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Julie Benko is an actor, singer, and writer based in New York City. She recently marched her band out on Broadway as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, skyrocketing to fame and joining the annals of theatrical lore for her sensational understudy-to-star trajectory in the show. Between her tenure as the standby, alternate, and full-time Fanny, she played the role over 180 times (1 in every 3 performances!) and received numerous accolades for her interpretation, including Theatre World's Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theatre. She was also named the 2022 Breakout Star for Theater in the New York Times, 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. In the fall of 2023, she originated her first role on Broadway, playing Ruth in the long-gestating Barry Manilow/Bruce Sussman musical Harmony.
Julie has released three studio albums: Christmas With You and Hand in Hand on Club44 Records, and Introducing Julie Benko. All were collaborations with her pianist-composer spouse Jason Yeager. She has headlined sold-out shows at Birdland, 54 Below, the Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel, and many other prestigious venues around the country. She has also performed as a guest soloist with numerous symphonies. She won first prize and the Johnny Mercer Award in the national American Traditions Vocal Competition and holds a BFA in Drama and an MFA in Acting (yes, both) from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
As a writer, Julie has worked across mediums. In 2020, she wrote, directed, and starred in her first short, "The Newlywed's Guide to Physical Intimacy," a heartwarming comedy which follows a Hasidic Jewish couple on their wedding night. The film has since won praise in numerous international festivals. Her first full-length play, "The District," set in New Orleans' legal red light district prior to World War I, was named a semifinalist at the 2022 Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference.
She can often be found making music with Jason, picking up languages on DuoLingo (she's on a streak of over 1,200 days!), or snuggling with her rescue cat, Thelonious Monk (aka Monkey). Incredibly, Julie has never even had one audition for any version of Law and Order.
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