"Live and in Person": Bernadette Peters to Star in Kennedy Center Follies

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25 Aug 2010

Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Two-time Tony Award winner Bernadette Peters will soon add another Stephen Sondheim role to her ever-growing resume.

The acclaimed singing actress, who is currently wowing audiences nightly as Desirée Armfeldt in the Broadway revival of A Little Night Music, will play former Follies star Sally Durant Plummer in the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' upcoming production of Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies.

Signature Theatre artistic director Eric Schaeffer will direct the classic musical with choreography by Warren Carlyle (Finian's Rainbow). Performance dates are May 7-June 5, 2011, in the Eisenhower Theater. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

James Moore will serve as music director and will conduct the 28-piece Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra.

The production will feature scenic design by Derek McLane, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Natasha Katz and sound design by Peter Hylenski. The musical will utilize Jonathan Tunick's original orchestrations.



Follies concerns a group of former "Follies" stars who return to the site of their former glory, the Weismann Theatre, which is about to be demolished. Old wounds resurface as two Follies stars (Phyllis and Sally) and their husbands (Benjamin and Buddy) reassess their lives and what could have been.

Follies, with songs by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Goldman, was originally directed by Harold Prince on Broadway in 1971. Since then, it has received a legendary star-filled concert at Lincoln Center in 1985, a Roundabout revival on Broadway directed by Matthew Warchus in 2001, a City Center Encores! production in 2007 and numerous regional mountings, including a Paper Mill Playhouse engagement that featured Donna McKechnie and the late Ann Miller.

Among the show's many song titles are "Beautiful Girls," "Don't Look at Me," "Waiting for the Girls Upstairs," "Rain on the Roof," "Ah, Paris!," "Broadway Baby," "The Road You Didn't Take," "Bolero d'Amour," "In Buddy's Eyes," "Who's That Woman?," "I'm Still Here," "Too Many Mornings," "The Right Girl," "One More Kiss," "Could I Leave You?," "Loveland," "You're Gonna Love Tomorrow," "Love Will See Us Through," "The God-Why-Don't-You-Love-Me Blues," "Losing My Mind," "The Story of Lucie and Jessie" and "Live, Laugh, Love."

Prior to Night Music, Peters was last on Broadway in the acclaimed revival of Gypsy, for which she received a 2003 Tony Award nomination for her performance as Rose in the Sam Mendes-directed production. She won her two Tonys for her performances in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song & Dance and Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun, and she has also starred on Broadway in Mack & Mabel, On the Town, Sunday in the Park with George, The Goodbye Girl and the original production of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods. Peters' newest live recording, "Sondheim, Etc., Etc.—Bernadette Peters Live at Carnegie Hall (The Rest of It)," is available on the Angel Records label. Masterworks Broadway has also released a "Legends of Broadway" CD celebrating her theatrical career. Peters' screen credits are numerous, and she also recently celebrated the launch of her second children's book, "Stella Is a Star," for Blue Apple Books.

Performances will play Tuesday through Sunday evenings in the Eisenhower Theater at 7:30 PM. Beginning May 14, matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday afternoons will run at 1:30 PM. Tickets starting at $45 will go on sale on Jan. 30, 2011, at noon at the Kennedy Center box office or by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600. For more information visit Kennedy-center.org.