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 set for a number of performances during winter months.

Based around the Carpenters' iconic Christmas albums, Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters' Christmas begins its holiday run with a performance at Zwermann Arts Center Theater, Lincoln Trail College, Robinson, Illinois on November 16.

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.

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 Christmasalbums 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' ChristmasPortrait (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," "Yesterday Once More" and a rousing medley of the Carpenters' greatest hits. The Carpenters have sold well over 100 million records worldwide.

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., including sold-out performances in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada.

Last year, the show played to an SRO audience at the 800-seat Downey Theatre (near Los Angeles) where the Carpenters grew up and returned to Southern California this year to the much larger Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. Writing about that show in the Tolucan Times, music journalist Paul Grein said: "This is an exceptionally well-produced show that does justice to an act whose music has proved to be timeless."

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.


November 16--Zwermann Arts Center Theater, Lincoln Trail College, Robinson, IL

November 22-26--Don's Celebrity Theater, Don Laughlin's Riverside Resort, Laughlin, NV

December 3--Wolf Den, Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT

December 5 (2 shows)--Westchester Broadway Theatre, Westchester, NY

December 8 and 9--Pacific Showroom, Skagit Casino. Bow, Washington

December 10--Ilani Resort, Ridgefield, Washington

December 12--Mother Lode Theatre, Butte, Montana

December 14--State Theatre Easton, PA

December 16--Donald W. Nixon Centre for Performing & Visual Arts, Newnan, Georgia


November 18-Bartlett Performing Arts Center, Bartlett, Tennessee

November 30 (2 shows) Nelson Hall at Elim Park, Cheshire, CT


February 17-Verona Area Performing Arts Center, Verona, Wisconsin

March 3-- Performing Arts Live of Iredell, Mac Gray Auditorium, Statesville, NC

April 2 (2 shows)-Kravis Center for the Performing Arts,West Palm Beach, FL

May 6-Lebanon County Community Concert Association, Lebanon, PA

May 8-Palace Theatre, Waterbury, CT

May 11-Bear'sDen Showroom, Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, Niagara Falls, NY

For more about both shows, visit, or follow on Facebook: and Twitter:

Pictured: Michelle Berting Brett with seven-piece backing band led by musical director Harry Sharpe performing "Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters' Christmas". Photo by Michelle Morrisette.

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