BERNADETTE PETERS – A Triumph In San Francisco

sean-martinfield-2-2.jpg

By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Bernadette Peters gave the performance of a lifetime this past Friday night at Davies Symphony Hall. The woman is insatiable. In company with the San Francisco Symphony and her music director Marvin Laird, Bernadette Peters made passionate love to her audience for over an hour, then exited with much flourish, leaving us wilted and panting in the aisles.

bernadette-peters-2-4.jpg
BERNADETTE PETERS

The first half of the evening (sans Bernadette) featured conductor Edwin Outwater leading the SF Symphony in a bouquet of selections befitting Ms. Peters – star of Broadway, Hollywood, Television, Carnegie Hall, and now – with the publication of BROADWAY BARKS and its accompanying CD single, “Kramer’s Song” – a composer and authoress for children (who will listen). From 2001-2006 Edwin Outwater was Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony. This night he fired up our world class ensemble with selections from Leonard Bernstein’s WEST SIDE STORY, Morton Gould’s AMERICAN SYMPHONETTE NO 2, “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from GYPSY, a Waltz Suite from Sondheim’s A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, and the rockabilly hit of Brian Setzer, “Rock This Town”. The effervescent and handsome Mr. Outwater is exceptionally suited to the Summer Concert stage. This year, his recording with the San Francisco Symphony of the music of JEROD IMPICHCHAACHAAHA’ TATE was released to wide acclaim.

edwin-outwater-2.jpg
EDWIN OUTWATER, Conductor

Bernadette Peters hits 60 this year. She is a total knock-out. Her tiny frame sports a solidly-tight voluptuous and curvy figure that is centerfold-ready and triple-X worthy. From first step out in way-high pumps to grand spot-lit sprawls across a polished piano – it’s all about the dress. A combination see-through reminiscence of Marilyn Monroe’s falling-out “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” and Marlene Dietrich’s I-can’t-help-it “Falling In Love Again” (in Buenos Aires), meaning – just enough warp and woof to keep the Vice Squad poised for overtime. Then it’s all about the hair. Long and cascading, sprawled over the pillow-type cinnamon curls that only come with great looking genes and folic acid, all knotted, rooted and nourished in the sweetest resonance this side of the Great White Way. Then it’s all about the voice. And her long-time personal conductor, MARVIN LAIRD. He was at the podium for the revival of GYPSY in 2003 when Bernadette took on the role of “Mama Rose”. In 1961 he served as her Assistant Conductor when she was a “toreadorable” on the National Tour with Mary McCarty as “Rose”. Laird keeps the roses coming; he’s seen the hormones bloom and vault. The voice of Bernadette Peters is an on-going harvest, a phenomenon of our time.

Peters’ voice is climbing higher these days. The upper register has never been so available or as steady. Every mezzo-soprano knows what I mean when saying – you have to work your ass off to sustain that kind of agility and performance-ready clarity. From bottom note to top, and all the spiraling steps around the separate levels in-between, Bernadette Peters keeps her vocal chops in Olympic condition and her material polished and glimmering. Her opening song says it all. “There is nothin’ like a dame.”

bernadette-peters-live-at-carnegie-hall.JPG
BERNADETTE PETERS, Live At Carnegie Hall

Combining unexpected songs by Sondheim and Rodgers and Hammerstein, her repertoire is fabulously arranged by Marvin Laird who keeps constant vigil over her long-sustained phrases, pinging high-notes, and varied tempos and temperatures. The program choices are similar to her 1997 debut appearance at CARNEGIE HALL – a benefit for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis – and also from a 1998 concert taped at London’s ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL. Particular highlights of the evening were Sondheim’s “Johanna” from Sweeney Todd, “No One Is Alone” from Into the Woods, and “Mister Snow” (as in, “when I marry”) from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel. To her diverse and knowing audience, Bernadette Peters is not just the girl who has everything. She is a high priestess of Love.

Add these recordings to your Performing Arts Library:
DVD – BERNADETTE PETERS IN CONCERT – Recorded live at Royal Festival Hall in London, 1999.
CD – BERNADETTE PETERS, Live At Carnegie Hall
CD – GYPSY. 2003 Revival Cast conducted by Marvin Laird and featuring Bernadette Peters as Mama Rose.
CD – Works By Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate. Edwin Outwater leads the San Francisco Symphony; and featuring the SF Symphony Chorus, Christine Bailey Davis, and Thomas Robertello.
CD – AMERICAN SUITE – Music by composer Morton Gould. Kenneth Klein leads the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Gould’s American Symphonette no. 2, American Ballads, American Salute, and Spirituals for String Orchestra and Harp.
CD – A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC – 1975. Original London Cast Recording featuring Hermione Gingold, David Kernan, and Diane Langton.

For related articles and interviews:
THE DROWSY CHAPERONE – Now at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theatre
THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE – Now through July 27th at Broadway By The Bay
JENNIFER SIEBEL – A Conversation with Seán Martinfield
COPPOLA’S “THE CONVERSATION” – AT THE LEGION OF HONOR, July 17th
SAN FRANCISCO SILENT FILM FESTIVAL – At The Castro Theatre
A CHORUS LINE – Returns to San Francisco’s Curran Theatre
VIVA TO THE DIVAS! – SF Opera Summer Season Concludes This Weekend
TALENT COMPETITON – On-Line Reality for A CHORUS LINE
ARIODANTE – Cross-Dressing Goes Baroque – at SAN FRANCISCO OPERA
WOMEN IMPRESSIONISTS – At San Francisco’s Legion of Honor
TIMOTHY HORN – BITTER SUITE – A Sweet Tribute To Alma Spreckels
‘TIS PITY SHE’S A WHORE – At A.C.T through July 6th
60TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT – San Francisco Boys Chorus celebrates at the War Memorial Opera House
LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR – Bats it for FREE at AT&T Ballpark
CONTEMPORARY JEWISH MUSEUM – A Grand Opening!
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN – Just say “NO!”
ERIK BATZ – A Conversation With “The Scarecrow” At The Mountain Play
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET’S 2009 SEASON – Includes World Premiere of All-New Swan Lake by Helgi Tomasson
A CONVERSATION WITH MAESTRO HELMUTH RILLING
CHERYL BURKE DANCE – Dancing with Gavin and Jennifer
DALE CHIHULY – Lighting-Up At The de Young
ERIK BATZ – A Conversation With “The Scarecrow” At The Mountain Play
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET’S 2009 SEASON – Includes World Premiere of All-New Swan Lake by Helgi Tomasson
SWEENEY TODD – PRIME CUTS FROM DIRECTOR TIM BURTON
ANITA COCKTAIL and LEANNE BORGHESI – A 3-Way Dialogue
NORMA SHEARER in “MARIE ANTOINETTE” – At the Legion of Honor

See Related: FINE ARTS CRITIC SEAN MARTINFIELD

sean-martinfield-250-pixels-new-sentinel-mug.jpg
Seán Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

WICinema_rectangle banner 4



sophisticate-interios-3.gif

cross-marketing-1.jpg
CROSS Marketing

book-drew-altizer.jpg

SENTINEL ADVERTISING RATES
EMAIL

SANFRANCISCOSENTINEL@YAHOO.COM

Comments are closed.