Hulu’s upcoming comedy “Life & Beth” nabbed Laura Benanti for a recurring guest star role, Variety has learned exclusively.
Benanti will play Jane, a struggling mother, in the series from Amy Schumer, who writes, directs, executive produces and stars as the titular character.
While Beth’s life looks good on paper — from her job as a wine distributor to her long-term relationship and cosmopolitan life in Manhattan — a sudden incident forces her to engage with her past, which changes her life forever. The show will center flashbacks to teenage Beth, which allows her to realize how she became who she is, as well as think more deeply about who she still wants to become.
Benanti, who can currently be seen in Netflix’s “Tick, Tick… Boom!” adaptation and HBO Max’s reimagining of “Gossip Girl,” was already in production on “Life & Beth.”
Her other recent television credits include “Younger,” “Supergirl,” “Cinema Toast,” “Ziwe,” “The Detour,” “Go On,” “Nashville,” “The Good Wife,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Starved,” “Eli Stone,” “Elementary,” “Nurse Jackie,” “The Big C,” “Royal Pains” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” on which she portrayed Melania Trump. She also created and executive produced “Homeschool Musical: Class of 2020” for HBO max, which put the spotlight on the next generation of musical talent amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And she starred in “The Sound of Music Live” on NBC in 2013, which kicked off a new wave of live musicals on television.
Benanti is a five-time Tony Award nominee, winning once (for “Gypsy”). Although she made her Broadway debut at age 18 as Maria in “The Sound of Music,” she most recently she appeared as Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady” in 2019. In between those performances, she also starred in “Meteor Shower,” “She Loves Me,” “In the Next Room,” “The Wedding Singer,” “Nine,” Into the Woods,” “Swing!,” “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” and the aforementioned “Gypsy.”
Other theater roles include the Public Theater’s production of “Why Torture is Wrong,” “The Winter’s Tale” at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, “A Little Night Music” at the L.A. Opera, and “Wonderful Town” and “The Most Happy Fella” for City Center Encores.
But her musical talents extend beyond the stage: She released a self-titled album for Sony Music Masterworks in 2020; it features covers of songs such as “Someone You Loved” and “Lose You to Love Me,” as well as jazz-influenced torch songs and comedic takes on other favorite tracks. She also produced “Singing You Home – Children’s Songs for Family Reunification” in 2018, proceeds of which went to reuniting families separated at the border.
In film, Benanti recently starred in “Worth,” which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, and “Here Today” opposite Billy Crystal and Tiffany Haddish.
She also co-authored the children’s board book “M is for Mama (and also Merlot): A Modern Mom’s ABCs” with Metropolitan Opera star Kate Mangiameli.
“Life & Beth” is executive produced by Schumer, Kevin Kane, Daniel Powell and Ryan McFaul. Endeavor Content produces. Benanti is repped by Untitled Entertainment and UTA.