MERRY CHRISTMAS DARLING: CARPENTERS' CHRISTMAS Hits the Road For 2018 Holiday Season
Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters' Christmas, the special holiday version of We've Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered, the definitive celebration of the seminal brother and sister duo the Carpenters in words and music, is on the road for its holiday season run of shows beginning with a return to the Celebrity Theatre at Don Laughlin's Riverside Resort in Laughlin, Nevada. Now playing through December 2 at the famed resort and casino, Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters' Christmas is based around the Carpenters' iconic Christmas albums.
Led by singer Michelle Berting Brett and accompanied by a live, seven-piece Nashville band directed by Harry Sharpe, the show re-creates the Carpenters' original sound, presenting an intimate behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the most successful recording acts of all time.
Michelle Berting Brett in "Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters' Christmas" (photo by Pierre Gautreau) Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters' Christmas follows the format of its parent We've Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered in that the history of the Carpenters is told via their iconic songs. For the Christmas presentation, Berting Brett focuses attention on the duo's Christmas albums and television specials as well as talking about their Christmas experiences.
The festive show includes holiday classics such as "Sleigh Ride," "The Christmas Song," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "Winter Wonderland," "Jingle Bells," "I'll Be Home for Christmas," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Do You Hear What I Hear," and of course, "Merry Christmas Darling."
The show's holiday music is culled from the Carpenters' Christmas Portrait (1978) and An Old-Fashioned Christmas (released in 1984 after the death of Karen Carpenter). A two-CD set of those two albums was released as the Christmas Collection, making Carpenters' holiday music an enduring staple of every holiday season. The holiday edition of the show also generously intersperses the Carpenters' well-known classics, among them "We've Only Just Begun," "Close To You" and a rousing medley of the Carpenters' greatest hits.
The duo of Karen and Richard Carpenter have sold well over 100 million records worldwide, and 2019 will mark the 50th Anniversary of The Carpenters signing with A&M Records and releasing their first album. The We've Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered show will be part of that celebration when the show returns to the Downey Theatre in Downey, California, hometown of the Carpenters, on April 25, 2019. We've Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered, an intimate behind-the-scenes portrait of the pop music phenomenon that defined an era, has been playing in theatres and showrooms all over the U.S since 2013. It grew out of an idea Berting Brett, a farm girl from a musical family in Saskatchewan, conceived after being told repeatedly that she sounded like Karen Carpenter. Berting Brett, who studied opera and musical theatre and then toured the world in show bands and in her own cabaret shows while based in Toronto, was encouraged by her now-husband, producer Mark Brett, to create a one-woman show based around the Carpenters' music. The show played a small club in Toronto with Berting Brett accompanied only by a pianist. That was 2009, and now with this husband and wife team at the helm, the little SRO cabaret show has evolved into a touring production that has played major showrooms in the U.S.
A CD of We've Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered, recorded in Nashville last year, includes performances of the Carpenters' most memorable songs, among them "Close to You," "Yesterday Once More," "Rainy Days & Mondays" and, of course, "We've Only Just Begun." It is available at shows as well as from CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon.