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Topic: Bernadette at the Grand Finale

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AuthorTopic:   Bernadette at the Grand Finale
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posted: 2/22/2005 at 8:56:13 AM ET
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I forgot to post this link to a charming and cute reminiscence about a performance that Bernadette did in 1975 at a venue called the Grand Finale in New York. Now I'll never be able to watch her perform "All That Jazz" on the old Carol Burnett show without picturing this slapstick routine.

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posted: 2/24/2005 at 9:15:29 AM ET
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"Posted by: Rchy 06:11 pm EST 02/18/05

It sounds like both clubs used the same acts. Did anyone catch Bernadette's stint right after Chita? If so you've GOTTA remember BP's version of "All That Jazz". It was one of the funniest moments in cabaret.
Chita had wowed the crowd of course by introducing "All That Jazz" the week before. Midway during Peter's act the stage darkened, the audience began hearing the same opening strains of music and there was BP straddled between 2 guys holding a mike (just as Chita had done). As the song progressed, those in the audience who had just seen Chita perform it began witnessing BP's version with the same exact staging and began to whisper "Isn't she ripping off Chita's act TOTALLY!" Then BP intricately turned under one male dancer's arm and WHAM! we hear the cold mechanical feed
back of her head hitting the mike! Then la, la la and "BAM!", B.P's head has been lowered down too soon by a dancer and hits the floor. Well though done straight faced, this just continued on and got more and more outrageous til the song ended. WAY TOO FUNNY!"

From the NY Times review, May 12, 1975 (excerpt):

"Bernadette Peters has the kind of voice that can be a disaster or a distinction--a voice that is both high and husky, delivered with a ragged squeak that sometimes has the effect of a nail scratched across glass and with a regional touch that is incontrovertibly New York.
Miss Peters is singer, comedienne and dancer in an energetic display that takes her from 'Dames At Sea' to 'Mack and Mabel' and includes a slapstick takeoff of a dazzling number danced in the same club a few weeks ago by Chita Rivera, as well as some good old pop songs sung straight."

by John S. Wilson

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