Songs of Bernadette

North Coast Men's Chorus tenor Rob Toth can't believe he'll be backing Broadway babe Bernadette Peters in song tonight, when the Tony Award-winner joins the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and the 100-member choir of gay dudes in concert at Playhouse Square. He still remembers watching Peters during a live PBS-TV production of Sunday in the Park With George co-starring Mandy Patinkin. "I was just blown away," gushes Toth. "She can act. She can sing. Her performance was just incredible. It was perfection." Tonight's show starts with the chorus performing tunes like William Finn's "Heart and Music" and "The Spark of Creation" from the musical Children of Eden. Then Peters will join them onstage for a rendition of Stephen Sondheim's "You Could Drive a Person Crazy," from Company, before she'll launch into an hour-long set with the orchestra. "Several of us in the chorus just love her. Plus, she's done other concerts with gay choruses," says Toth. "That takes a lot of commitment to our community." Besides, Peters is one star who's "held it together." "She hasn't fallen under the Britney Spears effect," says Toth. "So many Broadway stars need a pill to take them up and a pill to take them down. But she has remained a steady force on Broadway." The concert starts at 8 tonight at the Allen Theatre, 1407 Euclid Avenue. Tickets are $10 to $105. Call 216-241-6000 or visit www.playhousesquare.org.
Fri., March 28, 8 p.m., 2008