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THE ART OF THE THEATRE was a poetic and dramatic narrative of Sarah Bernhardt. She was Chardonnay, a rite of passage, enigmatic, and while being a small woman, an icon of large magnitude. She was a complex woman who embodied art, especially the dramatic art. The theatre. I think she was a woman who carved her place within a man's world. She was sharp, smart, and minced no words. She told it like it was, the good and bad, the truth. When asked why she would rather play Hamlet than Ophelia she countered with the fact that she liked playing male roles for their intelligence. When describing why she preferred playing the role of Hamlet rather than that of Ophila, she stated that his was the most original yet the most simple. He seemed complex but had only one idea which was to avenge his father. She may well have described herself with those very words.
The advice she shares on acting such as stage presence, appearance, tone of voice, pronunciation, enunciation, and physical attributes is honest and timeless. When she discusses the will or willpower, I think she really nails it. "Willpower is the fundamental condition of success." An actor must abandon the whole 'self' and give the character a soul including heart, mind, and body. "A true actor realizes himself through passion and can't be natural unless he has the power to project himself."
I feel that Sarah Bernhardt is timeless and highly revered as an exquisite woman of the arts and taste. She's the saint of all things dramatic. Saint Sarah. I don't know how saintly she was but what I do know is that she knew her craft backwards, forwards and in between. While she was the most famous actress she was also the most beloved as can be shown by large crowds waiting to see her and waiting for her after a performance. I didn't know she'd had a bit of stage fright. This was an insightful narrative/bio of Sarah Bernhardt's notes and musings about what it takes to be an actor. This is a woman I would love to go back in time and meet. This is a fabulous audiobook that I would definitely recommend. It's a matter of style and taste but I loved it and Kitty Hendrix's performance made it all the more wonderful.
KITTY HENDRIX is the embodiment of Sarah in this story. Kitty reading Sarah is perfection. She took it to a whole other level of amazing while channeling Sarah herself. Kitty grasped everything this audiobook was about and projected it out into the world just as Sarah would have. This was a dramatic as well as impressive piece of work. She has a rich, even tone that adds sophistication to her work, making her a real stand out as a voice actor.
Audiobook received in exchange for an unbiased review
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
It was time well spent. Some of Ms. Bernhardt's stories were fascinating. But I think I already knew too much about her to full appreciate the audio book.
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
This isn't a book with a climactic ending. I already knew how Sarah's life climaxed.
Which scene was your favorite?
Every scene in which she displayed her brilliant talent and eccentricity. Sorry, no one scene stands out.
What else would you have wanted to know about Sarah Bernhardt’s life?
I'd like to know how she, how so many actresses, managed to remember so many lines in so many roles and could one be a great actress without such a memory. I would also like to know if she was aware that she would be regarded as the greatest actress of her time.
Any additional comments?
Yes, while I was not totally enraptured with the book, having read so much about Sarah, I was wildly impressed with the narrator. Obviously she brought her own considerable acting abilities to making the book even more compelling. She had a wonderful rich voice and great delivery. I might not have finished the book if not for the splendid narration.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful