Even Bernadette Peters, as talented and beloved and powerful as ever, has been underestimated for decades as eternally cute and impossibly naïve.

In honor of Peters’ 70th birthday, Victoria Myers — editor of The Interval, a website dedicated to promoting gender parity in theatre — celebrates Peters’ unparalleled career in Hollywood and on Broadway by lovingly recreating her extraordinary life story in one definitive profile.

In early 2005, when Peters was 57 years old, Linda Stasi, writing in The New York Post about a Happy Days reunion show, opened with the following: “With the possible exception of Bernadette Peters, not everyone stays young and cute forever.” It’s a pithy line, and one that encapsulated the box Peters had been put in for her entire adult life, even while being considered the premier interpreter of the work of contemporary musical theatre’s most sophisticated, most lauded, most game-changing composer.

Stephen Holden, in The…

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