August 11, 2022

 

“It was clear to me that day: This woman’s going to make it,” Silver mentioned, recalling when she noticed Benko audition.

Solid as Hodel, the second-oldest daughter in “Fiddler,” Benko had her first kiss in the course of the J.C.C. manufacturing. The efficiency additionally secured her the chance to review with Silver, who helped put together her to audition for New York College’s Tisch College of the Arts and launched her to her first expertise supervisor.

Benko’s time as an undergraduate learning musical theater was punctuated by stints on tour. After her freshman 12 months at Tisch, she understudied 5 roles within the nationwide “Spring Awakening” tour in 2008, and later joined the “Les Misérables” tour, the place she labored her approach up from roles like understudy, “whore” and “innkeeper’s spouse” to develop into Cosette.

Her profession got here full circle in 2015 when she labored as a swing within the Broadway revival of “Fiddler,” which meant she needed to be ready to step in as any of 4 of Tevye’s daughters, in addition to 4 ensemble roles, on a given evening.

However not even that might put together her for all that it will take to play Fanny Brice.

“I’ve lined eight roles in ‘Fiddler,’ and I really feel like Fanny is greater than all that put collectively,” Benko mentioned, including, with Brice-like playfulness: “Plus Tevye possibly.”

Not like Feldstein and Michele, who each have mentioned they’d lengthy dreamed of enjoying Brice, Benko had no such fantasies. It was a bug that she had by some means averted catching, regardless of being a Jewish woman obsessive about musical theater. When she obtained a callback to be Feldstein’s standby final 12 months, she determined it was time to observe the unique 1968 movie, which Barbra Streisand shot after her success within the unique Broadway manufacturing turned her right into a star.

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