Signature Theatre of Arlington, VA, is giving the 2011 Sondheim Award to Peters ( Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park With George and the recent Broadway revival of A Little Night Music, opposite Buntrock), who will star as Sally in the May Kennedy Center revival of Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies, directed by Signature artistic director Eric Schaeffer .
The 2011 gala, chaired by philanthropists Ted and Mary Jo Shen, will be held at the Embassy of Italy. The Sondheim Award Gala will help to benefit Signature Theatre's numerous artistic, education and community programs. Cocktails, dinner, tribute performances and presentation of the Sondheim Award are part of the black-tie Sondheim Award event.
"To commemorate the evening and to help celebrate Ms. Peters' impressive body of work," special musical performances will be given by Buntrock, Luker (Broadway's Mary Poppins, Show Boat and The Phantom of the Opera), as well as Signature favorites Gamble (Signature's Chess, Les Miserables, Into the Woods) and Morton (Broadway's Sondheim on Sondheim and Taboo and Signature's Chess).
Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim stated, "This award is given for artistry and achievement, and it is a joy for me that Bernadette, who so deserves it, is the recipient."
The first Sondheim Award, in 2010, went to Angela Lansbury. Honorary hosts are Sondheim, Helen Henderson, His Excellency Gary Doer and Ms. Ginny Devine, The Honorable James Moran, His Excellency Giulio Terzi and Ms. Antonella Cinque, and The Honorable Jim Webb and Mrs. Webb.
Tony Award winner Peters recently starred on Broadway as Desiree in Sondheim's A Little Night Music. Her other Sondheim roles on Broadway include Dot in Sunday in the Park With George, Rose in Gypsy and The Witch in Into the Woods. She is heard on a concert cast album of Sondheim's Anyone Can Whistle, and her concerts and solo recordings over the years have featured songs by Sondheim. Peters won the Best Actress Tony Award for Annie Get Your Gun and Song and Dance.