Appearances may be deceptive but the force of personality that Laura Benanti brings to all her work, whether tweeting or tearing up the Broadway stage, makes me think that she’s just a top human. Witty and irreverent on the one, committed and forceful on the other – either way round, she’s a one for forging her own path.
And that’s in evidence on the song selection for her 54 Below cabaret show In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention. From showtunes to the showgirl herself Lana Del Rey, rewritten classics to self-penned ditties, it’s undoubtedly an eclectic mix but one that is held together by the huge warmth that Benanti exudes, whether in performance or in the (frankly hilarious) patter where she proudly details her flops.
So she shines on that del Rey medley of ‘Starry Eyed’ and ‘Video Games’ just as much as on Maury Yeston’s ‘Unusual Way’; a relatively straight ‘I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore’ (from Gigi) is just as charismatic as the inimitable version of ‘On the Street Where You Live’ which has been tailored for the occasion. Benanti’s personality really does shine through at every opportunity and thus makes this a rare cabaret album which you’ll want to listen to every minute of.