INDIANA â TheÂ Lively Arts at Indiana University of Pennsylvania will bring award-winning actor, dancer, singer and humanitarian Bernadette Peters as next seasonâs Helwig Distinguished Artist.
Â Peters will open the new 2011-12 Lively Arts touring artist season with a performance at 8 p.m. Sept. 15 in Fisher Auditorium of IUPâs Performing Arts Center.
Â Petersâ appearance will mark the 18th for a Helwig Distinguished Artist since the program endowment was created in 1987 by Punxsutawney native and Indiana resident Florence Lattimer Helwig in honor of her late husband, Wilfred E. Helwig.
The performance is funded by the endowment and an additional generous gift provided by the Helwig family.
Â A native of Ozone Park, N.Y., Peters began her career at age three with appearances on âJuvenile Jury,â the classic television game show âName That Tuneâ and âThe Horn & Hardart Childrenâs Hour.â She made her theatrical debut in âThis Is Goggle,â starring James Daly and Kim Hunter and directed by Otto Preminger. Still in her teens, she appeared in âThe Most Happy Fellaâ and âThe Penny Friendâ and performed in the national touring company of âGypsy.â
Â Peters made her Broadway debut in 1967 in âJohnny No-Trump,â and in 1968 starred with Joel Grey in the musical âGeorge M!â earning a Theatre World Award for her memorable portrayal of Josie Cohan. That same year, she received a Drama Desk Award for her performance in off-Broadwayâs âDames at Sea.â
Â Peters received both the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for her critically acclaimed performance in Andrew Lloyd Webberâs âSong and Dance.â She received her second Tony Award, another Drama Desk Award, and an Outer Criticsâ Circle Award for her role as Annie Oakley in the Broadway revival of âAnnie Get Your Gun.â
Peters also received Tony nominations for her work in the 1992 musical âThe Goodbye Girl,â Stephen Sondheimâs Pulitzer Prize-winning musical âSunday in the Park With George,â the Jerry Herman/Gower Champion ode to the movies âMack and Mabelâ and the Leonard Bernstein/Comden and Green musical âOn The Town.â Peters also earned a Drama Desk nomination for her portrayal of the Witch in Stephen Sondheimâs âInto the Woods.â
She has starred in 17 feature films. She received a Golden Globe Award for her performance in âPennies From Heavenâ and has starred with Steve Martin in âThe Jerk,â Burt Reynolds in âThe Longest Yardâ and Carol Burnett in âAnnie.â Among other films, she starred in âPink Cadillacâ with Clint Eastwood, âSlaves of New Yorkâ with Mercedes Ruehl, Woody Allenâs âAliceâ with Mia Farrow, and âImpromptuâ with Hugh Grant and Mandy Patinkin. Most recently, she starred opposite Kirk and Michael Douglas in âIt Runs in the Family.â
Her numerous roles in made-for-television movies include portraying the wicked stepmother in âCinderellaâ with Brandy and Whitney Houston, starring in âWhat the Deaf Man Heard,â âThe Odysseyâ starring Armand Assante, âDavid, Fall From Graceâ with Kevin Spacey, and âThe Last Best Yearâ with Mary Tyler Moore. She also appeared in the Showtime movie âBobbieâs Girlâ (a Daytime Emmy-nominated movie) and âPrince Charming,â a TNT movie co-starring Martin Short and Christina Applegate.
Peters was also nominated for her role on Foxâs hit series âAlly McBeal.â Her other television credits include a recurring role on âUgly Betty,â a guest-starring role in the two-hour 2008 season premiere of âGreyâs Anatomyâ and numerous specials, such as PBSâ âEvening at the Popsâ and âGreat Performancesâ series and âThe Kennedy Center Honors.â
Early in her career, she appeared in variety shows including âThe Carol Burnett Showâ and an Emmy-nominated performance on âThe Muppet Show.â She has also voiced characters for feature films and television, including Steven Spielbergâs animated program âAnimaniacs.â
In addition to numerous Grammy Award-winning Broadway cast albums including âGypsyâ and âAnnie Get Your Gun,â Peters has recorded six solo albums. Recently, she added author and songwriter to her roster of achievements with her debut childrenâs book âBroadway Barks,â named after the organization she co-founded with actress Mary Tyler Moore that promotes the adoption of shelter animals. Shortly after release, the book landed on The New York Timesâ Bestseller list.
Peters most recently appeared on Broadway in the revival run of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheelerâs Tony Award-winning âA Little Night Music,â starring opposite Elaine Stritch. In May, she will star in the production of âFolliesâ at the Kennedy Center.
Tickets for the Fisher Auditorium performance will first be available through subscriptions, with subscription information to be sent by the end of June. Patrons contributing at the Designer level of the Premiere Club will receive priority seating with their subscription order in advance of general subscribers. Single tickets will be available at the end of August.
For more information, contact Hank Knerr, director, at (724) 357-2547 or via e-mail at email@example.com.