Observer — JULY 15, 2011
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Come Celebrate "Bernhardt On Broadway" At The Red Barn

Special To The Observer

“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 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."

Bernhardt on Broadway will be at The Red Barn on July 30th at 8 p.m. and July 31st at 2 p. m.

Tickets may be reserved by calling The Red Barn Theater in Saugatuck, (269) 857-5300 or email at Admission is $25 or $20 each for groups of six or more.

David W. Menefee, author of Sarah Bernhardt in the Theater of Films and Sound Recordings and an expert on Bernhardt says, “Bernhardt on Broadway by Carol Dunitz captures the essential character of Sarah Bernhardt and serves up the divine spirit of the woman and artist on a plate decorated with toe-tapping tunes.”

In the show, Bernhardt, performed by Carol Dunitz, 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 theatregoers, performing over 150 parts during the course of her career.

Bernhardt initiated celebrity product endorsements and hobnobbed with royalty on a regular basis.

She starred in Queen Elizabeth, the first full-length silent film. Receipts from this film's distribution in the United States enabled Adolph Zukor to co-found what is today known as the Paramount Pictures Corporation.

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,” said Dunitz.

“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.

The Bernhardt on Broadway original cast album is available on CD for $15. Bernhardt on Broadway T-shirts are $20. Cds and T-shirts can be purchased at scheduled performances of the musical or at

Dunitz has a doctorate in Speech Communication and Theatre and is a professional writer and speaker with several books and numerous 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.”

Tickets can be purchased at The Red Barn, 3657 63rd St. at Blue Star Highway, a quarter-mile east of Exit 41 off US I-196.