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Happy Hundredth


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 always resonate.

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 admittance.”

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.


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