Carol Dunitz Brings BERNHARDT ON BROADWAY to the Metropolitan Room, 6/23
June 1913. Sarah Bernhardt wowed New York with the splashy premiere of her new motion picture, The Romance of an Actress, an adaptation of Adrienne Lecouvreur, the play she starred in at New York's Booth Theatre during her first American tour in November 1886. Fast forward. June 2013. Carol Dunitz channels Sarah Bernhardt at the Metropolitan Room in the one woman muscial, "Bernhardt on Broadway" on Sunday, June 23, 2013 at 4:30 PM.
Bernhardt on Broadway is a no holds barred exposé about the daughter of a courtesan who overcame countless obstacles to become the most famous woman in the world. Now, almost a century after her last apearances in the United States, audiences can once again experience the wonder of Madame Sarah. The show opens with Bernhardt welcoming the audience to her drawing room, a warm and cozy setting for the audience to become rapt in intimate self-disclosures via story and song about the actress' legendary life.
Before mass media and modern travel, Sarah Bernhardt ingeniously master marketed her meteoric rise to superstardom. She was the WORLD'S FIRST SUPERSTAR. Before Lady Gaga and Marilyn Monroe posed nude for national magazines, and Janet Jackson "accidentally bared one breast at the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show, Sarah Bernhardt shamelessly posed nude for renowned 19th century photographer Felix Nadar while still in her teens. Dunitz's nude video on Youtube with a parody from one of the show's songs spoofs these stunts.
Before Britney Spears and Madonna French-kissed at MTV's 20th annual Video Music Awards, Bernhardt spread rumors that she studied her parts in a coffin and played croquet with human skulls. Before Elizabeth Taylor was led to the altar seven times and Zsa Zsa Gabor sampled marital bliss with nine men, Madame Sarah received over 1000 proposals of marriage. From the Prince of Wales to the Father of Psychoanalysis, from the Wizard of Menlo Park to a Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, Bernhardt captivated several generations of theatergoers leaving fond memories and broken hearts in her wake.
Before Joan Crawford and Bette Davis endorsed Lucky Strikes, Sarah Bernhardt touted Ogden cigarettes as well as Vaseline, Pears soap, and Guerlain perfume and got paid well to do it. She was an unrivaled success in the first full length silent film, 'Queen Eliabeth,' before Cate Blanchett and Helen Mirren offered their interpretations of England's great queen. Before Richard Burton and Sir Lawrence Olivier performed 'Hamlet,' Sarah Bernhardt played the young prince at Stratford on Avon in French.
Mark Twain punctuated Sarah Bernhardt's Avant Garde status when he identified five kinds of actresses: "bad, fair, good, great - and then there is Sarah Bernhardt." Nicknamed 'The Divine Sarah' by Oscar Wilde, Bernhardt was the undisputed queen of theatre during her lifetime. It is said she almost single-handedly revolutionized the place of women in the theater. Her bravery and bold abandon has become the archetype of successful women to this day.
Playwright, composer, lyricist and lead Carol Dunitz read close to 100 books and countless articles and reviews on Sarah Bernhardt before writing Bernhardt on Broadway. Dunitz graduated from the Universtity of Michigan and holds a Ph.D. in Speech Communication and Theater from Wayne State University. She is the author of nine books in addition to Bernhardt on Broadway. Her love of musicals dates to her childhood when her mother, who often told her she was 'a little Sarah Bernhardt,' took her to see Gypsy.