BWW Review: Bernadette Peters in Concert with Symphoria at Crouse Hinds Theater
For a one night only, the legendary Broadway, Television, and Silver Screen star Bernadette Peters sang with the Syracuse, New York orchestra known as Symphoria. Ms. Peters lit up the stage at Crouse Hinds Theater. Accomplished music director Marvin Laird, a friend of Ms. Peters, guest conducted Syracuse's Symphoria orchestra while Ms. Peters sang some of her greatest hits from the stage as well as many other familiar tunes. The talent, the energy, and the star power - it was all perfection.
A little background on Symphoria. It is a non-profit musician-led orchestra, one of only two in the United States. Symphoria has three conductors - Music Director Lawrence Loh, Principal Pops Conductor Sean O'Loughlin, and Associate Conductor and Symphoria Youth Orchestra Music Director Christian Capocaccia. Symphoria features a diverse group of musicians from all over the world. The hardworking orchestra presents more than 50 concerts annually. Their performances take place in various locations throughout the Central New York Community from libraries, health care facilities, public parks, churches, and museums, to their home venue at the Crouse Hinds Theater at the Civic Center. Symphoria's talent, dedication, and glorious musicianship attracts many guest performers throughout the year for good reason.
Temple Concord, the ninth oldest Jewish congregation in the United States, and the Regina F. Goldenberg Cultural series was the sponsor of "Bernadette Peters in Concert with Symphoria." This concert marked the start of their year-long 180th anniversary celebration. What a way to start a year of celebrating with Bernadette Peters singing. How do you top that! It was a real treat for the Syracuse audience.
Ms. Peters opened the show with "Let Me Entertain You" which of course is from Gypsy, in which Ms. Peters starred as Mama Rose on Broadway. I was lucky enough to see her perform that role at The Shubert Theatre. Ms. Peters did not actually sing that song in Gypsy, but her rendition of it started got the concert off to a good start as she delivered the song with the energy, spunk, and power that one expects from her. It only got better and better from that point on.
Ms. Peters then went on to sing more Sondheim tunes including "No One is Alone" from Into the Woods (Ms. Peters also starred in that show on Broadway as The Witch). Peters also sang "Losing My Mind" from Follies, "Send in the Clowns" from A Little Night of Music, and many others. Ms. Peters also delivered an emotional and breathtaking performance of "Being Alive" from Company.
She delighted the audience with numerous Rodgers and Hammerstein numbers, sharing that she often listened to their music while growing up. She dazzled with "Nothin' Like a Dame," showing off her range and confidence in the sizzling number. Ms. Peters even made her way into the audience, singing the fun song to a lucky audience member. The audience was also treated to her beautiful performance of "(When I Marry) Mr. Snow" from Carousel. Her voice soared in "It Might as Well Be Spring" from State Fair.
Ms. Peters also sang "Fever," the sultry number made famous by Peggy Lee She flaunted her way throughout the number, stretching across the grand piano as her comedic charm and confidence radiated. The glitzy tight dress, the lights, the glamour, and her sense of humor as she mocked herself for singing off key made this number one of the favorites of the evening.
After her final song she received a standing ovation - and I don't think I have ever seen the audiences around here leap up that fast. This concert was highly anticipated and most certainly did not disappoint.
Peters then made her way back on stage to promote her albums, her children's book "Broadway Barks!" and a bracelet. The money from this merchandise goes towards Broadway Barks!, which was founded by Peters and the late Mary Tyler Moore twenty years ago. Broadway Barks! hosts its annual summer event in Shubert Alley that draws quite the crowd because Broadway stars showcase the pets available for adoption. Broadway Barks! works with the New York City animal shelters and, as a result of their work, every year thousands of pets are lucky to find homes. To promote the sale of her heartwarming book, "Broadway Barks!" she sang the sweet lullaby "Kramer's Song," which is included on a CD in the book that I have often read to my daughter.
Seeing this legendary Tony Award-winning Broadway star was a treat. She ws memerizing as she delivered familiar and favorite Broadway showtunes backed by the talented members of Symphoria with Marvin Laird conducting. Her stage presence, talent, and giving personality make her a truly remarkable performer and person. This was a one night only performance and what a night it was seeing Bernadette Peters in concert!
Running time: One and a half hours.
Bernadette Peters performed in concert with Symphoria for one night only on Sunday, March 24, 2019 at the Crouse Hinds Theater in Syracuse, New York. For tickets and information on Symphoria. click here. For upcoming concert dates for Bernadette Peters. click here. For information and to donate to Broadway Barks!, click here. For information Temple Concord and the Regina F. Goldenberg Cultural Series, the sponsor of the performance, click here.