Bernadette Peters is a glorious anachronism, a tiny New Yorker with a big voice, coppery pre-Raphaelite curls, and the sort of ripe physicality that made it logical she should ignore PC and have legendary pinup artist Var... more »gas capture her for an album cover portrait. While most of her musical peers were getting funky, getting in touch with themselves, or getting high, Peters was honing her skills as a musical actress, setting her compass by Broadway with occasional detours to Hollywood. Now Peters is acknowledged as one of the Great White Way's natural wonders, a bona fide Tony-winning musical comedy star performing here in her first full-length video concert. Taped in London's Royal Festival Hall, this 1998 performance expands on the same song list as the 1997 Carnegie Hall debut captured in her CD Sondheim, Etc.: Bernadette Peters Live at Carnegie Hall. Like that show, the London appearance leans on Stephen Sondheim's remarkable canon, including both the shows Peters herself starred in (Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George) and those she wished she did. Indeed, her stage patter toys with the facts and fiction in her career, a refreshing wink at her own putative diva-hood. While she's clearly a thinking fan's diva, she also radiates a rare sweetness and a lush sensuality. --Sam Sutherland« less
She's Bernadette, she sings Sondheim. Result: bliss
R. W. Holliston | Victoria, B.C. Canada | 07/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The late British critic Kenneth Tynan once wrote of Katharine Hepburn: "She is not versatile, but like any star of true magnitude, she can do one or two of the most difficult things in the world supremely well." In a program devoted primarily to the songs of Stephen Sondheim, Bernadette Peters does many things supremely well. She sings an Andrew Lloyd Weber number ("Unexpected Song") and she makes it seem as immediate, emotional, and important as anything on her well-chosen program. The colors in her voice do not represent an unlimited palette, but she uses what she has as only a true artist can. She brings to numbers by Jimmy Webb and Jerry Herman every ounce of feeling and intelligence that she naturally gives to Sondheim. This is a video to cherish for all times: one of the greatest of all Broadway singers pays tribute to one of the greatest of all Broadway composer/lyricists - and several others as well. No one who watches this will ever forget Bernadette's performance of "Time Heals Everything" from Jerry Herman's masterpiece Mack and Mabel. Not everybody loves Bernadette Peters as much as I do - but if Bernadette and her unique artistry is as dear to your heart as it is to mine, you will not want to be without this video. Most of this concert is devoted to the songs of Stephen Sondheim. His songs don't need a champion, but he's still a lucky guy to have Bernadette as his interpreter!"
A Dazzling Evening of Entertainment
Julie L. Shaffer | Seattle, WA | 11/28/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Who is a two-time Tony Award winner that radiates a rare sweetness and a lush sensuality? Who is scoring rave reviews on Broadway as Annie Oakley in the must-see, smash revival of Irving Berlin's "Annie Get Your Gun?" Only the hottest diva on the stage today, Bernadette Peters.I remember the first time I watched Bernadette Peters perform. She was a guest on "The Carol Burnette Show." The next time was in the Steve Martin film "The Jerk." I could not figure out why this woman appeared on television or the big screen with her unusual speaking voice, not realizing her career in musical theatre. Did you know that Ms. Peters made her Broadway debut in 1967 in "Johnny No-Trump?" In 1968, she starred with Joel Grey in the musical "George M," earning a Theatre World Award for her memorable portrayal of Josie Cohan. During that same year, she received a Drama desk Award for her show-stopping performance in the smash off-Broadway hit musical "Dames at Sea." It is no wonder that Ms. Peters quickly became one of the most sought-after stars in musical theatre.I have gained a new respect for Ms. Peters as a performer throughout the years. One reason was due to learning more about her career. The other reason was Ms. Peters recorded an AIDS benefit concert for the Gay Men's Health Crisis in December 1998 at New York's Carnegie Hall. She sang one of my personal favorites: "Making Love Alone" ("you'll save on cologne").You now have the opportunity for a front row seat for a dazzling evening of entertainment, "Bernadette Peters In Concert." She performs songs from her illustrious stage and recording career, including renditions from legendary Broadway composers Stephen Sondheim's "Broadway Baby," Jerry Herman's "Time Heals Everything," Jerome Kern's "The Way You Look Tonight," and the Grammy-nominated "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight.""Bernadette Peters In Concert" was recorded live from the Royal Festival Hall in London, and it aired on PBS as part of the August 1999 pledge drive. Ms. Peters' admirers' will be thrilled to discover that the video and DVD releases contain songs not previously broadcast on PBS. The DVD version contains a comprehensive biography and extensive career credits with specifically selected photos."Bernadette Peters In Concert" is absolutely fabulous, and it's a must own!"
Songs of Bernadette
Gregor von Kallahann | 05/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love the comment by the editorial writer above that Bernadette Peters is a "glorious anachronism." It's true. She has those Gibson Girl looks and a 30s movie star quality about her. And she has a voice that can melt the hardest of hearts. It's hard not to get a little misty eyed on hearing her version of "Not a Day Goes By" or "The Unexpected Song." I did buy one of her poppier albums once, the one with her version of the old Carla Thomas song "Gee Whiz," and it was fine stuff, but some people were born to be--dare I say it?--Broadway babies. It really is her metier, and she virtually reigns supreme over Broadway today. Who else even comes close?The concert format allows Ms. Peters to tackle material not previously associated with her. She mixes a little standard pop into her repertory, but the bulk of the concert is devoted to Broadway, specifically Sondheim. She is so skilled, however, that it in no way seems monotonous. I know a few anti-Sondheim types in my circle of acquaintances, and I would not hesitate to recommend this concert to them. Or to foist it on them, come to think of it.Is Bernadette Peters an anachronism, glorious or otherwise? Well, Sondheim himself has said that the form is dying, so perhaps in that sense, Peters, as one of Broadway's brightest stars, may be one of the last of a dying breed. However, when you see her handily out-vamp Madonna on "Sooner or Later," you know that she really transcends all genre distinctions in any event. She is, plain and simple, a true star, and in that sense, timeless."
The last of the TRUE Broadway Divas!
R. Doran | Pittsburgh, PA United States | 02/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bernadette Peters and Broadway... one in the same.Hearing or seeing Ms. Peters, either live or on tape never ceases to amaze me. This concert was nothing but pure joy. To see an artist of her caliber perform is always high scale entertainment.Bernadette's interpretation of both music and lyric is one of a kind, and here we get to see it up close. Her interpretation of Sondheim's music is unlike anyone's. It's no wonder why she enjoys performing his work... she does it flawlessly. The definition of a true artist is one who can convey their feelings and emotions to their audience... and Bernadette more than accomplishes it. As I watched her performance, I felt what she did.. happiness, sadness, joy and regret. And overall incredible evening of performance by a great star.What makes it even more special to know is that the tender loving Bernadette on stage is the REAL Bernadette. I have had the pleasure of meeting her after a few of her shows and concerts and she's as warm off stage as she is on. A true delight.If you're a fan of musicals, Stephen Sondheim or music sung and interpreted beautifully, buy this DVD! It will be an evening of performance you won't soon forget!"
Bernadette Wows London
email@example.com | United Kingdom | 12/31/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a UK fan of Bernadette this DVD is a must - the sound and picture quality is great. I also have the Video format and the DVD is by far superior. The London audience are appreciative not only of Bernadette but also her rendition of amazing songs. My favourites have to be "Unexpected Song", "Not A Day Goes By" and "Being Alive" - STUNNING!"