When she died in 1983 at the age of 32 as the result of an eating disorder, Karen Carpenter left a void in the world of pop music.

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Karen was one half of the brother and sister duo known as The Carpenters. Though he is still alive, brother Richard rarely performs. But thanks to shows like “We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered”, fans can relive the music of the award winning duo with a live show.

On May 11, “We’ve Only Just Begun” brought their sow to the Bear’s Den Showroom in the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino and played before a full house of enthusiastic fans.

There was an indication of how the night would go even before the show began. The Bear’s Den plays music as the crowds come in and when the music was shut off to begin the show, they were still singing the song.

The seven piece band got the night started off instrumental overture of The Carpenters songs.

Singer Michelle Berting-Brett opened with the show’s title – “We’ve Only Just Begun”.

More than just singing the hit songs from Karen and Richard Carpenter, Michelle told stories about the duo and how some of the songs came to be recorded. She also revealed that she is now US citizen…And that she got 100% on her test…and that she got 100% on her test.

Using the original arrangements created by Richard Carpenter, the band performed “Top of the World”, “I Won’t Last a Day Without You”, a medley of Burt Bachrach compositions, “Superstar”, “Rainy Days and Mondays”, “Goodbye to Live”, “Sing”, “There’s a Kind of Hush”, “Only Yesterday”, and a ballad medley with only Michelle and the piano that included “Solitaire”. Backup singer Michelle Brook joined Michelle center stage for a medley performance of music from one of The Carpenters’ television specials that included “This Masquerade”, “My Funny Valentine”, “I’ll Be Seeing You”, “Someone to Watch Over Me”, “As Time Goes By”, and “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”. The show continued with “Sweet Sweet Smile”, “I Need to Be in Love”, “Please Mr. Postman” “Yesterday Once More”, The Carpenters first hit song “Close to You”, and ended with “For All We Know”.

As one concert goer put it, it was a night of music where you could understand the words to the songs. Not only did they understand the words, they freely sung along and joined in for a night of fun and memories to relive “Yesterday Once More” for some “Fun Fun Fun” with the music of a “Superstar”.

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