Bernadette Peters picture
CDs & Film
My Profile
Bernadette Peters Broadway's Best Home Page

Topic: Interviews, Oct 8 and 10, 2013

Topic Interviews, Oct 8 and 10, 2013 from the General Chit-Chat forum.

Post a reply or begin a new topic.

View other threads or jump to a different forum.

Search Forum:
AuthorTopic:   Interviews, Oct 8 and 10, 2013
Registered User

posted: 10/9/2013 at 6:46:52 AM ET
View Jean's profile  Send a Personal Message to Jean  See Jean's Photo Collection!  Edit/Delete this message  Reply with a quote  

Here are portions of the interview (Bernadette performs at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Orange County, CA, on Oct 11):

"Oct. 08--Bernadette Peters' skills lie in hygiene -- or so an aptitude test indicated when she was 16.

What could she have done with that? she mused.

Become a nurse? A dental hygienist, perhaps?

But theater lovers everywhere owe Peters' mother a debt of gratitude for noticing her daughter's gift for entertaining and encouraging her to enter show business.

"I think it was meant to be," the New York City-based performer said. "I used to sing and hum around the house too much to be anything else. I love music."

Peters will perform at the 2,000-seat Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at 8 p.m. Friday. Her inaugural performance will be accompanied by an ensemble comprising a piano, drums, bass and more...

Dwyer, who has followed Peters' creative trajectory and is awaiting the upcoming event with bated breath, has found that ticket sales are booming.

"First of all, she's genuine," he said. "She has that ability to capture her audiences and take them with her, whether it's a full performance or a night of songs.... She has that magic ability to captivate and hold the stage. As we've heard it said, she has it all. Bernadette Peters has talent, class, charisma and star power."

The singer, whose tour begins in Costa Mesa and leads to Northridge, Seattle and Oregon, picks up on obvious differences between Broadway acts and shows, like the one at Segerstrom.

"On Broadway, you're playing a character," she said. "There's a fourth wall -- you don't look at the audience."

By contrast, she joins the viewers while in concert.

"We are all in the four walls together to have this lovely musical experience," Peters said.

In Orange County, her set list will include favorites by Sondheim as well as the musical theater writing team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.

Peters, who has recorded albums including "Bernadette Peters Loves Rodgers & Hammerstein" and "Sondheim Etc. Etc.: Bernadette Peters Live at Carnegie Hall," is drawn to the writing done by these acclaimed artists. Hammerstein was Sondheim's mentor, inculcating in him the importance of writing about things he was familiar with, she explained.

"Steve either gives me something to say or sentiments that I like to hear," Peters remarked, citing "Children Will Listen," "No One Is Alone" and "With So Little To Be Sure Of" as examples. "His songs open up your mind to his point of view, and it's just delightful."

Peters debuted at age 9 in the musical comedy "This Is Goggle." In the years since, she has acted in "Annie Get Your Gun," "Gypsy," "Song and Dance" and "On the Town," picking up Tony, Grammy, Emmy and Drama Desk awards along the way. She values the "privilege of doing the work," though, versus the myriad nominations and recognition.

Peters, whose career has inspired many a budding actor, counts Margaret Leighton, Dame Eileen Atkins and Mary Martin as idols.

By way of advice, the woman who has also enjoyed success on the big screen in such films as "Silent Movie," "The Jerk" and "Pennies from Heaven," says, "Never copy anyone. Get down to how things come out of you, authentically and purely."

Peters' otherwise gentle voice and easy laughter grow impassioned when discussing her pets -- the reason she doesn't like spending extended durations on the road.

Stella, a 16-year-old pitbull, earned herself a children's book, "Stella Is a Star," which Peters penned to raise money for Broadway Barks!, an annual dog and cat adoption event founded to help shelter animals throughout the New York City area.

Charlie is 1 1/2 -- no one "knows what he is," she chortled -- and yet to earn literary fame. He joined Peters' family after the death of her "beloved" Kramer, a 16-year-old "Heinz 57 variety."

Interview "Picking Sondheim over swabs"

Registered User

posted: 10/13/2013 at 7:48:19 AM ET
View Jean's profile  Send a Personal Message to Jean  See Jean's Photo Collection!  Edit/Delete this message  Reply with a quote  

Another interview, with excerpts:

"If you know your musical theater you’ll recognize all three shows she’s mentioned so far as the work of Steven Sondheim. It’s a deep connection that’s been fruitful for both singer and composer.

“I sing a lot of Steve Sondheim because he writes the music and the words,” Peters says of why so many Sondheim songs appear in her concerts. “I find composers who write the music and the lyrics, it’s more cohesive for what the song is trying to say. He knows why he picks that note, why it’s a quarter note, why he picks that word.

“He writes about something, really something,” she says of the emotional depth to Sondheim’s lyrics. “So it’s fulfilling to be able to sing songs like that.”

As for their long-running collaboration, Peters modestly chalks it up to good luck.

“First of all he hired me to do ‘Sunday In The Park With George,’ the workshop, which was a wonderful experience,” she says of the show with which in 1984 she opened on Broadway. “Then I went off to do ‘Song and Dance’ (the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical which earned her first Tony Award). And then (Sondheim) needed a Witch for ‘Into The Woods’ so I went into that.

“It just kept growing, and as far as my concerts, I just connect to his music so strongly, and what he writes about.”

It’s a connection that continues next month when Peters is set to appear in “A Bed and a Chair: A New York Love Affair,” a short run of performances of Sondheim’s songs with new arrangements and performances by jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

“It’s going to be fly by the seat of your pants a little bit,” Peters says of the short amount of time left before those shows. “You’re going to have solid musicianship with solid songs from a great composer.”

One upcoming Sondheim project she’s not part of is the movie adaptation of “Into the Woods,” in which Meryl Streep plays the role Peters created on Broadway.

“I think it’s going to translate (to film) divinely,” she says. “Nowadays people love dark fairy tales. It’s really exciting.”

As for whether some little part of her wished she’d played the Witch again in the movie?

“I don’t even think about it,” Peters says. “That’s what’s happening. I think Meryl will be great – she is great. I think they cast the whole thing very well.”

A few years ago, Debbie Reynolds told us she didn’t see as many all-around entertainers – people who sing and dance and act, who do drama and comedy equally well – as there had been in years past, but she thought Peters was part of that tradition.

“I think there’s a lot of people who are multi-talented, like Sutton Foster,” Peters says when we mentioned this to her. “Claire Danes is a dancer – she goes out and she does concerts, modern dance, it’s remarkable. Even on ‘American Horror Story,’ Jessica Lange did a (musical) number and it was great.”

Peters’ second Tony Award came for her work in the 1999 revival of “Annie Get Your Gun.” That show also won Gypsy of the Year, an honor for out-fundraising other shows on behalf of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, which sparked Peters’ interest in doing more non-profit work and indirectly led to her founding Broadway Barks with longtime friend Mary Tyler Moore. In 2012, after 15 years of work promoting animal adoptions in New York City, Peters received a third Tony, the Isabelle Stevenson Award for humanitarian or charitable work.

“It was a little embarrassing,” she says. “But the important thing is what I was doing, my issues, helping shelter animals. The more people know about it the more important it is and we will be able to do more. I was thrilled to be able to stand up and talk about it.”

Her pit bull Stella is 16, roughly the same age as Broadway Barks, and it’s tough to leave Stella and Charlie, her younger, shaggier sidekick behind when she goes out on short concert tours, Peters says.

“I really don’t like it,” she says. “And (Stella’s) like, ‘Don’t go-oh-oh-oh!’ They’re attached to me and I’m attached to them.”

Beyond her performances this fall there’s nothing definite to talk about she says. She’s shot a TV pilot but doesn’t know yet whether it will get picked up. Regardless, though, she intends to keep singing and acting and entertaining for as long as she can.

“It’s a lifelong thing,” Peters says. “I don’t see myself stopping.

“I remember when I was in my 30s I saw Lena Horne and I said that’s what I’m going to be doing when I’m 65 like her. Guess what? I am!”

ocregister interview, Oct 10

Registered User


Fav. BP Song: Being Alive
Fav. BP Show: Sunday In The Park With George

posted: 10/13/2013 at 8:27:00 PM ET
View leebee's profile  Get leebee's email address  Send a Personal Message to leebee  Edit/Delete this message  Reply with a quote  

Please not a TV show. Get back on that stage!

Registered User


posted: 10/13/2013 at 9:23:02 PM ET
View Jennifer's profile  Send a Personal Message to Jennifer  Edit/Delete this message  Reply with a quote  

“I remember when I was in my 30s I saw Lena Horne and I said that’s what I’m going to be doing when I’m 65 like her. Guess what? I am!”

It was great concert. She didn't stage door and she sang "Like It Was" from "Merrily We Roll Along" to prepare for "A Bed and A Chair".

Page 1 of 1 
Other threads: « Next | Previous »

Do you think this topic is inappropriate? Vote it down. After a thread receives a certain amount of negative votes it will be automatically locked.

Please contact us with any concerns you might have.
Site Design/Implementation copyright (©) 1999-2012 by Kevin Lux. Our privacy statement.
Please email with any news updates or pictures you may have.