Laura Benanti in The Wedding Singer(© Joan Marcus)
Laura Benanti in The Wedding Singer
(© Joan Marcus)
Laura Benanti, who has the leading female role of Julia in the Broadway musical The Wedding Singer, is currently on a leave of absence from the show due to vocal problems. Standby Tina Maddigan, best known as the original Sophie in the Broadway production of Mamma Mia!, will play the part until Benanti returns.

According to Richard Kornberg, publicist for The Wedding Singer, Benanti has already been out of the show for a week. "Laura has been experiencing certain vocal problems lately," said Kornberg. "For the past month at least, she had cut back from eight performances a week to six in order to save her voice. Now she's on medical leave, and we hope she can return as soon as possible."

On August 10, Benanti posted the following notice on her official website: "As you may be aware, I am on medical leave from The Wedding Singer for the next four to six weeks. I want to thank the cast...(especially Tina Maddigan) and everyone who has been so kind to me and supportive during this difficult time, and I want you all to know I am doing everything I can to get healthy and get back to the show to stay!"

Benanti's previous Broadway credits include Nine, Into the Woods, Swing!, and The Sound of Music. The actress missed the final few weeks of the run of Into the Woods after suffering a fall on stage.

Based on the popular film of the same title, The Wedding Singer has a score by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, and a book by Tim Herlihy and Beguelin. The musical tells the story or Robbie Hart (played by Stephen Lynch), the lead singer in a New Jersey wedding band, whose dreams of becoming a singer/songwriter have been replaced by a burning desire to find the right girl and settle down. When his fiancée leaves him standing at the altar, he becomes a wedding planner's worst nightmare, taking out his bitterness on stage until he falls in love with a waitress named Julia -- who happens to be engaged to a wealthy Wall Street broker.

Directed by John Rando, The Wedding Singer features choreography by Rob Ashford, scenic design by Scott Pask, costume design by Gregory Gale, lighting design by Brian MacDevitt, and sound design by Peter Hylenski. Also featured in the cast are Richard Blake, Kevin Cahoon, Felicia Finley, Rita Gardner, Matthew Saldivar, and Amy Spanger.