Not many artists could get me to sit still for an evening of show tunes. Bernadette Peters is one of the very few. There’s just something about the way it comes through the pipes that compels me to listen. A Sondheim song is exquisite in her mouth, but she can even make Andrew Lloyd Webber sound good. She’s also redeemed many a film by virtue of her presence in the cast.
If you’ve always wanted to see Bernadette live, as I have, now’s your chance—the two time Tony Award-winning Broadway Baby will perform Mar. 3 at the Valley Performing Arts Center. Sadly, the lady won’t be reprising her role in “Follies” when it opens at the Ahmanson May 3 (she cancelled her original So Cal date in October to appear in the New York production). Call 818-677-3000 or visit http://www.valleyperformingartscenter.org.
What is the Valley Performing Arts Center, you may well ask, and more to the point where is it? It’s a 166,000 square foot venue that opened at Cal State Northridge in 2011; the facility includes a 1,700-seat, multi-purpose concert hall that presents orchestra, opera, Broadway, film and dance. They hosted Hal Holbrook and Ramsey Lewis last month; Savion Glover arrives Mar. 24 and Barbara Cook May 19. If this doesn’t make CSUN thecultural heart of the San Fernando Valley, as they assert, I can’t imagine what would.
Blues mean different things to different folks. You’ll hear everything from jazz and R&B to electric blues and roots rock on “Jukin’ wit de Blues,” a new series of CDs on the Catbone Unreleased label. Producer Ken Hatley meant the series as a tribute to his roots in the Carolinas, though the Piedmont Blues of that region seem underrepresented. Lots of good stuff here, though (much of it previously unissued) and nicely restored.
Although Catbone claims “all the names that made the blues famous,” many seem to be missing. But Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf are present, along with Little Richard, Jack Millman, Etta James and even Tina Turner and Peter Frampton. The CDs feature great cover art, evoking a bygone era.
More from Jordan:
Oscar’s sins of omission http://exm.nr/gcLhp6
Max Raabe recreates ‘Cabaret’ era, National Theatre salutes cinema http://shar.es/gpyfC
Culture Clash in La Jolla (opens 3/11 at Kirk Douglas Theatre) http://shar.es/fTONY
Comedy icons Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers on DVD http://shar.es/fkdjP
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