Bernadette Peters promises to bring a little holiday spirit along with songs audiences expect from the seven-time Tony Award nominee when she returns to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Sunday night.
Since her last Sarasota performance four years ago, Peters has done several Broadway shows so her concert will reflect her starring roles in revivals of “A Little Night Music” and “Follies,” two musicals by Stephen Sondheim.
The composer has been a major part of Peters’ life, since she toured as a young performer in “Gypsy,” for which he wrote the lyrics. Years later, she created roles in his musicals “Sunday in the Park with George” and “Into the Woods.”
She earned four of her seven Tony Award nominations in productions of Sondheim shows. (She won for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Song and Dance.”)
Her concert comes just a few weeks after she starred in “A Bed and a Chair: A New York Love Affair,” for which musician Wynton Marsalis put a jazz spin on Sondheim songs presented with new story arcs.
“It was so much fun,” Peters said in a telephone interview. “Wynton rethought the songs and Steve loved it in that jazzy New Orleans style. It was so much fun, to have Steve sit there and not say you have to sing it on the beat.”
In Sarasota, Peters is planning slightly more traditional versions of Sondheim and other favorite songs from shows, films and one of her books.
“The show has an arc, a beginning, a middle and end. It’s fun, maybe a little more serious and then it lightens up again,” she said. “I know I’m there to entertain, whether it’s done in a light way or a dramatic way. It’s my job.”
In addition to an Australian concert tour, Peters said she will soon be filming a TV pilot. She enjoyed her experience playing Megan Hilty’s mother on NBC’s “Smash.”
“I liked my character and I loved everybody in it,” she said. “Megan is just enormously talented and it was so easy to be her mother and be proud of her.”
She’s also thinking about writing a third book as a follow-up to “Broadway Barks” and “Stella is a Star,” which benefit Broadway Barks, a charity she helped to start with Mary Tyler Moore.
Peters said she seems to write best on airplanes “so maybe when I’m coming down there I’ll get started.”
Bernadette Peters performs at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets are $35-$80. 953-3368; vanwezel.org