Already closed | 2h 20m | Midtown W

Bernhardt/Hamlet (Broadway)

From 417 member  reviews
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. More…

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 sets out to tackle her most ambitious role yet: Hamlet.

2h 20m | Already closed | American Airlines Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (417)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Clever, Intelligent, Entertaining, Great staging
79
Avg Score

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.

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

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

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

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.

53
Beautiful set, Great acting, Indulgent, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

See it if To see Janet McTeer. Set and costumes were excellent. McTeer looked great at Hamlet. Other than that....

Don't see it if ...I found it hard to focus and hard to stay awake. Janet McTeer is of course a great actress but play seemed more like a theater exercise.

Also Maybe if I were more into Shakespeare I would have appreciated this mo... Read more Read less

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.

Also Problem was during this time people could not see women playing men. S... Read more Read less

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.

90
Great acting, Intelligent, Hilarious, Great staging, Clever

See it if You want to see McTeer’s stellar performance which is sure to get her a Tony nom ! You love contemporary plays based on historical figures.

Don't see it if You have no interest in the career and life of Sarah Bernhardt and are not a fan of Shakespearean drama.

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.

Also McTeer talks a lot and very quickly. I could never become involved wit... Read more Read less

85
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Slow, Great acting

See it if You are a big fan of Janet McTeer - who is always brilliant & are caught in the resurgence of the feminist movement. Great supporting cast.

Don't see it if You like fast moving plays. Tired of political speechifying.

Also The cast is awesome. Janet McTeer is, of course, a perfect Sarah Bernh... Read more Read less

70
Ambitious, Disappointing, Insipid, Confusing, Unfocused

See it if you are a fan of Janet McTeer or if you want to see a lavish production of a new play for Broadway.

Don't see it if are not interested in theater history or Shakespeare or if you like a tightly focused plot.

85
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Great sets & costumes

See it if you want to see an award winning performance by McTeer and notable performances by all - Dylan Baker is especially terrific; lots of laughs.

Don't see it if you are not interested in either Sarah Bernhardt or Hamlet; you don't like plays about strong females; the second act meanders off course.

Also I loved this play & the performances, finding myself completely absorb... Read more Read less

75
Funny, Great acting, Anachronistic, Overstuffed

See it if you're intrigued by a before her time feminist who marched to her own beat.

Don't see it if you're looking for historical accuracy or you're easily bored. It's long and doesn't always keep one's attention.

59
Great acting, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow, Talky

See it if You want to see GREAT actors in a mediocre play. Great staging and fun moments.

Don't see it if You want to see a play that doesn't center around one woman whining they entire time. The greatest moments didn't have her in it.

91
Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Great staging, Masterful

See it if you love brilliant acting.Play is well written, well designed, & well directed, but it's the acting that makes it a must see.Mcteer rocks.

Don't see it if you want light and frothy.I loved the gender bending, the feminist perspective,the brilliant acting, the great set, the superb direction.

76
Ambitious, Intelligent, Great acting, Refreshing, Slow

See it if McTeer is excellent. The play is decent but difficult at times to become absorbed. Best seen when familiar with Hamlet.

Don't see it if You are unfamiliar with Hamlet or are uninterested in a semi history lesson.

95
A love letter to creativity and self-creation, Sensual, Timeless themes, Empowering, Energetic

See it if a play about actress Sarah Bernhardt playing Hamlet in 1899, amid personal ambition, affairs, & human fears that impede her focus, appeals.

Don't see it if expecting a bio-play about Sarah Bernhardt or a full production of Hamlet. This is an intelligent work about creativity and creating.

Also At over 6’ tall, Janet McTeer commands the stage, alright—but even if ... Read more Read less

85
Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Relevant

See it if You want see a clever play about feminism, acting, Shakespeare, and Sarah Bernhardt all in one. Janet McTeer is excellent.

Don't see it if You don’t have an attention span as you would miss the beauty of Theresa Rebeck’s language.

70
Pretentious, Over produced, Overrated

See it if You like Roundabout's style of over staged historic theater. You are interested in the subject, don't want to think to hard.

Don't see it if Unfortunately, play was way overacted, continuously, it was exhausting. McTeer's performance was so over the top, and so surface.

78
Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if Great acting in a not-just-a-biography play that brings up issues of women in society and the role of the arts

Don't see it if only like fluff, then this is not for you.

77
Funny, Indulgent, Great staging, Clever, Relevant

See it if You are interested in 19th Century actors. You like thinking about Hamlet from the actor's perspective.

Don't see it if You don't like historical dramas that probably aren't what really happened.

78
Masterful, Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever

See it if you are fans of Janet McTeer and Dylan Baker.

Don't see it if you are intimidated seeing a woman play the title character of Hamlet.

80
Talky, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You love classic theater, portrayals of strong dramatic women, and exploring questions of celebrity and gender.

Don't see it if You might get confused by discursive writing.

Also If your interest in the play is to get a bead on Bernhardt’s Hamlet, I... Read more Read less

74
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great writing

See it if Unique play focusing on Sarah Bernhardt, her relationships,and desire to play Hamlet. Janet McTeer is terrific. Baker and Harner excel.

Don't see it if Subject matter is not of interest to you.


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 an...
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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-theat...
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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 ...
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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 h...
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