Bernhardt/Hamlet (Broadway)
Closed 2h 20m
Bernhardt/Hamlet (Broadway)
79

Bernhardt/Hamlet (Broadway) NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(418 Reviews)
Positive
79%
Mixed
19%
Negative
2%
Members say
Great acting, Clever, Intelligent, Entertaining, Great staging

About the Show

Theresa Rebeck’s new play rollicks with high comedy and human drama, set against the lavish Shakespearean production that could make or break Sarah Bernhardt’s career. Starring Tony winner Janet McTeer.

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Member Reviews (418)

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945 Reviews | 386 Followers
81
Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You want to see one of the greats...Janet McTeer...just own the stage in this smart, funny well written show.

Don't see it if You’re looking for fluff. There are a lot of laughs here but come on...it’s Hamlet...there’s a butt load of dialogue too.

677 Reviews | 152 Followers
81
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Unexpected

See it if you're fan of McTeer, curious about Bernhardt & Rostand, learn about creation of Cyrano, as well as Sarah being first woman to play Hamlet

Don't see it if Don't like backstage plays or scenes from classics performed in the midst of the play, not a fan of McTeer, expect to see a strict biography

687 Reviews | 114 Followers
80
Entertaining, Great acting, Slow, Resonant, Indulgent

See it if Rebeck's serio-comic backstage drama gets a big lift via excellent ensemble led by the devine Janet McTeer as the Devine Sarah Bernhardt

Don't see it if Better than usual Rebeck due to subject matter (esp Hamlet deconstruction) Comic instincts go south as Act II slides into gender politics

don
506 Reviews | 1002 Followers
85
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant

See it if Partners 90% & my 80%. So relevant today.Great acting by Janet McTear and the 3 leading men. One should read the program notes if ...

Don't see it if at the perf. we attended, Act 1 one had a hearing aid malfunction Staff reacted quickly to solve it. Some events needed more info 2 1/2 hrs

608 Reviews | 121 Followers
85
Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny

See it if Sarah Bernhardt wanting to do Hamlet her way she is a strong/beautiful woman. It takes place backstage of the theater.

Don't see it if If you want her life, or singing. Read more

645 Reviews | 94 Followers
70
Great acting, Great staging, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you are a fan of Janet McTeer and like the sound of her voice. You will hear plenty of it.

Don't see it if you wish to know why Bernhardt played Hamlet and how she played it. There are many distractions to the main plot. Read more

480 Reviews | 714 Followers
89
Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Resonant

See it if you like seeing strong female characters, or enjoy incredible acting (the entire cast is wonderful) and vibrant sets and costumes.

Don't see it if you’re intimidated by a powerful, fiercely confident woman.

567 Reviews | 146 Followers
94
Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if Eschewing ingenue roles, Bernhardt must play Hamlet despite obstacles. McAteer commandingly matches Bernhardt's and The Bard's passions.

Don't see it if For dramaturgs. For feminists. For feminist dramaturgs.

Critic Reviews (48)

The New York Times
September 25th, 2018

"Rebeck’s new play is so clever it uplifts, so timely it hurts...As Bernhardt locates the heart of Hamlet, Ms. McTeer the comedian becomes a riveting Shakespearean...But in the second act, after the big decision, the play loses some of its internal logic...'Bernhardt/Hamlet,' directed with wit and verve by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, is a deep-inside love letter to the theater as a kind of laboratory in which experiments in both art and equality are possible. "
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Time Out New York
September 25th, 2018

“What ‘Bernhardt/Hamlet’ perversely refuses to give us is a coherent sense of Bernhardt’s performance in the role...Perhaps Rebeck is afraid that Bernhardt’s take on Hamlet would look dated or worse to a modern audience...While it is sometimes ungainly, the play is amusing on its own inside-theater terms. Moritz von Stuelpnagel’s staging...has a handsome rotating set...and capable performances not only by McTeer, who is incapable of being dull, but a strong supporting cast.”
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New York Magazine / Vulture
September 25th, 2018

“'Bernhardt/Hamlet’ falls into the gaping trap of the bio-play. Full of period frills and actorly flourishes, it fails to convey either astonishing mythos or full, authentic humanity. Instead, it fills its protagonist’s mouth with passé sentiments, ideas whose risqué gloss has faded, packaged as relevant and revelatory. The badass British actor Janet McTeer, for all her innate playfulness and power, can’t save this reincarnation of the Divine Sarah."
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The Hollywood Reporter
September 25th, 2018

“Despite many tantalizing elements and historical material ripe for exploration from a contemporary feminist perspective, Rebeck’s 'Bernhardt/Hamlet' doesn’t add up to a play. At least not a satisfying one...Rebeck is definitely stronger on dialogue than structure, but Von Stuelpnagel does what he can to keep the play moving...The play in most respects is a missed opportunity, despite the pleasure of watching the willowy, silver-tongued McTeer careen from high camp into righteous hauteur."
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Entertainment Weekly
September 25th, 2018

“The play’s not really the thing in Theresa Rebeck’s bright, lushly executed showpiece. It’s the first half of her slashed equation: Sarah Bernhardt...Von Steulpnagel keeps 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.”
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Variety
September 25th, 2018

“The sublime McTeer plays the divine Sarah Bernhardt, who plays the immortal Hamlet...This is all interesting, even provocative, but what’s missing is some reasonable dramatic conflict...Under Von Stuelpnagel’s tightly choreographed direction, this solid cast of characters encircle Bernhardt like planets following their star. And blazing stars they certainly are, both McTeer and Bernhardt, yoked in a dynamic character study that, for all its shining moments, is no play.”
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The Wall Street Journal
September 26th, 2018

“Rebeck’s premise is promising, but ‘Bernhardt/Hamlet’ fails to deliver...‘Bernhardt/Hamlet’ never manages to decide whether it’s a comedy...or a dead-serious play...The result is the worst of both worlds, a preachy backstage farce...McTeer isn’t interesting...You never get the feeling that she has anything particularly original to say about the role, which can’t help but undercut the whole premise...Would that set, director and cast had been used instead for another, better play.”
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The Observer
September 25th, 2018

“Brimming with ideas and saucy banter, it’s lively but exhausting, manic and overstuffed...Rebeck opts for a grand, multi-layered affair with lots of exposition, ginned-up histrionics, and florid speechifying. But there’s not enough narrative...Scene after scene blows by...some of it witty and deft—but the drama itself hardly rolls forward...On the plus side, it’s a bouncy, handsome production, and the actors a merry bunch...McTeer struts and frets to swashbuckling perfection.”
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