An evening with Bernadette Peters

kmccarthy@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 4, 2012 

Bernadette Peters is stunning.

And I'm not just talking about her physical appearance, though at over twice my age I can only hope that I look half as good as she does at 64. But everything about her on-stage persona is inviting and warm and sparkling — which isn't surprising considering the length and stamina of her impressive Broadway career. Not to mention her turns on television and in movies.

My husband and I attended her show at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts on Saturday — the first time either of us had been to a show there — and I can't say enough about how great it was.

We were certainly among the youngest in attendance. But though my husband was fortunate enough to see her perform on Broadway (he saw Annie Get Your Gun while on a band trip in high school), chances are I won't make it to NYC anytime soon and this may have been my only opportunity to see her live.

Ms. Peters sang a variety of songs from a variety of musicals, some of which she appeared in, others from shows she just admires. Of particular note were "Nothing Like a Dame" and "Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific, "Johanna" from Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and "No One is Alone" from Into the Woods.

She also sang "Fever," and said it was the first time she'd performed the song. As a big fan of Peggy Lee, I loved her performance.

During "Nothing Like a Dame," she sauntered into the audience and flirted with one of the older guys on the main level — I think my husband would have insisted on forking out the extra cash for those prime seats if he'd had known what was in store!

Bernadette is also a big supporter of shelter animals and has a charity called Broadway Barks. She's written a few children's books to benefit the cause and they were on sale before and after her performance. We got ours beforehand — it's signed and probably one of the best concert mementos we could get. She came back on stage for an encore to sing the lullaby that she wrote, which is included with the books.

As she left the stage — to two standing ovations — I couldn't believe that an hour and a half had already passed. I could have listened to her sing for hours.

If you missed her last week, I hope you get the chance to see her on Broadway or maybe catch her if she heads this way again. You won't be disappointed.

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