BWW Review: WE'VE ONLY JUST BEGUN: CARPENTERS REMEMBERED at Chastain Park Amphitheater
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to witness something very cool. I was able to see Michelle Berting Brett take the stage to pay tribute to an iconic duo known as the Carpenters. The brother-sister duo only was in tact for 14 years before Karen died from an eating disorder. However, last night it was made clear that in a relatively short amount of time, the two made a huge impact on people from all over the world.
The biggest impact might be on Michelle, who grew up listening to the siblings and now tours the nation singing their songs with her Nashville-based band. The evidence is written all over the show. Michelle told stories on top of stories about the Carpenters, from the duo's origins to facts about their chart topping songs. She praised Richard for his musical genius and Karen for her talent on the drums. She painted a real overview of the group and how they inspired all that heard them.
Which brings me to talk about Michelle as a performer. It is hard to explain but Michelle Berting Brett is essentially an adult Disney princess with just a whole lot of stage presence, and I loved it. She had a lightness to her that just gave her a unique energy while telling their stories and singing their songs. It made her so easy to listen to and it made her connection with the audience that much more tangible.
She has this poise about her that never wavered once - think Glenn Close in either production of "Sunset Boulevard." She is the perfect amount of theatrical - think Idina Menzel singing "Funny Girl" on Glee. She had a presence on that stage; it was hers and she knew it - think of a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall.
Her voice was great, of course, as it's her uncanny resemblance to Karen Carpenter that made this journey possible. (Read more about that backstory here.) If you missed hearing her voice, you do have two options.
You can stream, download or purchase Michelle's music on pretty much anyplace where music is available. Just search "We've Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered" and let the Internet do the rest.
Michelle and her band will also be returning for a holiday show, "Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters' Christmas" on December 16 at the Donald W. Nixon Centre for Performing & Visual Arts in Newnan, GA. Tickets can be found online.