Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Broadway Icon Performs in N.J. as Herself

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Broadway Icon Performs in N.J. as Herself

Article excerpt

She's played everything on Broadway from the deliciously diabolical witch in "Into the Woods" to stage mother Mama Rose in "Gypsy" to sharpshooter Annie Oakley in "Annie Get Your Gun."

But on Friday, Broadway star Bernadette Peters will take the stage at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark to play her favorite role of all: Herself.

"What's great about it is that I get to choose what music I want to sing, and what the arc of the show is going to be. And there's no fourth wall. We're all in this space, together," Peters says. "I know I'm going to entertain the room and have an experience we're all going to enjoy. It can be funny, it can be dramatic. All of those things. And hopefully, everyone will come away feeling satisfied."

The three-time Tony winner and seven-time nominee will be performing songs from such shows as "Gypsy," "Sunday in the Park With George," "A Little Night Music" and "Into the Woods," to name a few. But not everything is a show tune. Just when you least expect it, she will surprise you with something like Peggy Lee's torchy classic, "Fever." Needless to say, it's all pretty theatrical, whether it's from a Broadway show or not.

"I pick songs I love. 'No One Is Alone,' 'Children Will Listen.' With 'Send in the Clowns,' I had decided never to do that song again in concert because it was just so perfect for the scene in 'A Little Night Music.' That's how Stephen Sondheim writes. But then I was at this event for (longtime Sondheim director) Hal Prince and Stephen, and I just had to sing it ... And I kind of realized it was OK ... I think you have to just make it in that moment and that's the most important thing."

Peters has been in some pretty athletic roles for long runs (a year or more). How does one get through the rigors of doing a show eight times a week, for a year or more, especially ones with the vocal demands of, say, "Gypsy"?

"You have to make sure that it's something that you want to keep doing and keep growing and growing and growing and immerse yourself in. That's what I do love. And I really don't like to distract myself. I don't read books when I'm in a show. I just keep trying to figure it out, and figure it out. …

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