Review: Bernadette Peters Sings Broadway

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A phenomenal night of Broadway music awaits your family with stage legend Bernadette Peters and the Nashville Symphony at the Schermerhorn.

FirstBank Pops Series presents:
Bernadette Peters Sings Broadway (April 9 – 11; All ages)
Schermerhorn Symphony Center
1 Symphony Place, Nashville
615-687-6400 • nashvillesymphony.org
Remaining show times: Fri – Sat 8 p.m.
Tickets: $22 – $138

An absolutely phenomenal night of music awaits your family at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center with stage and screen legend Bernadette Peters along with the Nashville Symphony. More than an incredible musical experience, an evening with Bernadette Peters is a HAPPENING like no other. Her high-caliber talent is awe-inspiring and unparalleled, and it’s a grand treat to experience her in Nashville. She provides an outstanding example of real talent to children (she started her theater career at age 9), so if you’ve got kids with musical theater dreams, Miss Peters is the highest standard that will undoubtedly inspire them.

The Nashville Symphony, led by assistant conductor Vinay Parmeswaran, begins the first part of the evening by setting the tone for a night of Broadway with three incredible works: George Gershwin’s “Strike up the Band,” Jermone Kern’s “The Way You Look Tonight” and an invigorating medley from The Sound of Music by Richard Rodgers.

After a brief intermission, Marvin Laird takes over conducting duties with a festive overture of Broadway numbers leading up to one of its greatest stars walking into the spotlight. With her trademark red curls and donning a spectacular shimmering lavender evening gown, Miss Peters succinctly starts her set with “Let Me Entertain You” from Gypsy (see her complete set list below) … and entertain she does in a magnificent manner that no one else in the entertainment field can top!

Performing 16 songs — mostly numbers by Stephen Sondheim as well as Rodgers and Hammerstein — Miss Peters dazzles the audience with her amazingly powerful vocal ability and immense stage presence. Her star power is undeniable. Throughout the evening, the Tony Award-winning actress charms the crowd with her signature humor whether in the form of a joke or the playful way she delivers the Peggy Lee classic, “Fever,” one of the three songs from the show that she doesn’t pull from Broadway repertoire.

Miss Peters also enables a lot of goose-bump moments with the depth of emotion she brings to every song she sings. The beauty of her talent and artistry is the fact that Miss Peters doesn’t merely sing, she breathes life into each number, striking a strong emotional chord from start to finish. Considering Broadway songs tell a story, Miss Peters’ theatrical skills are center stage in her concert setting. Whether performing a melancholy tune like “Send in the Clowns” (which led to a standing ovation) or the anthem from Company, “Being Alive,” Miss Peters makes each moment unique, meaningful and powerful.

At 67 years old, Miss Peters’ dynamic vocal range is strong as ever, evident by the soprano’s impeccable delivery of “Johanna” from Sweeney Todd.

The Nashville Symphony provides a robust musical backdrop for the star, and Miss Peters ends her nearly hour-and-a-half set with an encore of “Kramer’s Song,” an endearing tune she wrote for her dog that accompanies her first children’s book, Broadway Barks. Fittingly, after delivering an evening of wonderful music with emotional ties, Miss Peters wraps it up with this heartfelt lullaby while encouraging her adoring audience to “remember to hold those close to us, to squeeze your children.”

 

SET LIST

“Let Me Entertain You” (from Gypsy)
“No One is Alone” (from Into the Woods)
“There is Nothing Like a Dame (from South Pacific)
“Fever”
“(When I Marry) Mister Snow” (from Carousel)
“Some Enchanted Evening” (from South Pacific)
“It Might as Well be Spring” (from State Fair)
“In Buddy’s Eyes” (from Follies)
“Losing My Mind” (from Follies)
“Johanna” (from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
“Send in the Clowns” (from A Little Night Music)
“When You Wish Upon a Star” (from Disney’s Pinocchio)
“With So Little to Be Sure Of” (from Anyone Can Whistle)
“Children Will Listen” (from Into the Woods)
“Being Alive” (from Company)
“Kramer’s Song” (encore number from Broadway Barks)

Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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