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Concert Review (LA): Bernadette Peters at the Valley Performing Arts Center

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Bernadette Peters is a multi-award winning actress singer and now author of children’s books. She started performing at three so it is not surprising that she has accumulated seven Tony Award Nominations, a Grammy, a Theatre World Award, several Drama Desk Awards, a Tony Award, and has appeared with the Muppets, Carol Burnett, and is considered one of the greatest interpreters of the songs of Stephen Sondheim. I first saw her in Mack and Mabel, then in Gypsy where she redefined the role of Mama Rose, Sunday in the Park with George, and finally in concert at the Hollywood Bowl. No matter what venue or in what circumstances, her talent is always evident. Most recently I saw her at the gorgeous Valley Performing Art Center on March 3.

Speaking of gorgeous, Ms. Peters looked absolutely smashing in her glittery lilac gown and with her svelte figure. She came across much younger than her years and displayed boundless energy. There were many highlights in the concert. One of my favorites was her rendition of the Peggy Lee standard “Fever”. She charmed us with a version of ”There is nothing like a Dame” which she brought right into the audience much to the pleasure of several men in the front row.

Bernadette Peters is most well known for being one of a handful of Stephen Sondheim interpreters. Her voice seems perfectly suited to his music and lyrics, inwardly intense, a pure upper register, and an ability to locate the emotional center of a song. Los Angeles won’t be able to see her in Follies when it comes to the Ahmanson but she treated us to two numbers from the show, “In Buddy’s Eyes, and an intense “Losing My Mind”. She also gave us her rendition of “Being Alive” from Company

Other highlights were “Mister Snow” from Carousel and “some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific. In all it was a brilliant concert. The only thing missing for me was something from Mack And Mabel (Jerry Herman’s best score” and something from Sunday in the Park With George. The concert was held at the Valley Performing Arts Center on March 3.

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