New in 2018 Tony winner Janet McTeer stars as legendary leading lady Sarah Bernhardt as she tackles her make-or-break role in the lavish, late 19th century production of "Hamlet," in a world premiere by Pulitzer finalist Theresa Rebeck.
From the producers: Mark Twain wrote: “There are five kinds of actresses: bad actresses, fair actresses, good actresses, great actresses. And then there is Sarah Bernhardt.” In 1899, the international stage celebrity set out to tackle her most ambitious role yet: Hamlet. Theresa Rebeck’s new play rollicks with high comedy and human drama, set against the lavish Shakespearean production that could make or break Bernhardt’s career.
Author Theresa Rebeck's work has appeared on the Broadway and Off-Broadway stage, in film, and on television. Broadway productions of her work include "Mauritius," "Seminar" and "Dead Accounts." Her play "Omnium Gatherum" was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2003.
Janet McTeer garnered critical acclaim – and both the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award and Critics' Circle Theatre Award – for her performance as Nora in a 1996 West End production of Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House." The following year, the production transferred to Broadway, and McTeer received a Tony Award, a Theatre World Award, and the Drama Desk Award for Best Actress in a Play. She is also an Oscar nominee for her roles in the films "Tumbleweeds" and "Albert Nobbs."
What's the Roundabout? One of the great nonprofit dreadnoughts of the New York theater scene, the Roundabout has three Broadway venues and an Off-Broadway stage in midtown. Prominent artists are usually engaged, significant work is usually done, and even at the smallest of the theaters, the work has the uniform quality that one would expect from such a large and prominent shop. More here.
The show offers tantalizing hints of how good [McTeer] might be in a fully realized production of Shakespeare's tragedy. What "Bernhardt/Hamlet" perversely refuses to give us, however, is a coherent sense of Bernhardt's performance in the role. While it is sometimes ungainly, the play is amusing on its own inside-theater terms. [The] staging has a handsome rotating set and capable performances not only by McTeer, who is incapable of being dull, but a strong supporting cast.
Rebeck's bright, lushly executed showpiece...McTeer crackles with the vitality, sensuality, and flytrap wit of a genuinely lived-in diva. Writer Rebeck and director von Steulpnagel keep the action moving with brisk, chamber-piece choreography. The glue in it all is McTeer...she's a natural force beneath her leonine pile of gold curls - by turns anxious and imperious, vulnerable and funny and fierce. She's also the best, most vivid thing in nearly every scene.