Julie Benko – direct from Broadway’s Funny Girl and Harmony– with her band “Euphonic Gumbo” returns on Monday, February 12 at 7pm. Benko will march her band out to celebrate Mardi Gras with six instrumentalists, including her jazz-pianist spouse Jason Yeager, in addition to Michael O’Brien on bass, Jay Sawyer on drums, Andy Warren on trumpet, Evan Harris on clarinet, and Ron Wilkins on trombone. She is joined by her former Funny Girl castmate and tap dancer extraordinaire John Manzari as special guest.
Performing in the classic New Orleans jazz style, Julie lets the good times roll with a delightful potpourri of tunes inspired by her love of the Crescent City. Songs include selections from Hand in Hand, Benko and Yeager’s recent album from Club44 Records (“Louisiana Fairy Tale,” “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?”), Benko’s debut album (“Love for Sale,” her original song “Tomorrow Is a Day for You”) and other classics (“Basin St. Blues,” “When the Saints Go Marching In”). There will be trivia, there will be prizes, and there will be sequins. Grab your beads and join the parade – nobody’s gonna rain on this one!
Julie Benko joined the annals of theatrical lore for her sensational understudy-to-star trajectory as Fanny Brice in the recent Broadway revival of Funny Girl. Between her tenure as the standby, alternate, and full-time Fanny, she played the role over 180 times and received numerous accolades for her interpretation, including Theatre World’s Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theatre. She was also called the 2022 “Breakout Star for Theater” in The New York Times, named among “10 Broadway Stars to Watch for 2023” by Variety, honored as one of “40 Under 40” for Crain’s New York Business, hailed by CBS Mornings as “Broadway’s breakout star,” and profiled in numerous national media outlets such as The New York Times and Time. She is currently back on Broadway originating the role of Ruth in the Barry Manilow/Bruce Sussman musical Harmony. Her recent album Hand in Hand (Club44 Records), a duo effort with her pianist-composer spouse Jason Yeager, won the BroadwayWorld Cabaret Award for “Best Commercial Album” and received a MAC Award nomination for “Best Major Album.” Other recordings include Christmas With You (Club44 Records) and Introducing Julie Benko. She has played leading roles in many Off-Broadway and regional productions and enjoys a vibrant concert career, having headlined sold-out solo shows at venues around the country.