... one of the backup singers for Barbra's Las Vegas Concerts on December
31st 1999 and January 1st 2000.
Peggi was delighted to share her joy with us fans - She even tells us what
went on behind stage!
How did you land the gig with Barbra?
A: The last Broadway show I did in New York ("Marilyn, an American Fable",
with Scott Bakula) was directed by Kenny Ortega. Kenny was hired as the
director of Barbra's Millennium Show and he called me and asked me to get
two other singers that I wanted to work with. I contacted two of my
favorites - Bridgette Bryant and Kellie Coffey. (Bridgette, incidentally,
also sings background vocals for me on my latest CD “Livin’ On Love”.) The
three of us went and sang for Barbra, got hired on the spot, and were asked
to come back to rehearsal the very next day. And the rest is, as they say,
“Millennium Show History”. (smile)
Q When did rehearsals begin, and how long did they last?
A: Rehearsals lasted a total of five weeks. We started rehearsing in LA in
November, and then moved to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for the final week
before the performance. Barbra likes to be very well prepared, especially
when the show is as special as one celebrating the changing of the
Q What was your first impression of Barbra?
A: AWE!!!!! I have been a HUGE Barbra Streisand fan since I was a teenager.
Rehearsals were, for me, almost as exciting as the show because being around
that much God-given talent left me then and still leaves me “breathless”!
Q How did you gear yourself up, knowing that you'd be performing with a
legend - in front of 13,000 people?! Were you nervous?
A: No. I have performed for many of biggest stars in the music business like
Bob Dylan and Stevie Wonder, etc. in front of many more people than that. On
my own I have performed at huge arenas like the Olympic Stadium in Montreal
that had an overflow crowd of over 55,000 people. What was different and
exciting about this concert was that it was with THE Barbra Streisand. The
most special performance of this mini tour was actually a pre-show dress
rehearsal held in Manhattan Beach (a small town right outside Los Angeles)
for 300 invitation-only close friends of Barbra’s. Gregory Peck came to me
at the end of the performance and kissed and hugged me. He told me how much
he enjoyed watching and listening to me sing with Barbra. With his recent
passing, that moment especially now stays in my mind.
Q Did you see much of Barbra backstage?
A: Often she did not have the time to be with us (the singers), but at other
times she would be in our dressing room running through dance steps and just
sitting and talking with us. We discussed families, children, food, clothes
(of course!), and other “girl stuff”. Needless to say we spent a lot of time
giggling about that “girl stuff”, which you understand, of course, I cannot
divulge any details of here. (smile)
Q What were you thoughts at the end of the first performance?
A: I couldn’t wait to get back to my room and simply collapse, because we
had been working for over a month straight without a break. I knew the first
performance was great! However what I really wanted to do was immediately
call my husband and son back in LA and my mother and daughter in North
Carolina and scream HAPPY NEW MILLENIIUM!!! to all of them. And also scream
“DO YOU KNOW WHO I JUST SANG WITH??!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (smile)
Q Did you have a favorite song from the show?
A: Obviously, one of my favorites was the song we sang with Barbra, Bob
Esty’s wonderful “The Main Event”. But what touched me the deepest was
hearing Barbra sing her classic hit “People”. I cried almost every time I
heard her sing that song.
Q When you look back at Timeless - what are your thoughts?
A: That I was in the presence of greatness. And that I had spent all that
time with a true “lady”. I have worked with many people in this industry,
but there only a rare few that have as much class and savvy about what they
do and who they are as Ms. Streisand. I will forever be grateful to have
been included in such an historic event.
You have a new CD which has been released, and forthcoming Concerts in New
York? Tell us more!
A: Thank you for asking about that. My newest CD, “Livin’ on Love”
(Expansion Records), has been immensely successful since its initial
European release last December. It has topped radio charts in 3 countries,
and continues to be played throughout the Continent and the UK. We are now
shopping for a US distribution deal. There are links to sites where you can
purchase the CD. You can also buy this, as well as my two previous albums (“Blu
Blowin’ on Capitol Records, and “I Got Love” on MCA Records) at my website:
www.peggiblu.com . You can find audio samples, great pictures, and lots of
info there as well. I have two upcoming concerts in New York City - July
22nd and 23rd at the Triad Theatre in Manhattan (158 West 72nd St., near
Broadway). For tickets please call SmartTix at (212)868-4444. Tickets may
also be purchased at the box office the night of the performance. You can
always find info about this and any upcoming performances of mine at my
website. So please stop by as often as you can!
Peggi, Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions.
And thank you, Craig, for giving me the opportunity to talk to so many of
Barbra’s fans. Hopefully I’ll see some of them at my July 22nd and 23rd
concerts in New York!