News Column

Bernadette Peters at the Craterian

October 25, 2013

YellowBrix

Oct. 25--In concert, Bernadette Peters gets to sing the songs she wants to sing.

The award-winning New York singer and actress, uninhibited by script or score, will present a selection of her favorite songs, including ones she performed on Broadway and others she admired from the wing, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, at the Craterian Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford.

"Every song I pick is something I like getting involved in -- in the words and in the music," Peters says.

Her picks include songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein and Stephen Sondheim, as well as songs from the last three Broadway musicals she appeared in: "Follies," "A Little Night Music" and "Gypsy." She'll also sprawl out on the piano for a rendition of Peggy Lee's "Fever."

"The show has an arc," Peters says. "It basically moves from 'Hello, how are you?' to 'Let's have fun' to dramatic and thoughtful."

Peters, whom the New York Times dubbed "The First Lady of the Broadway musical," made her Broadway debut in 1967. She won Tony Awards for her performance in "Song and Dance" (1985) and "Annie Get Your Gun" (1999) and a third Tony, The Isabelle Stevenson Award, for her charitable work with Broadway Barks!, a shelter animal adoption event she cofounded with Mary Tyler Moore. The annual, star-studded event is held every July on the famed Shubert Alley in New York City.

In addition to musical theater, Peters has been equally successful on the silver screen, having appeared in numerous TV shows and 18 films, including "The Longest Yard" with Burt Reynolds, and "The Jerk" and "Pennies from Heaven" with Steve Martin. The latter movie earned Peters a Golden Globe Award. A star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame symbolizes her contribution to the film industry.

A Grammy nomination and multiple albums, including two recorded live at Carnegie Hall, speak to the breadth of Peters' performance career.

She will close the Craterian show with a lullaby she wrote for her children's book and CD package, "Broadway Barks," a New York Times Bestseller. The book, along with her second children's book, "Stella is a Star," and her last three albums will be available for purchase at the Craterian. Proceeds from all items will benefit animal shelters in New York City.

For the performance, Peters will be accompanied by conductor Marvin Laird, bassist Kevin Axt and drummer Cubby O'Brien, in addition to a small orchestra of local musicians, including Kristin Kessler, Lori Calhoun, Daryl Fjeldheim, Scott King, Scott Cole, Sara Wilbur, Kimberly Fitch and Lisa Truelove.

On Sunday, the Craterian also will roll out the red carpet, literally, for local philanthropist James Morrison Collier. The theater was renamed the Craterian Theater at The Collier Center for the Performing Arts in August 2012 in gratitude of Collier's donation.

Tickets to the show and Collier Center Celebration cost $76 to $88, depending on the seat, and can be purchased at the Craterian box office, online at www.craterian.org or by calling 541-779-3000.

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(c)2013 Mail Tribune (Medford, Ore.)

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