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.