Some plays I rave at, some plays I cringe at, other plays are comfort food for my soul. Bernhardt/Hamlet is just such a play. Steeped in history, theater lore and examinations of playwrights and plays – it felt nourishing just to be in the theater to watch it. Though it strays a bit in the second act, I was happy to take the detour. The script by Theresa Rebeck has fascinating insights to two of my favorite plays, Hamlet and Cyrano de Bergerac. Yes, Edmond Rostand is there as a paramour to Janet McTeer’s Sarah Bernhardt who is seeking new challenges (and ticket sales) as she ages out of her youthful cash cow roles. Based on a real performance, Rebeck brings wit and energy to a fascinating turn.
Directed with panache by Morit von Stuelpnagel on a terrific Beowul Boritt set, McTeer’s excellent portrayal is well framed by a terrific cast, especially Dylan Baker and Jason Butler Harner. It only runs for a couple of more weeks so run out to catch it. If you like theater about theater (we show people love seeing ourselves reflected on stage) run and get a ticket.