Bernadette Peters a Second-Stringer? Since When?

Filed in Gather News Channel by on June 25, 2010 0 Comments

Bernadette Peters is a hot topic today. She substituted for Kelly Ripa on Live with Regis and Kelly to help promote her stepping in to the role of Desiree in A Little Night Music on Broadway as Catherine Zeta-Jones departs it on July 13.

Bernadette Peters is no stranger to the Broadway stage, having starred in multiple shows over the decades. I remember watching the PBS production of her co-starring in Sunday in the Park with George alongside Mandy Patinkin, thrilled to see the original cast and loving every note that rose from Bernadette Peters’s throat. I even saw Peters perform live in San Francisco a few years ago. Even with a head cold, she was stunningly good.

So now I see that because a Hollywood star like Catherine Zeta-Jones gets to be first in a part and Broadway baby Bernadette Peters is replacing her that Peters is now called a “second-stringer.” Let’s compare Catherine Zeta-Jones‘s and Bernadette Peters‘s work on the Broadway stage, shall we?

Broadway shows performed in

  • Bernadette Peters: At least 12 (Wikipedia list is noted as a “selected” set).
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones: One.

Tony Awards

  • Bernadette Peters: Two. Seven nominations total.
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones: One. One nomination total.

The numbers speak for themselves. Catherine Zeta-Jones, much as I love her, can’t hold a candle to Bernadette Peters when it comes to the Broadway stage. Sondheim may have felt it was a good challenge for Peters to be the alternate, and I must agree that it is. I think some people forgot that “second-stringer” is a term of derision. It means they’re calling Bernadette Peters the also-ran, the lesser light. Just sad, really.

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