DIVA TALK: Catching Up with Tony Award Winner and A Little Night Music Star Bernadette Peters

By Andrew Gans
23 Jul 2010

Peters' first curtain call
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Peters describes Desiree as "a woman who has been an actress her whole life and has gotten a little discouraged about it, mainly because . . . she misses being with her daughter, because the daughter's in the country with her mother. . . [Later Desiree] is in the country, and lo and behold, the biggest love of her life, her daughter's father, comes back into her life. So now she really wants to, perhaps, not act as much and be with her daughter and the man she loves more than any other man in the world, Fredrik. And so she goes about seeing how that can be. But Fredrik has a young wife that he's . . . fixated on, so Desiree has to be careful. She wants Fredrik, but she can't be too overt because she'll chase him away."

When asked what it is like for an actor to play the role of an actor, Peters laughs and says, "Well, you know, you know about a lot of it. You know about the road and about how tiring it can get. But you know about the good parts of it, and you know about the tiring parts of it and the things that can be disappointing. And sometimes you do just want to go home, so it's familiar."

Peters says she loves that Night Music has a happy ending. "You don't get that often," she says, "and sometimes people never find each other that should be together. So it's wonderful that it's there. It's very romantic, and the music is so beautiful. Every day, I have a different song in my head. I mean, it's just gorgeous, and the voices in the show, they are amazing. The cast [has] the most glorious voices."

It's been a completely joyous experience for the beloved actress, who now adds another Sondheim role to her already impressive resume. "The day we got into the theatre, it just felt so right, so comfortable," she says. "The theatre sort of embraces you and it just feels so good, so right."

[For more information, visit nightmusiconbroadway.com.]

Donna McKechnie

Tony Award winner Donna McKechnie, who recently performed My Musical Comedy Life at several venues in Australia, will bring that acclaimed solo show to The Laurie Beechman Theatre July 28 at 8 PM. The evening features direction by Richard Jay-Alexander with musical direction by Ian Herman. McKechnie's autobiographical My Musical Comedy Life, according to press notes, "encompasses music from some of Broadway's most celebrated composers, including Stephen Sondheim, Ed Kleban and Marvin Hamlisch, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Cy Coleman, as well as more contemporary artists including Francesca Blumenthal and Ann Hampton Callaway." There is a $35 cover charge, as well as a $15 food/beverage minimum (a full dinner menu is available). The Laurie Beechman Theatre is located within The West Bank Cafe at 407 West 42nd Street. For tickets visit www.smarttix.com or call (212) 868-4444.

Linda Eder, the powerhouse singer seen on Broadway in Jekyll & Hyde, will return to New Jersey's State Theatre in December. Linda Eder's Christmas Show will be presented at the New Brunswick venue Dec. 10 at 8 PM. Eder will offer an evening of popular standards and holiday favorites. New Jersey's State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick. For tickets visit www.statetheatrenj.org or call (732) 246-7469.

Three-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara, who will return to the Tony-winning revival of South Pacific Aug. 10 for the musical's last few weeks, will play a limited engagement at Feinstein's at Loews Regency Oct. 19-30. Show times are Tuesday-Thursday at 8:30 PM and Friday and Saturday at 8 PM and 10:30 PM. Details about her new show will be announced at a later date. Feinstein's at Loews Regency is located at 540 Park Avenue at 61st Street in New York City. For ticket reservations call (212) 339-4095 or visit feinsteinsatloewsregency.com and TicketWeb.com.

Karen Akers, who has appeared on Broadway in the original productions of Nine and Grand Hotel, will turn her attention to the songs of Rodgers and Hart this fall. Akers will present Dancing on the Ceiling Sept. 14-Oct. 23 in the Algonquin's Oak Room. Cabaretgoers can expect to hear her renditions of "Where or When," "Isn't It Romantic?," "Dancing on the Ceiling," "The Lady is a Tramp," "This Funny World," "Falling in Love with Love," "A Lady Must Live" and "I Could Write a Book," among others. Akers will be accompanied on piano by musical director Don Rebic and Dick Sarpola on bass. Eric Michael Gillett directs. There is a $60-$65 music charge for all shows plus a $30 minimum. The Oak Room is located within the Algonquin Hotel at 59 West 44th Street. For reservations call (212) 419-9331.

Well, that's all for now. Happy diva-watching! E-mail questions or comments to agans@playbill.com.