By Tulis McCall

Laura Benanti has a perfect body that reminds me of Barbi.  Not Kidding.  Long waisted, elegant limbs, beautiful hair.  Beautiful everything with cheekbones for days.  Her vocal range is astonishing and her voice crystal clear.  To top it all off she is intelligent and funny.  She is so funny that her band and backup singers laugh at her jokes.

In other words – I have plenty of reasons to be jealous and even hate her.

Sadly – I could not muster up the courage for that.

To look at Benanti you would think that she has never had a problem in her life.  She may have read about problems and setbacks in magazines, but her life has been nothing but perfect.

Unless you count the men who slept with her, dumped her, and then became famous.  Leaving her to think that her vagina was a passageway to stardom.

Yes she does say that.  And way more.

Her emotional slips and falls are the stuff of legend – except it is she who knows about them, not us.  Perhaps now we will.  Benanti would have it be so.  She wants women and girls to know that a slip and fall is just that.  Follow it with getting up and getting on – over and over and over again – and you will be just fine.

The last time I saw Benanti she was performing at Cafe Carlyle.  She was pregnant with her first child.  Very pregnant.  Wearing a red knit dress as if daring us not to notice her bump.  Her THIRD and still present husband Patrick Brown was there laughing along with the rest of us.  Nothing like making sport of your life with a full time cheering squad in the house.

Seven years later her tow children, Ella and Louisa, are managing Benanti’s life with critiques and questions.  Why isn’t she wearing make up and what are those hairs growing out of her nose. This is the most full-time job Benanti has ever had.  She loves it as much as she loves the challenge of staying awake like other grownups.  They all live out in New Jersey where Benanti tells us she dies just a little every day.  On the inside.

The made up theme of the show is NOBODY CARES.  Benanti circles back and forth on this theme that Todd Almond and the Demonettes blast out to us several times during the show.  This is not a theme we need.  And while the show is being recorded for Audible, that is not worth the 15 minutes or so spent on explaining that to us in the prologue.

Benanti is enough on her own and the show would be whole without a ‘theme”.  Just sayin’.  She has enough material, including a few songs she wrote with Almond, and she probably thinks of more every day.

Benanti is a suburban mother of two girls, wife of a loving and funny husband, a singer and performer par excellence – and just a tad out of her mind.  In other works Benanti is just the way we like here: talented and chock-a-block full of surprises that will make you laugh so hard you will bark.  I did.

I can’t wait for the next incarnation.

Laura Benanti – Nobody Cares; written by and starring Laura Benanti; Original Music by Laura Bananti and Todd Almond;  Directed by Annie Tippie; and Audible production.

Joining Laura onstage as her “Inner Demons” are Barrie McLain and Chelsea Lee Williams (vocalists), with Todd Almond (music director) and band members Carl Carter (bass), Clayton Craddock (drums), Edward W. Hardy (violin), Ann Klein (guitar), and Daniel A. Weiss (keyboards/guitar). The creative team includes Japhy Weideman (lighting design), Connor Wang (sound design), dots (Scenic Consultant)

Through June 2 at Minetta Lane Theater.  TICKETS