If you watched the “Supergirl” premiere last night — and, given that it was the most-watched premiere of a new show this season, you probably did — you know that the first season’s Big Bad is played by “Nashville” star Laura Benanti, who also played Kara’s late Kryptonian mother in the show’s prologue. The nature of Benanti’s character, who claims to be Kara’s aunt, remains fuzzy — early announcements that she was playing Supergirl’s mother, Alura Zor-el, seem to have been fake-outs — but she’s addressed as “General” and seems hell-bent on taking over the earth, and has no compunction about killing her niece in the process. (Note: Even an actress as good as Benanti has trouble making the word “niece” sound threatening.)
Theories, naturally, abound, but here’s something that might shed light on the situation. In 2013, well before she was cast on “Supergirl,” Benanti, who is also a musical theater star, performed at at Broadway cabaret club 54 Below with the group the Skivvies. Her three-song medley, which she begins in a fuzzy hooded parka, stripping off layers as she goes, includes Katy Perry’s “Part of Me,” Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women (Part 1)” and a certain Alicia Keys song that goes with this costume:
Could Benanti’s ultimate goal to replace Melissa Benoist as “Supergirl’s” star, and change the show’s name to something a little more… adult? You’ll have to keep watching to find out.