May 28, 1993 |
Arlene Sterne is a 20th-Century actress fascinated with 19th-Century women of the stage. "I'd read a lot about these women, and I was struck by the similarities in their lives, their points of view, the parallels between them," says Sterne, whose 1979 one-woman show, "Final Curtain," had its West Coast premiere Thursday at the West End Playhouse.
September 22, 1991 |
In the spring of 1923 an actress lay dying in her Paris apartment. Below her window a crowd gathered, waiting for the final bulletin. "Are they journalists?" she murmured. A friend acknowledged that some of them were. "Then I'll keep them dangling." It was typical of Sarah Bernhardt to milk any part, even her own death scene. In a sense, she had been onstage since early childhood, when Mama sent little Sarah off to a convent school. There she was to acquire "refinements."
June 17, 1989
Dan Sullivan's parenthetical statement that being a liar is the basis of acting ("Helmond as Sarah Bernhardt: The Legend Doesn't Translate") reveals an ignorance of the craft unacceptable in a professional theater critic. He should know that the basis of all good acting is the truthful recreation of the artist's own experience brought into the context of the scene through creative imagination. This process has no more to do with lying than it does with pretending as children do at play.
June 13, 1989 |
What was Sarah Bernhardt like in performance? Ellen Terry provided the best description: "Smoke from a burning paper." That is not the impression left by Katherine Helmond in her one-and-a-half woman show, "Sarah in America," at the Pasadena Playhouse's Balcony Theatre. (Colette Duval plays Bernhardt's silent maid.) Helmond looks, and certainly dresses, the part of the star whom all the best people in New York went to see, but didn't care to "receive." The fascination of the Divine Sarah, however, is not felt.
June 10, 1989 |
Katherine Helmond is not zany. Or ribald. Or chirpy, ditzy or blue-blood-born--any of the qualities she's played so convincingly on television in the last decade, first on "Soap," and now on "Who's the Boss?" There is a delicacy and gentility to Helmond in person. She is a beautiful 58. Though the handshake and voice are firm, the features are soft. She is soft. Dressed in a black silk skirt and emerald jacket, auburn hair falling around her shoulders, Helmond moves easily and articulately from subject to subject: a recent house remodel, her Texas family, director Terry Gilliam (who cast her in "Time Bandits" and "Brazil")
July 3, 1988
The daughter of a courtesan, Bernhardt became known as the Divine Sarah and First Lady of the Theater. Gross attempts to penetrate the image Bernhardt created for herself and find the woman behind the legend.
July 7, 1987 |
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art's eight-month "Paramount Pictures: 75 Years of Film History" begins at 8 p.m. Friday in Bing Theater with "Queen Elizabeth," starring Sarah Bernhardt. This was the 1912 French production that not only was to launch Paramount, thanks to the gambling instincts of ex-furrier Adolph Zukor, but also was to introduce American audiences to the multireel feature.
June 27, 1987 |
She's wearing a heavy crown, commanding great wealth and beauty, managing an empire; she's willful, spoiled, loving too much, contemplating asps. She's Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile in "Antony and Cleopatra"--and currently, two actresses are playing her: JoBeth Williams in San Diego's Old Globe staging, and, beginning Friday, Rosalind Cash at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. "I was looking for something larger than myself, to take me out of my own personal problems," Williams explained.
March 30, 1986
Other than that Nixon can't spell cemetery (cimetiere) in French, he has at least one too many people buried there, Victor Hugo. There is a Hugo family tomb in Pere-Lachaise, but the great man has rested in the Pantheon since his death in 1885. Much to the disgust of the French and tourists who discover it, the grave of Jim Morrison has become the daily haven for drugged and drunken fans who have covered his tomb, bust and the surrounding area with graffiti. First-time visitors should stop at the gatehouse and buy the inexpensive mimeo map because it is more accurate than even the new Michelin "Paris" guide.