In a sweet, genuine voice, Bernadette Peters asks if she’s pronouncing “Fenuxe” correctly. We confirm that it is indeed pronounced like the bird rising from the ashes. “Right, ‘phoenix,’” she says.
The Tony-winning Broadway star is calling to talk about her upcoming performance for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s second annual Symphony Gala on Saturday, February 18, at the Woodruff Arts Center.
And, so, our interview with the icon begins.Fenuxe: Why do you think it’s important to support events such as the Symphony Gala?
Bernadette: The symphonies all across the country are so important. The arts are so important. Food feeds the body and the creative arts feed the soul. It’s important to be inspired by creativity and to sit and listen to music and let our minds wander.
Fenuxe: What are you most looking forward to with the gala?
I think everyone is going to be in lovely spirits and it’s a great event and a great cause. I think people are going to have a good time. That will be nice.
Fenuxe: What projects are you working on right now?
Bernadette: I’m working on coming to Atlanta and singing. And I just finished doing nine months of “Follies” on Broadway. I had a week of transitioning out of that. I have five concerts in a row in February. And I’m also doing the television show “Smash.”
Fenuxe: Will that be one appearance or a recurring role?
Bernadette: We’ll see if it’s ongoing. I play Megan Hilty’s mother. The writing is so good, and it’s about the making of a Broadway musical. The people are amazing, talented and as nice as can be. It was lovely to work with them. They’re just darling.
Fenuxe: What’s your guilty pleasure?
Bernadette: I love going to the movies. I don’t know if it’s a guilty pleasure, but I really do love sitting in the movies and eating popcorn.
Bernadette: I just saw “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” I really liked it. It’s a wonderful film, and I love Daniel Craig. Do you know what movie is fabulous? I loved “Hugo.” You’ve got to go see it. It’s a masterpiece. And it’s in 3D.
Fenuxe: What is your favorite theater moment from your career?
Bernadette: I guess “Gypsy” was a thrill. Working with Robert Preston and him telling me one night, “Oh, that scene went a different way, but you know what, it’s good when that happens. It’s spontaneous.” Realizing that a scene has a life and to let it live on its own.
Fenuxe: If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?
Bernadette: Wow, really? Every human being and creature could have peace.
Fenuxe: What’s the nicest thing a fan has done for you?
Bernadette: They’ve all done such lovely things. Putting things on YouTube where they find certain performances that they love. They’ve just been loving and gracious to me.
Fenuxe: Do you have any pet peeves?
Bernadette: People who adopt dogs and then give them up when they’re old or send them to the shelter. They’re like a part of your family.
Fenuxe: Have you been to Atlanta before?
Bernadette: Yes, but not for quite a while. Atlanta is beautiful. And the women have beautiful soft skin. It must be the great humidity.
About the Symphony Gala
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s second annual Symphony Gala is set for Saturday, February 18, at the Woodruff Arts Center, with proceeds benefiting the Orchestra and its education and community engagement programs.
Patron guests will begin their evening at 6 p.m. with a pre-concert cocktail reception in the Stent Atrium at the High Museum of Art. At 7:30 p.m., Bernadette Peters will perform with members of the Orchestra in Atlanta Symphony Hall.
Following the concert, there will be a seated dinner, catered by Legendary Partners, in the Taylor Lobby of the High Museum. Throughout the evening, patrons will have the opportunity to bid on luxury items—including jewelry, roundtrip tickets on Delta Air Lines, and a fabulous international travel package—at a live auction.
After dinner, an after party is planned featuring cocktails, coffee and desserts, music by the Atlanta Party Band and dancing in the Stent Atrium. Tickets to the Symphony Gala after-party will be available to young professionals (ages 25-40) for $45.
The evening’s attire is Black Tie.
Proceeds from the 2011 Symphony Gala will benefit the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its Education and Community Engagement Programs, which include initiatives such as the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and Talent Development Program, as well as support partnerships with local community institutions and create a wide variety of musical and educational experiences for citizens of all ages.
For tickets, please visit www.atlantasymphony.org.