A "smart, breezy backstage comedy"

– Chicago Sun-Times

Sept 14 - Oct 20, 2019 in Goodman's Albert Theatre

Around 2 hours and 30 minutes with one intermission

“It is delightful to undress a man, and find a woman inside." - Edmond, Act I, Scene ii

High humor and human drama collide in a rollicking comedy “so clever it uplifts, so timely it hurts” (The New York Times). In 1899, legendary leading lady Sarah Bernhardt’s decision to assume the title role of Shakespeare’s Hamlet left critics and patriarchs aghast and indignant. Laced with forbidden romance and backstage gossip, this behind-the-scenes look at Bernhardt’s most ambitious role is a “dynamic character study” (Variety) of one of the most famous actresses—and infamous divas—in the world.

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Critical Praise
  • "Glorious"

    - Chicago Reader

  • "A "Smart, breezy backstage comedy"

    - Chicago Sun-Times

  • "A muscular comedy about a woman unbound"

    - The New York Times

  • "Feore has crafted a richer production than the original"

    - Chicago Tribune

  • "So clever it uplifts, so timely it hurts"

    - The New York Times

  • "Never a dull moment...On my MUST SEE list"

    - Around Town Chicago

  • "A love letter to the theater"

    - The New York Times

  • "Larry Yando is...transcendent"

    - Chicago Reader

  • A "breakneck backstage comedy"

    - The New York Times

  • McMahon's "magnitude as a classical actress is a divine match for someone like Bernhardt"

    - Newcity

  • "One of the most thrilling endings I've seen in years"

    - The New York Times

Audience Response
  • Outstanding.

    Olga P. via Facebook

  • Terri McMahon is brilliant as Sarah Bernhardt!

    Sara O. via Facebook

  • This was an incredible performance!

    Polly C. via Facebook

  • Bernhardt/Hamlet is a must-see!

    Tom G. via Facebook

  • Fabulous show! Great acting, story, costumes and set, funny and quite relevant today!

    Rosemary N. via Facebook

  • Awesome show! I want to go back!

    David R. via Facebook

  • Theresa Rebeck

    Theresa Rebeck Playwright

  • Donna Feore

    Donna Feore Director

  • Nate Cheeseman

    Nate Cheeseman Raoul

  • Thomas J. Cox

    Thomas J. Cox Ensemble

  • Amira Danan

    Amira Danan Ensemble

  • William Dick

    William Dick Louis

  • Amanda Drinkall

    Amanda Drinkall Lysette

  • Volen Iliev

    Volen Iliev Ensemble

  • Park Krausen

    Park Krausen Ensemble

  • Jaye Ladymore

    Jaye Ladymore Rosamond Gerard

  • Gregory Linington

    Gregory Linington Alphonse Mucha

  • Terri McMahon

    Terri McMahon Sarah Bernhardt

  • Luigi Sottile

    Luigi Sottile Maurice Bernhardt

  • John Tufts

    John Tufts Edmond Rostand

  • Travis Turner

    Travis Turner Francois

  • Larry Yando

    Larry Yando Constant Coquelin

  • Roderick Peeples

    Roderick Peeples Understudy

  • Alexander Quiñones

    Alexander Quiñones Understudy

  • Narelle Sissons

    Narelle Sissons Set Design

  • Dana Osborne

    Dana Osborne Costume Design

  • Robert Wierzel

    Robert Wierzel Lighting Design

  • Joanna Lynne Staub

    Joanna Lynne Staub Sound Design

  • Briana J. Fahey

    Briana J. Fahey Production Stage Manager

  • Nikki Blue

    Nikki Blue Stage Manager

  • Adam Belcuore

    Adam Belcuore Casting

  • Neena Arndt

    Neena Arndt Dramaturg

  • Kate DeVore

    Kate DeVore Voice Consultant

  • Gaby Labotka

    Gaby Labotka Intimacy Consultant

  • Georgette Verdin

    Georgette Verdin Assistant Director

Talks & Events
  • Drinks & Discussion Events

    Drinks & Discussion Events

    Throughout the run

    Enhance your theater-going experience with one of our Drinks & Discussion Series events! Stay after select performances for a Post-Show Discussion and a complimentary glass of wine, or come early to select performances for a PlayTalk Session and a complimentary glass of wine.



Join us for any of the following accessible performances.

Questions? Please contact 312.443.3800 (voice), 312.443.3829 (TTY/TDD) or email

Touch Tour and Audio Described performanceTouch Tour and Audio-Described Performance
Saturday, October 12
12:30pm Touch Tour & 2pm Performance

American Sign Language Interpreted PerformanceAmerican Sign Language-Interpreted Performance
Wednesday, October 16 at 7:30pm

Open Caption Performance Open-Captioned Performance
Saturday, October 19 at 2pm

See All Accessibility Information for Bernhardt/Hamlet

Season Lineup

2019/2020 Season

Join us for a season of visionary work featuring fresh and energetic voices—eight plays with the power to entertain, challenge and fearlessly reflect our world.

Memberships for the 19/20 season are now on sale. Choose from Classic, Choice and Whenever memberships.