The Broadway powerhouse talks about trusting Sondheim, hearing others sing her songs and waiting to be taken seriously
Cafe Luxembourg, the closet-sized New York bistro Bernadette Peters chooses for our lunch, opened in 1983 and seems almost unchanged. That also goes for Peters, although she has been in business longer. As a child actor, she made her New York debut more than 60 years ago in a revival of The Most Happy Fella and has rarely been off the stage or screen since. A gift to musical comedy, in some very dishy wrapping, she synthesises sex, sophistication and emotional nuance. Has another Broadway baby made it to the cover of Playboy? “Just Ethel Merman,” she quips.
At 71, she looks enviably young, in a way that suggests an unholy pact and/or a virtuoso dermatologist. (Her explanation? Good genes.) On the Cafe Luxembourg computer, the reservationist has placed a star next to her name and, really, who wouldn’t?