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posted: 1/26/2007 at 10:20:02 PM ET
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There's a very nice little thread about Bernadette right now over on Talkinbroadway's All That Chat message board. I won't bother to link since the thread will disappear in a couple of days--if you want to read it, just go to the site.

It's especially gratifying since, as many of you probably remember, there was a time (maybe four to six years ago) when it was considered totally infra dig over there to express anything but the utmost disdain for Ms. Peters. To hear them tell it back then, she was an embarrassing, talentless fraud. The only occasions she was defended were when one of us would go do it (and be flamed for our efforts). Oh, how sweet it is to see that times have actually changed for the better in at least one way.

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posted: 1/27/2007 at 6:37:29 AM ET
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I really enjoyed that "chat". I agree, Karen, a while ago I made it a point NOT to read posts about her on ATC. I especially enjoyed the discussion, brief though it was, about LaStrada; since I've been working on the wiki article on LS, I've gotten interested in seeing how it fit in with the arc of Bernadette's career.

I didn't know, or else didn't remember, that she had several offers at that time--I wonder what she would have been like in Applause? (I never saw it, know nothing about it.)

(My screen name on ATC is "starone6")

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posted: 1/27/2007 at 7:22:43 AM ET
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"I did NOT see the one and only Broadway performance [referring to LaStrada]. I saw it out-of-town at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit.

And I even waited at the Stage Door (which is not easy to find at the Fisher) and had her autograph my program.

It changed a lot by the time it reached NYC, I believe. Most of the Lionel Bart score was thrown out (except for maybe two or three songs?), and songs were added (I think) by Martin Charnin and Elliot Lawrence. The CD recording mentioned below is actually Bart's original demo of his score.

Anyway, it was a long time ago (1969?), and Ms. Peters was fresh from her overnight success in DAMES AT SEA. According to an old AFTER DARK interview with her (that I wrote, by the way, just prior to her opening in MACK & MABEL), she could've had her pick of Eve in the new "All About Eve" musical APPLAUSE, Georgy in GEORGY (the new musical version of the film "Georgy Girl"), or Bart's LA STRADA. She went with Bart who, as it turned out, never came over to this country to work on the show. (Rumor was that he was heavily into drugs at the time.)

What I remember from LA STRADA, mostly, was her opening number on the beach, and the set which consisted of a large turntable with a big motorcycle-and-sidecar on it that rumbled and smoked and made lots of noise as it made its way around the big turntable.

The show was a mess, but she was adorable in it and perfectly cast for the part. Too bad this musical failed her. But that didn't seem to stop her from moving forward.

ON THE TOWN was next, I think, and she got a Tony nomination for that one, being cast against type as Hildy the Taxi driver. That was a wonderful revival that the critics closed, with Phyllis Newman and Donna McKechnie all wonderful in it."

posted by flaguy, 1/27/06 on ATC
(I am assuming it is ok to post this here)

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Edinburgh, Scotland
posted: 1/27/2007 at 7:41:53 AM ET
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I think Lionel Bart was more into drink than drugs but it's academic anyway as he was certainly a "tortured genius". He was so clever and so musical. He often wote everything ... book, music, lyrics. His contribution to British Theatre in the late 50's early 60's was immense, working with theatre rebel Joan Littlewood and eventually creating a new kind of theatrical experience for Londoners. A refreshing "working class" alternative to the sophisticated (but brilliant) Noel Coward and Ivor Novello revues that had been the norm in the West End. Sorry, I'm rambling - but I'm a huge fan of Lionel.

as Bernadette says....just keep moving on.....

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