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concert production of the Leonard Bernstein-Betty Comden-Adolph Green musical Wonderful Town.In 2002, Benanti played Cinderella (a role she had played as a teenager) in the Broadway revival of Into the Woods, and received both a Tony nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical and a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.From April 2 through 6, 2014, Benanti starred as Rosabella in the New York City Center Encores!staged concert production of Frank Loesser's The Most Happy Fella alongside Shuler Hensley, Cheyenne Jackson, Jay Armstrong Johnson, and Heidi Blickenstaff.She played Baroness Elsa Schräder in the 2013 NBC television production of The Sound of Music Live!and in 2015 began playing twin sisters Alura and Astra in the TV series Supergirl.During a mid-performance pratfall in Into the Woods, Benanti fractured her neck, herniating two discs directly onto her spinal cord and cutting off spinal fluid, a condition that sometimes leads to paralysis.The injury was misdiagnosed and Into the Woods producers asked Benanti not to mention her injury; when she began missing performances due to neck problems, rumors spread that Benanti was behaving unprofessionally, something that she calls "really hurtful".
Benanti remembers being "very serious" and "a bit of an ugly duckling" as a child; she was intensely interested in musical theatre, saying she "came out of the womb as a 40-year-old".
She received a nomination for Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for this role.
In 2017, Benanti once again appeared on Broadway in Steve Martin's Meteor Shower, along with Keegan-Michael Key as Gerald, Amy Schumer as Corky, and Jeremy Shamos as Norm.
She was particularly interested in the music of Stephen Sondheim at an early age and distanced herself from other children.
Though her parents refused to let Laura audition for professional theatre, Laura appeared in several high school and community productions, including Evita (as Peron's mistress), Follies (as Young Heidi), and Into the Woods (as Cinderella).