching and hilarious, it's a story about women and the men who pursue them... finding them, losing them, needing them, and rejecting them. At the center is Pepa (Scott) whose friends and lovers are blazing a trail through 1980s Madrid. And why do they all keep showing up at her high-rise apartment? Is it her gazpacho? Along with Pepa, there's her missing (possibly philandering) lover, Ivan (Mitchell); his ex-wife of questionable sanity, Lucia (LuPone); Pepa's friend, Candela (Benanti), and her terrorist boyfriend; a power-suited lawyer (Aziza) plus a taxi driver (Burstein) who dispenses tissues, mints and advice in equal proportion. Mayhem and comic madness abound, balanced by the empathy and heart that are trademarks of Almodóvar's work.

The musical, with a score by David Yazbek and a book by Jeffrey Lane, will be helmed by Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher. The director, who previously staged LCT’s Light in the Piazza and South Pacific, reunites with his South Pacific creative team for the project.

Benanti is a wonderful addition to an already exciting project. She was amazing in both In the Next Room and Gypsy -- and anyone who can hold her own against Patti LuPone while giving a heartbreaking performance as Louise is a talent to be marveled. She, along with the already pedigreed cast, will make this musical another hit for Lincoln Center, as well as the show to see this upcoming season.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown opens on Broadway Oct. 2 at the Belasco Theatre.

-- Elizabeth Espinoza

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