Celebrating Benanti's New Costar
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Connie Britton and Julie White Showed Benanti Love
Smash alum Megan Hilty—who is expecting her second child (a boy!) with husband Brian Gallagher — showed up wearing a color coordinated ensemble. “We both got the memo to wear a sensible wine colored maternity dress,” Benanti jokes.
While the two have yet to star on stage together, they stole the show at the 2013 Tony Awards, where they lamented about their love/hate relationship with TV in one of the evening’s most memorable numbers.
A Special Supper-Club Setting
Feinstein’s / 54 Below was a particularly special spot for Benanti. Not only has she performed in her “home away from home” many times, but three of the underground supper club’s partners — Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel and Steve Baruch — gave Benanti her first Broadway job.
They hired her to be Rebecca Luker‘s understudy for the role of Maria in the 1998 The Sound of Music revival. Benanti was just 18 years old at the time.
Feinstein’s / 54 Below’s Kate Clark and Richard Frankel were on hand for the shower and posed for pics with Benanti, who thanked them and their partners for generously throwing her the event.
“Deepest, most heartfelt thanks to my family at Feinstein’s / 54 Below for giving me the gift of this gorgeous baby shower,” Benanti said.
A Bangin' Brunch
The food, from Feinstein’s / 54 Below executive chef Lynn Bound, was spectacular. Guests were served breakfast bread with butter and jam, followed by a choice of parpardelle pasta with lobster, ricotta pancakes, braised short rib, roasted chicken or a cheddar-and-bacon omlet.
Pastry chef Sandra Bowers also provided tasty treats, like the cupcakes pictured here.
Benanti’s mother Linda Benanti, sister Marielle Benanti and grandmother Elsie Schneider were by the mom-to-be’s side. Laura praised them for their help, saying, “Thank you to my incredible mom and sister for all the time, planning and hard work that went into creating such a magical day.”
Laura’s hilarious relationship with mom Linda has been well documented on social media. “She is just so thrilled” to be a grandma, Laura told PEOPLE. “Linda’s been waiting. I’m 37! So this is a long time coming for her.”
Benanti’s “wonderful” mother-in-law Lisa Brown was also there — and provided “invaluable help,” according to Benanti. The two share a tight bond. “She’s just the sweetest, sweetest woman,” the star told PEOPLE. “And so adorable about this baby. It’s pretty amazing.”
Custom Cookies and BALM favors
There were sweet custom cookies in celebration of Benanti’s soon-to-be shining star — custom ordered by her mother-in-law Brown. “The most beautiful cookies I have ever seen,” Benanti said.
Guests were also given EOS lip-balm favors, which came on a custom card with an illustration of a pregnant Benanti and a message reading “Laura’s Baby Shower was the BALM because of you!”
Benanti was showered with love an gifts at the event. The presents were piled up on the locale’s stage, where she and other Broadway vets often perform two to three shows a night.
More Than One Onsie
There was even a “Make a Onsie” station, where guests created custom outfits for Benanti and Brown’s future daughter. Some of the designs included messages saying, “I’m a Bigger Star,” “Power Napper” and “Future Tony Winner!”
Reading Is Fundamental
And since one can never have enough books, Benanti’s baby got a head start on her collection with a book drop!
Reunited and It Feels So Good
Ferguson’s husband Justin Mikita was by his side. They posed for photos with Hilty and Ferguson’s Tony-nominated costar in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Celia Keenan-Bolger.
More of Broadway's Best
Broadway vets Elena Shaddow (The Visit), Julia Murney (Wicked) and Jessica Rush (Gypsy, alongside Benanti) were just some of the friends toasting the mom-to-be on her special day.
An "Incredible" Day
“As I looked around the room that day and took in the shining faces of my family and friends, I was overwhelmed by how lucky I am, and how lucky this little girl is, to be surrounded by them,” Benanti said, reflecting back on the day. “Thank you, dearest ones, for being in our lives!”