Southern California Remembers the Carpenters
Starring Singer Michelle Berting Brett Celebrates Music of the Top-Selling Band of the 1970's We've Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered, the definitive celebration of the seminal brother and sister duo the Carpenters in words and music, is set to return to Southern California for a one-night-only performance at The Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos, CA on Saturday night, September 16 at 8:00PM. 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.
Carpenters Remembered has played all over the U.S in theatres and showrooms. It sold out its first Southern California engagement last summer at the Carpenters' hometown Downey Theatre in conjunction with the 60th Anniversary celebration of the incorporation of Downey as an independent city. The show 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 performed in cabaret shows 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. since 2013, including sold-out performances in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada. The special holiday version, Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters' Christmas based around the Carpenters iconic Christmas albums, tours during the winter months. Plans are now under way for symphony shows beginning in the fall of 2018. We've Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered recently opened the Delta Series at Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta (other artists on the series: Willie Nelson, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Air Supply and George Benson). A BroadwayWorld.com review from that performance stated: "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."
The Carpenters, who have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, have long been associated with Southern California. The Carpenter family, including then 16-year-old Richard and 13-year-old Karen, moved to Downey from New Haven, Connecticut in 1963. Both siblings attended Downey High School where Richard, already an accomplished pianist, came to the attention of the school band's director, and Karen played glockenspiel in the marching band to get out of gym class. She later switched to the drums and began singing with a jazz trio formed with her brother and a school friend. By 1969, the Carpenters were signed to A&M Records and would become one of the most successful acts of the 1970's. We've Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered, an intimate behind-the-scenes portrait of the pop music phenomenon that defined an era, includes performances of The Carpenters' most memorable songs, among them "Close to You," "Yesterday Once More," "Rainy Days & Mondays," "A Song for You" and, of course, "We've Only Just Begun." A CD of the show, recorded in Nashville, is available at shows, as well as from CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon.
The Cerritos Center is located at 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos, CA 90703 For ticket information, call the Ticket Office 800.300.4345 or 562.916.8500 or visit: www.cerritoscenter.com
Additional 2017 "We've Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered" performances include: Saturday, November 18-Bartlett Performing Arts Center, Bartlett, TN Thursday, November 30-- Nelson Hall at Elim Park, Cheshire, CT "Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters' Christmas" 2017 tour dates: Thursday, November 16, 2017-Zwermann Arts Center Theater, Lincoln Trail College, Robinson, IL Wednesday-Sunday, November 22-26-Don's Celebrity Theater, Don Laughlin's Riverside Resort, Laughlin, NV Sunday, December 3--Wolf Den, Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT Tuesday, December 5--Westchester Broadway Theatre, Westchester, NY Friday & Saturday, December 8 & 9--Pacific Showroom, Skagit Casino, Bow, WA Tuesday, December 12-Mother Lode Theatre, Butte, MT Thursday, December 14-State Theatre, Easton, PA Saturday, December 16-Donald W. Nixon Centre for Performing & Visual Arts, Newnan, GA.