We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered, the definitive celebration of the seminal brother and sister duo The Carpenters in words and music, will combine its acclaimed touring show with an orchestra for the first time when it arrives at the North Charleston Coliseum & Performing Arts Center on Saturday April 18. Fronted by singer and show creator Michelle Berting Brett and accompanied by her Nashville-based band under the direction by Harry Sharpe, the show will join forces with the North Charleston Pops Orchestra to showcase the Carpenters’ original sound.
For this special presentation, Berting Brett has commissioned orchestra arrangements of some of The Carpenters’ best-known songs that permeate the production, which presents an intimate behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the most successful recording acts of all time. “This is a wonderful creative opportunity that is a natural fit with the Carpenters’ repertoire,” explains Berting Brett. “Richard Carpenter’s arrangements had many orchestral elements and, in fact, Karen and Richard did a number or orchestra shows during their career. As a singer, to perform alongside all the musical talent of the orchestra members will be a thrill!”
The We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered show has brought the music of the Carpenters to U.S. audiences since it hit the road in 2013. Conceived by and starring Canadian singer Michelle Berting Brett, she created the show after being told repeatedly that she sounded like the late Karen Carpenter. What began as a cabaret show in Toronto in 2009 with Berting Brett accompanied by a pianist has grown into a touring theatrical production that has played performing arts centers and concert halls as well as multiple engagements in Las Vegas, New York and Atlantic City. Produced by Berting Brett’s husband Mark Brett, the show is now backed by a stellar band and its special holiday sister show based around the Carpenters’ iconic Christmas albums–Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters’ Christmas—tours during the holiday season.
The duo of Karen and Richard Carpenter have sold well over 100 million records worldwide, and 2019 marked the 50th Anniversary of The Carpenters signing with A&M Records and releasing their first album. “We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered” was an official event of the fan-fueled “Carpenters50th” convention held last April in the Los Angeles area that brought together Carpenters fans from all over the world. Included in the gathering’s schedule of activities was a capacity performance of the show at the Carpenters’ hometown Downey Theatre. The Los Angeles Times, in covering the event, referred to Michelle Berting Brett as “The farm girl from Saskatchewan who heard the music on her transistor radio and performs it today on stages all over the world.” In speaking of Karen Carpenters’ voice, Berting Brett told the Times: “I don’t think even she realized how great she was. She made it sound so effortless, with these incredibly long phrases — the breath that girl had was incredible.”
BroadwayWorld.com said of Brett: “Michelle Berting Brett is essentially an adult Disney princess with a whole lot of stage presence, and a unique energy while telling their stories and singing their songs,” while music journalist Paul Grein, writing about that show in the Tolucan Times, stated: “This is an exceptionally well-produced show that does justice to an act whose music has proved to be timeless.”
We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered, an intimate behind-the-scenes portrait of the pop music phenomenon that defined an era, includes performances of The Carpenters’ most memorable songs, among them “Close to You,” “Yesterday Once More,” “Rainy Days & Mondays,” “A Song for You” and, of course, “We’ve Only Just Begun.” A CD of the show, recorded in Nashville, is available at shows, as well as from CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon.
The North Charleston Performing Arts Center is located at 5001 Coliseum Dr, North Charleston, SC 29418. Tickets for the April 18 show, which begins at 7:30PM, are available by visiting: https://www.northcharlestoncoliseumpac.com/events/detail/north-charleston-pops-carpenters-remembered