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Breakout: Laura Benanti

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NAME Laura Benanti AGE 22 WHERE YOU’VE SEEN HER As a strong-willed, pratfall-prone Cinderella in Broadway’s revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, a role that could nab her a second Tony nomination. SCHOOL DAZE The fresh-outta-Kinnelon, N.J., college frosh was two weeks into her NYU stay when she landed a part in 1997’s The Sound of Music revival starring Richard Chamberlain. NAVEL BATTLE Benanti isn’t rushing for a big-screen crossover: ”I think of a movie like Sense and Sensibility, and would love to do that. But then there’s Coyote Ugly. I don’t need somebody drinking out of my belly button.” WHERE THERE’S A WILL… Benanti, who says she’s written ”a million songs,” signed a deal with Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment. The music? ”I think boys come up in most 22-year-old girls’ songs,” she cracks, citing Joni Mitchell and Alanis Morissette as influences. NEXT Eight weekly performances of Woods, which costars a very unglam Vanessa Williams as the Witch.

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