Catherine Glynn is artistic director of Audacious Raw Theater in Lanesboro. She was able to see a preview of the play that opens Commonweal Theatre’s 35th season: “Bernhardt/Hamlet” by Theresa Rebeck. Glynn calls the play “a love letter to the theater and the art of collaboration.”
The play is a work of historical fiction about actress Sarah Bernhardt, who was wildly celebrated in her time. Set in Paris in 1899, when Bernhardt’s theater has become riddled by debt. In order to save it, she decides to play the lead role in “Hamlet.” All of Paris is up-in-arms over whether she can pull off a “pants role.” Bernhardt herself is daunted by Shakespeare’s language.
Glynn notes that this a perfect show to cap off Women’s History Month, having been written, directed, costumed and sound-designed by women. Glynn says that the role of the famous actress is beautifully played by Commonweal company member Adrienne Sweeney, who herself is no stranger to playing roles originally written for men. Sweeney played Ebeneezer Scrooge in the theater’s staging of “A Christmas Carol” in 2021.
After final preview performances tonight and Friday, the show opens April 1 and runs through June 24.
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George Roberts, artistic director of Homewood Studios, recently attended the opening of a gallery exhibit at the new, nearby Northside Artspace Lofts. The building was designed as an affordable space for artists to live and work, complete with dance space and gallery. Roberts said he appreciated the variety of works in that gallery show, which is titled “Works in Progress.”
The exhibit “speaks about supporting young and new artists to have a space to show their work. And it speaks about a place where more accomplished mid-career artists have a place to act as mentors,” says Roberts, adding that beginning works that “show promise” were happily positioned next to accomplished, finished works.
The exhibit “Works in Progress” is on view through May 7. Roberts notes that, since the building is also residential, the doors are locked. But if you ring the doorbell to enter, the gallery is accessible and easy to find.
Educator and art lover Kris Prince of Minneapolis plans to be at the Sundin Music Hall Friday evening to hear the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet perform in St. Paul.
Prince calls the quartet “wonderful, entertaining” performers, and she loves the range of styles and sounds the four produce with their guitars. Their upcoming series of performances includes music from Spain, Finland and Macedonia; new arrangements of music by Bob Dylan, Nick Drake and Japanese jazz composer Hiromi Uehara. They will also perform a new, commissioned work by Twin Cities composer A.J. Isaacson-Zvidzwa.
In addition to Friday evening’s concert, founder Joseph Hagedorn, Maja Radovanlija, Ben Kunkel and Milena Petković will kick off a series of performances this spring. The Minneapolis Guitar Quartet will perform Sunday, April 2, at the Walker Community UMC; Thursday, April 13 at the White Bear Center for the Arts; and Saturday, April 29 at the Heart of the City Music Factory in Anoka.