This month, Cal Performances kicks off its 100th season with a lineup
of concerts, speakers, theater, and dance ensembles as strong as any in
its vibrant history. But the importance of that first big show will
Back in 1906, famed French stage star Sarah Bernhardt came to Berkeley
to perform Racine’s Phèdre at the Greek Theatre. Her show was a benefit
for victims of the San Francisco earthquake and fire, many of whom had
been camping out on the U.C. campus. The performance was reviewed by
Putnam’s Monthly as “one of the great events in world dramatic
history.” Sunset magazine fondly gushed that Bernhardt’s voice, “could
be heard even in its most infinitesimal whisper, beyond the Theatre,
where among the hills, listened the crowds who could not gain
Bernhardt would remember the performance as one of the greatest of her
career. She returned to perform at the Greek in 1911 and 1918, before
her death in 1923.
To see the lineup of Cal Performances’ centennial season, go to www.calperfs.berkeley.edu . September highlights include the National Ballet of China’s Raise the Red Lantern, September 16–18, and the Mark Morris Dance Group, September 22–24 and September 29–October 1.