A song of Bernadette (Peters, of course)

Jul 16

Bernadette Peters 1

Buckle up, Broadway Babies. It’s time to revel in all things Bernadette. The loveable diva Bernadette Peters, she of the curls, the va-va-voom figure and the knockout voice, will return to the concert stage in Davies Hall to perform with the San Francisco Symphony on Tuesday, July 23 (for ticket info, click here). This is a re-scheduled concert after the pesky musicians’ strike scrapped Peters’ previous plans to dazzle us with her latest concert.

Most recently, Peters popped up on NBC’s love-to-hate musical TV show “Smash,” and she was one of the best things about the show (along with the songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman). The 65-year-old beauty’s last turn on Broadway was in the stunning revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, and she proved she’s lost nothing in the dramatic department.

The most astonishing thing about Peters is the duration and diversity of her career. She has done it all. And now, thanks to the wonders of YouTube, let’s revisit some highlights, shall we?

In 1979, Peters starred in The Jerk with then-love Steve Martin. She’s hilarious, but this duet on “Tonight You Belong to Me” is sincerely sweet.

One of the greatest things about the ’70s was the last hurrah of the variety show. Peters was such a versatile and appealing performer that she fit right in to the long-gone format. Here she is on the best of the ’70s variety shows, “The Carol Burnett Show,” singing “All That Jazz” from March, 1975.

More proof that Peters is a superb comedienne, this comedy number by Marilyn Miller and Sheryl Hardwick from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.”

All that wonderfully gooey ’70s cheesiness spilled over into the ’80s. Need proof? Look no further than Peters performing with Peter Allen at the 1982 Academy Awards in a tribute to Irving Berlin.

Peters is a two-time Tony Award winner (with seven nominations) and a force of musical theater nature. Here’s Sondheim’s “Broadway Baby” performed with John Williams and the Boston Pops.

This is one of my favorite Peters performances: “I’m Flying” from Peter Pan from an appearance on Carol Burnett’s “Carol and Company” in 1991.

My favorite Peters Broadway show is Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George, in which she played Dot, muse to painter Georges Seurat (played by Mandy Patinkin). This is “Move On” from 1984.

Let’s end this musical melange with the Muppets and Peters singing “Just One Person” from a 1977 appearance on “The Muppet Show.”

One comment

  1. Peter Hall /

    Sublime!

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