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Bernhardt on Broadway is a one-woman musical about Sarah Bernhardt, often referred to as the most famous actress who ever lived. Set in the 1890s when the Divine Sarah was at the height of her career, the show is reminiscent of the Golden Age of Musicals when you could count on leaving the theatre with a tune dancing in your head and a lyric tugging at your heart.
This is a “no holds barred” exposé about the world’s first superstar, the daughter of a Jewish courtesan who overcame countless obstacles, formed her own theatre company, and traveled the globe performing (in French only) to sold out crowds from Australia to Brazil, Russia to Canada. She had nine extended tours in the United States wowing everyone from Theodore Roosevelt to Mark Twain, who once said, “There are five kinds of actresses: bad actresses, fair actresses, good actresses, great actresses — and then there is Sarah Bernhardt.” NYC reviewer Paulanne Simmons says Carol Dunitz, who plays Bernhardt, is “a consummate performer,” while Michigan reviewer Laura Johnstone says she “channels” the great actress.
In the show, “Madame Sarah” addresses the audience in a relaxed and forthright way, talking about her present and reminiscing about her past – personally and professionally. Twelve songs enhance the action and seamlessly contribute to the story that unfolds. This is the disclosure of a woman who captivated several generations of theatergoers, performing over 150 parts during the course of her career.
Carol Dunitz wrote the music, book and lyrics for Bernhardt on Broadway. She read close to one hundred books about Bernhardt and her times in English and French as well as countless articles and reviews before starting work on the project. “Naturally, there was a lot of redundancy from one book to the next, but I persevered knowing that that if I found only one jewel in a book that had not presented in any other it would be worth it. And that is exactly what happened. All my research enabled me to develop a very clear picture of Sarah Bernhardt and the demons that drove her to persist, ‘Quand Meme.’” ‘Quand Meme’ means ‘against all odds’ and was Bernhardt’s lifelong motto.
Carol Dunitz has a doctorate in Speech Communication and Theatre and is a professional writer and speaker with numerous books and countless marketing campaigns to her credit. She has been writing music since she was nine years old. Her love of musicals began when her mother, who often told her she was ‘a little Sarah Bernhardt,’ wanted her to see Detroit’s Schubert Theatre before it met with the wrecking ball. She bought tickets for the last show to run there and took her daughter to see Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim’s Gypsy.
Reserved Seating: $36.50; Groups of 10 or more: $28.50. Tickets available online at MyNorthTickets.com or call 800. 836.0717.
For further information please call 312.523.4774 or e-mail CDunitz@BernhardtOnBroadway.com.
Note of particular interest: Bernhardt performed at the City Opera House in Traverse CIty over 100 years ago. Her name is painted on one of the balconies there.