A SIGN OF THE TIMES
Petula gives a dazzling performance that includes her hits, songs from her film and stage career, and some of her compositions, including "Downtown," "A Sign of the Times," "Don't Sleep in the Subway," "Call Me," and "I Know a Place." Also: "Look to the Rainbow" from Finian's Rainbow; "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables; and "Tell Me It's Not True" from Blood Brothers. Petula is joined by Lou Rawls and Richard Carpenter. Rawls sings "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine," followed by "At Last," with Petula. Carpenter plays the Carpenters' hit, "For All We Know," and performs with Petula as she sings one of his compositions, "I Need to Be in Love." Accenting the concert footage are clips in which Petula is seen with legendary stars, including Carol Burnett, Ed Sullivan, Jack Benny, Fred Astaire, Peggy Lee, Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Andy Williams, and Herb Alpert.
--MPTV Milwaukee, Wisconsin promotional review
Petula made in-station appearances to promote "A Sign of the Times" at the following PBS affiliates.
Petula has also done press interviews in support of the show:
Bonnie Miller -- 11/02/01
Mountain Lake PBS
PBS PLEDGE DRIVE REPORTS
Petula in the Motor City
On Saturday, December 1st, "Sign of the Times" made its debut on Detroit's PBS affiliate. We were fortunate to have been one of the cities that Petula chose to do a live, in-studio visit to promote the CD and Video. And what an evening it was!
I'm thankful to have been there myself, doing "Pledge Phone Duty". Let me tell you - it was well worth it. And for any of you out there who are also in an area scheduled to have her visit - get thee to a phone and volunteer your services for the day / evening. You won't be disappointed.
Petula enchanted one and all in the studio, young and old alike. I suspect she's gained a whole new legion of fans. She spent quite a bit of time chatting with each of the volunteers, and an equal amount posing for photos, and signing albums, CDs . . .or scraps of paper.
She looked lovely, dressed in a long black skirt and jacket with shimmering gold top. On her lapel she wore a heart-shaped US flag. There was a bit of glitter applied to her cheeks too - which clearly met with the approval from the younger set. I heard one twenty-something remark: "Man, she's really kewl." Aren't there a few of us who pretty much said the same thing when "Downtown" hit the airwaves some 37 years ago?
Speaking of "Downtown", it was one of the last songs played on the video prior to her first on-camera appearance. Petula was serenaded by an impromptu chorus and seemed to be delighted. She turned to us lowly "phone people" and applauded.
While I didn't get to view much of her interviews (I was BUSY taking pledges!), it seemed that she was very relaxed and at home with the PBS announcer. But I noticed that during the segment of "There is Love" she was particularly keen on talking about her children - Barra and Katie are shown in their young years during the song. She later commented to me that she didn't think her son was in the footage, and that saddened her. (I don't know if Patrick shows up anywhere on the video either, as I haven't seen it in its entirety yet.)
After each on-camera schedule, she came to talk to us again. We talked a lot about rainy Blue Ash, Ohio, her tenure as Norma, the incredible song "Vivre", and her life traveling. I asked her if she truly enjoyed the onerous tasks that go along with promoting her public life - citing being in Detroit on December 1, when it's really ugly outside. She laughed a little, and said that for the most part, it's very enjoyable. Meeting the fans, being lucky enough to still do what she loves to do, etc. She said there are times she wanted to shut down and not take another interview. . ."but those times pass."
Probably the most rewarding phone call I got that evening was from a woman who turns 91 years young on December 5. She told me that she had stopped supporting PBS because of her dismay in the programming. She kept me on the telephone for a good 10 minutes talking about "Sign of the Times" and how much she thoroughly enjoyed it, its beautiful music, and message of love from the most wonderful performer she'd ever seen. You got it lady. She also asked me if Petula was still in the studio. When I told her that she was, she asked me to thank her. I did. This lovely 91-year old "new fan" bought the VHS.
I suppose what astonished me most, was Petula's accessibility. She clearly loves being up close and personal with everyone who takes the time to chat. At the end of the evening, a few of us met up with her in the lobby while she waited for the limo. She asked what we all did for a living and why we were there. Her actual question was: "Is this like jury duty?" Once told it was a voluntary mission, she thanked each of us for our time.
Are you kidding me Petula? It is we who thank you for all the wonderful moments preserved on vinyl, CD, and video. And by the way - thanks for being our friend, too!
Postscript: From what I was able to see of the video, it's wonderful. No DVD available at this point - only CD, VHS or a package of two. I can't wait to rewind my tape and see the concert, as I'm quite sure I recognized a few friendly faces in the crowd!
Wendy Coffin - 12/2/01
Petula was fabulous. What a great show. I was motivated to call in a pledge for which I will receive the DVD of the show. Petula was in the studio. She looked great. She talked to the hosts, gave a PBS pitch, and answered some viewer questions. She also played the piano and sang Look for the Silver Lining (a song done at the concert but which was not aired by our PBS station). To entice viewers to call in a pledge, all pledgers were entered in a raffle for several Petula recordings and a Finian's poster - all autographed by her. It always amazes me when seeing Petula. She's an international celebrity with multiple talents, and yet she seems so modest. I notice when she is applauded, she frequently gives a smile that reminds me of a school girl appearing on stage for the first time and is tickled pink by the applause. I think that's what is so attractive about her, she doesn't seem to be affected by her own success like a lot of other superstars. Anyway, it was a great program and the clips they mixed in of Petula in former years were really frosting on the cake.
Bill Pienta - 12/3/01
| CD SIGNING|
If you are in downtown Norfolk on Tuesday, May 15th, why not stop in at the MacArthur Center Mall as Petula will be doing a CD signing around 11:30 a.m. near the center court/ info booth area.
Bonnie Miller/ 5-14-01
PETULA CLARK TO SING DOWNTOWN|
Versatile star's show taped for PBS
By David Nicholson
Web published: Wednesday, May 16, 2001
On line at Hampton Roads Ticket
NORFOLK - British pop star Petula Clark has been hitting some downtowns in Hampton Roads this week.|
The woman who topped the 1960s pop charts with "Downtown" and "I Know a Place" is taping a public television special this weekend in the area. Her visit will culminate in two concerts Sunday, May 20, and Monday, May 21, in Norfolk's Chrysler Hall. The project is jointly sponsored by PBS, the Virginia Arts festival and WHRO-TV, Channel 15, the region's public broadcasting station.
As part of the PBS special that will air in December, Clark visited local attractions that will serve as background footage for the special. She was taped on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront and aboard one of the Navy vessels.
Clark's "A Sign of the Times" special was developed by JoAnn Young, an independent producer based in New Jersey who has made 40 specials for PBS. In 1998, Young produced a documentary about Richard Carpenter, the composer/singer who was part of a popular '70s pop duo with his sister, the late Karen Carpenter.
"I interviewed Petula at the time because she was a good friend of Karen Carpenter," says Young. "Last year, PBS approached me about doing a special about Petula."
On another level, Young and WHRO Station Manager Mary Pruess had been discussing the possibility of taping a national special in Hampton Roads as part of the Virginia Arts Festival. Young proposed the idea of presenting Clark as part of the festival, and the project was under way.
Though Clark's long career has included musicals and concert work, it's her pop songs from the 1960s that most people know her by.
"After making 40 specials, I know that what people want are the hits," says Young. "Clark was kind enough to accommodate my needs."
While Clark wasn't thrilled about beginning the concert with a long set of her hit tunes, she recognized the need for it as an introduction to an American television special. But the concert will showcase other songs Clark has been associated with, including the show-stopper "With One Look" from the musical "Sunset Boulevard." Clark played Norma Desmond in the show's national tour, which came to Norfolk in February 2000.
Reprising a role that was played by Gloria Swanson on film and by Glenn Close on stage felt strange at times for Clark.
"You have a lot of things you have to compete with," she says. "But when I have an opportunity to sing that song, it's like meeting up with an old friend again."
Joining Clark will be Richard Carpenter -- the pair will sing a medley of his songs -- and pop crooner Lou Rawls, whom Clark has worked with several times in the past.
"I like him very much," she says of Rawls. "When I asked him what key we should be in, he said, 'Baby, I sing in any key.' So we rehearsed over the phone together."
The concert also will feature new songs she has written that will be part of a U.S./European tour she is planning in the fall. "I'm Not Afraid" is a testament to overcoming her shyness as a performer.
"I was a child star in England and was actually very shy," she says. "Singing for me was a way of getting past my shyness. The song suggests that I'm not afraid to stand before you tonight."
The other song, "Celebrate," is a tribute to her fans. It's saying, "We've come a long way together, so let's celebrate together."
Clark's concert will have the added thrill of a nationally taped special. Audiences will see extra lighting and camera crews scurrying about the stage. For this event, PBS is bringing equipment, crews and directors from California, New York and Nashville.
In additional to Clark and her guests, the project will include backup singers, Clark's nine-piece band and a 35-piece orchestra made up of members of the Virginia Symphony.
"All this has to gel, and the music has to be perfect," says Clark.
Pruess will be overseeing two taping projects for PBS. In addition to the concert special, the station is preparing a half-hour documentary on Clark to air in conjunction with it.
"It's nice for WHRO," says Pruess, "But I see it more as an opportunity to showcase the region, to raise the visibility of Hampton Roads."
“PETULA CLARK ~ A SIGN OF THE
Presented by the Virginia Arts Festival
Sunday, May 20, 2001 ~ 7:00 p.m.
Monday, May 21, 2001 ~ 7:30 p.m.
Petula will be spotlighted in a 2-hour concert spectacular as the finale to the month-long Virginia Arts Festival and will star with the Festival Orchestra and special guests
Richard Carpenter and Lou Rawls
The show is being taped by PBS and will be broadcast nationwide as part of their upcoming pledge drives during the 2001 - 2002 season
Co- sponsored by WHRO
TICKETS ON SALE MARCH 17 -- 10:00 a.m.*
$35, $42 & $50
VIRGINIA ARTS FESTIVAL
PH: 757-282-2819 Group sales (15 or more)
Only Group Sales can be ordered via VAF, no single ticket sales
757-671-8100 or 757-664-6492 (M-F, 9am - 10pm)
Tickets for show are available only by calling this number or by online ordering at www.ticketmaster.com
PETULA CLARK SHOW A RETURN TO ROOTS|
By Sam McDonald
Thursday, March 08, 2001
Petula Clark is looking forward to being herself again.
After starring in stage productions of "Blood Brothers" and "Sunset Boulevard," the 68-year-old British singer is returning to her foundation in pop music and television.
Her performances May 20 and 21 at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk will be taped by WHRO-TV Channel 15, for eventual broadcast over PBS nationwide.
Billed as "A Sign of the Times," the shows will mark the end of the Virginia Arts Festival, happening throughout Hampton Roads April 20- May 21.
The shows will feature Clark singing hits such as "Downtown" and "Don't Sleep in the Subway" backed by an orchestral group and a nine-piece band.
"I think television can be a very interesting medium," Clark said Wednesday. "I'm not sure that it's always used very well. There's not enough live music on television."
MTV, for example, is often a disappointment, she said. "I've got nothing against alternative comedy, but there should be room for live performance. Everything on MTV seems to be either a talk show or a game show. And we all know why. It costs less money. Broadcasting a live performance is expensive. It's not an easy thing to do.
"Thank God for PBS; they do have live music," she said.
Clark was one of the most successful female pop singers of her era. She placed six songs in the American Top 10 between 1965 and 1968. Those included "I Know A Place," "My Love" and "This Is My Song."
In England, she was also a television star and hosted her own variety show while still in her teens. Through the 1960s and 1970, she fronted programs broadcast on BBC.
For the PBS special, she plans to perform songs spanning her entire career.
"It should be a very interesting mixture," she said. "I'll be doing a lot of the hit songs -- which were recorded with a very big, almost symphonic orchestra essentially sitting on top of a rock 'n' roll band. We should be able to re-create that very well.
"And we'll do a couple of songs from the musicals. I'll also be doing some new songs, things that I've written. And I'll be playing some piano."
"I'm looking forward to coming to Norfolk," she said. "It sounds like a wonderful festival."
WANT TO GO
Petula Clark will perform at 7 p.m. May 20 and 7:30 p.m. May 21 at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk as part of the Virginia Arts Festival. Her performances will be taped by WHRO-TV Channel 15, for eventual broadcast over PBS nationwide.
Tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. March 17 at $50, $42 and $35. They will be available at the Virginia Arts Festival box office at MacArthur Center, through www.virginiaartsfest.com, from Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 757-671-8100.
On line at: Hampton Roads Ticket