Nashville’s Laura Benanti

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When we asked Laura Benanti her favorite part about playing Sadie on Nashville, her answer was “becoming friends with Connie Britton.” We really can’t blame her, as Britton is most definitely a quintessential woman crush of ours over here at The New Potato. But what Benanti may not know is that she herself is as well, and you know what that means. She’s an honorary potato head, whether she likes it or not.

She’s most recently starring in Radio City’s New York Spring Spectacular (which runs through May 7th), so we figured we’d catch up with her on all things country music, health, beauty and – of course – her favorite things about New York City…

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We’ve already asked what your ideal food day would be, so now we’ll ask what your ideal food day in Manhattan would be? 

I am going to pretend this is a world in which calories don’t matter…

I would wake up and have breakfast at Jacob’s Pickles: Fried chicken, egg and cheese on a biscuit, and a Bloody Mary. Lunch would be at Walter’s in Fort Greene, Brooklyn: A Walter’s Burger, and a Guinness. Dinner at ABC Kitchen: Roasted beets with yogurt, crab toast, pretzel-dusted calamari, wood-oven-roasted Maine lobster, and salted caramel ice cream sundae. I would share all these things with my best lady friends, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Kelly Hutchinson and Sarah Saltzberg.

What’s your favorite thing about New York City? 

The energy. It is visceral to me.

The landmark you don’t find ‘cheesy’ or ‘touristy’ at all…

Central Park (specifically Belvedere Castle)

What’s it like moving from a show like Nashville to the New York Spring Spectacular? 

It is a completely different style of acting. Nashville is a soapy drama, where I try to be as small and real as possible. NYSS is a spectacular where I am playing to 6,000 people a show!

Your favorite parts so far about shooting Nashville

Singing and playing the guitar – and becoming friends with Connie Britton.

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Why country music is for everybody…

The thing I love the most about country is that it tells a story, and the musicianship is amazing. At a time where everything is auto-tuned and electronic, it’s refreshing to hear real instruments!

What are your go-to weeknight recipes to keep it healthy? 

Honestly, I don’t really cook! But when I do I love to make mashed cauliflower. It’s super easy and delicious, as well as roasted carrots and Brussels sprouts.

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Favorite on-the-go lunch spots…

Local Thyme; it’s an organic place near Radio City Music Hall. When I’m on the Upper West Side I like Peacefood Café.

Are there any beauty products you can’t live without? What are they? 

Illumino Oil by my dermatologist Dr. Colbert, and an eyelash curler 

How do you practice beauty from the inside out? 

I meditate twice a day. My teacher is Emily Fletcher at ZivaMind. 

The workout you recently tried and are obsessed with…

Um…napping?

Instagram accounts perfect for killing time…

@manrepeller, @thebabyanimalpics, @natgeo, @humansofny, @catbirdnyc

The best first Broadway shows for a girl to bring a boyfriend/husband she’s trying to ‘ease into’ musical theater and why…

Oof. This one is tough. I am lucky that my boyfriend loves musicals, or at least he says he does. If you are lucky enough to score a ticket to Hamilton, that is absolutely the way to go. It is hands down the best piece of theater I have ever seen. You could go to Chicago, which has tons of beautiful women dancing around, however, the storyline is about women killing their ex’s so…that could be tricky.

You’ve given us your favorite L.A. food spots, what are your favorite NYC restaurants? 

ABC Kitchen, Craft, Quality Italian, Momofuku Noodle Bar, The Mermaid Inn, and Grimaldi’s Pizza.

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s the new potato right now in musical theater?

Hamilton, absolutely. It is EVERYTHING.

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*Laura Benanti, photographed on top of the Empire State Building in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann. Laura wears an Elie Tahari dress, Chelsea Paris shoes, Maje jacket, Sarah Chloe rings, and Au Rate earrings

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