INDIANA â€” TheÂ Lively Arts at Indiana University of Pennsylvania will bring award-winning actor, dancer, singer and humanitarian Bernadette Peters as next seasonâ€™s 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 IUPâ€™s 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 â€śJuvenile Jury,â€ť the classic television game show â€śName That Tuneâ€ť and â€śThe Horn & Hardart Childrenâ€™s Hour.â€ť She made her theatrical debut in â€śThis Is Goggle,â€ť starring James Daly and Kim Hunter and directed by Otto Preminger. Still in her teens, she appeared in â€śThe Most Happy Fellaâ€ť and â€śThe Penny Friendâ€ť and performed in the national touring company of â€śGypsy.â€ť
Â Peters made her Broadway debut in 1967 in â€śJohnny No-Trump,â€ť and in 1968 starred with Joel Grey in the musical â€śGeorge M!â€ť 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-Broadwayâ€™s â€śDames at Sea.â€ť
Â Peters received both the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for her critically acclaimed performance in Andrew Lloyd Webberâ€™s â€śSong and Dance.â€ť 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 â€śAnnie Get Your Gun.â€ť
Peters also received Tony nominations for her work in the 1992 musical â€śThe Goodbye Girl,â€ť Stephen Sondheimâ€™s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical â€śSunday in the Park With George,â€ť the Jerry Herman/Gower Champion ode to the movies â€śMack and Mabelâ€ť and the Leonard Bernstein/Comden and Green musical â€śOn The Town.â€ť Peters also earned a Drama Desk nomination for her portrayal of the Witch in Stephen Sondheimâ€™s â€śInto the Woods.â€ť
She has starred in 17 feature films. She received a Golden Globe Award for her performance in â€śPennies From Heavenâ€ť and has starred with Steve Martin in â€śThe Jerk,â€ť Burt Reynolds in â€śThe Longest Yardâ€ť and Carol Burnett in â€śAnnie.â€ť Among other films, she starred in â€śPink Cadillacâ€ť with Clint Eastwood, â€śSlaves of New Yorkâ€ť with Mercedes Ruehl, Woody Allenâ€™s â€śAliceâ€ť with Mia Farrow, and â€śImpromptuâ€ť with Hugh Grant and Mandy Patinkin. Most recently, she starred opposite Kirk and Michael Douglas in â€śIt Runs in the Family.â€ť
Her numerous roles in made-for-television movies include portraying the wicked stepmother in â€śCinderellaâ€ť with Brandy and Whitney Houston, starring in â€śWhat the Deaf Man Heard,â€ť â€śThe Odysseyâ€ť starring Armand Assante, â€śDavid, Fall From Graceâ€ť with Kevin Spacey, and â€śThe Last Best Yearâ€ť with Mary Tyler Moore. She also appeared in the Showtime movie â€śBobbieâ€™s Girlâ€ť (a Daytime Emmy-nominated movie) and â€śPrince Charming,â€ť a TNT movie co-starring Martin Short and Christina Applegate.
Peters was also nominated for her role on Foxâ€™s hit series â€śAlly McBeal.â€ť Her other television credits include a recurring role on â€śUgly Betty,â€ť a guest-starring role in the two-hour 2008 season premiere of â€śGreyâ€™s Anatomyâ€ť and numerous specials, such as PBSâ€™ â€śEvening at the Popsâ€ť and â€śGreat Performancesâ€ť series and â€śThe Kennedy Center Honors.â€ť
Early in her career, she appeared in variety shows including â€śThe Carol Burnett Showâ€ť and an Emmy-nominated performance on â€śThe Muppet Show.â€ť She has also voiced characters for feature films and television, including Steven Spielbergâ€™s animated program â€śAnimaniacs.â€ť
In addition to numerous Grammy Award-winning Broadway cast albums including â€śGypsyâ€ť and â€śAnnie Get Your Gun,â€ť Peters has recorded six solo albums. Recently, she added author and songwriter to her roster of achievements with her debut childrenâ€™s book â€śBroadway Barks,â€ť 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 Wheelerâ€™s Tony Award-winning â€śA Little Night Music,â€ť starring opposite Elaine Stritch. In May, she will star in the production of â€śFolliesâ€ť 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.