By Dianne R. Davis
Photos by Dianne R. Davis or Burt Davis
Bernadette Peters Delights Las Vegas Audience at UNLV's Artemus Hamm Hall
Broadway came to Las Vegas in style on May 1 when Bernadette Peters entertained theater goers in UNLV's Artemus Hamm Hall with an evening of top notch entertainment. The University of Nevada's venue in huge, but so is the magnitude of this petite singer.
The lights went down, the overture filled the theater, and there she was, an incredibly talented, curly haired bombshell singing "Let Me Entertain You." And entertain she did. Backed by a wonderful 30 piece house orchestra, Peters worked her way through a large selection of Steven Sondheim songs as well as a sampling of other Broadway musical selections. She did mix in some numbers that were less familiar, but they were well delivered.
Her rendition and staging of Peggy Lee's "Fever" was a show stopper. Draping her curvy body across the top of the piano, Peters turned up the heat with a steamy, sensual and entertaining performance that brought down the house and raised some temperatures among the men in the audience.
As for show tunes, those looking for a taste of Broadway got a full meal with songs such as "When I Marry Mr. Snow" from Carousel, "Some Enchanted Evening" and "There is Nothing Like a Dame" from South Pacific, and " I Think About You" from Gypsy. Add to that "Some People" from the same musical, the show that brought her to the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas at the age of 13.
The singer, actor, author was born into a show business family and at the age of 62, is still going strong. Her between song patter was entertaining, her renditions of Broadway numbers were right on target, and she is just plain adorable.
Hamm Hall is large and the acoustics are excellent. It would have been nice if there were screens so that those of us sitting further back could have had a better view of the award winning songstress, but the bottom line is that it was about the performance, not the visibility. Bernadette Peters delivered a star quality performance.