The production is just one in a variety of performances that run the gamut from traditional theatrical fare to dance, opera and classical music. Founded in 1976 to increase cultural awareness on the island, the yearly Bermuda Festival aims to offer a diverse range of disciplines with artists covering the entire spectrum of performing arts. Featuring performers from Bermuda’s own Gilbert and Sullivan Society to the Ukraine’s Lisitsa and Kuznetsoff piano duo, the festival has an international flavor.
Playwright Yasmina Reza has been represented on Broadway in recent years with the Linda Emond-led Life x 3, as well as the Tony-winning Best Play Art. The Unexpected Man takes the audience inside the minds of its characters and gives voice to the thoughts of two strangers sharing a train carriage from Paris to Frankfurt. A timid woman, played by Harris, is taken aback with the realization that her equally silent companion (played by television’s Charles Shaughnessy) is none other than her favorite novelist. As the train makes its way across Europe, the two secretly try to find their own ways to begin a conversation with each other.
While Harris is a well-known name to Broadway audiences, Shaughnessy is no stranger himself, having played Urinetown’s Caldwell B. Cladwell for several months. His most recognizable work came on the television sitcom “The Nanny.” Harris has been quite active since her turn as Mrs. Meers at the Marquis Theatre. She returned to the role for the production’s final two weeks and recently starred in Los Angeles Theatre Works’ radio presentation of Ken Ludwig’s Twentieth Century. She can also be seen in a recurring role on ABC's "Desperate Housewives." Bermuda native Joel Froomkin directs the production, which runs Jan. 31-Feb. 2.
Also on the theatrical agenda for the Bermuda Festival is Rob Becker’s record-breaking solo show Defending the Caveman. The comedy, which chronicles the turbulent relationship between men and women starting with the cavemen and ending with the present day, has been seen by many thousands of people in the United States. In addition to numerous tours and regional productions, the play still holds the mark of longest-running solo show in Broadway history at 702 performances. Chris Sullivan stars in this production, staged exclusively for the Bermuda Festival and running Jan. 13-15.
From Feb. 22-26 Bermuda’s very own Gilbert and Sullivan Society will present Showstoppers! The Best of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, a musical revue and look back at the troupe’s most successful musical theatre productions. Songs from such hit musicals as Mamma Mia! and Hairspray will be featured. To purchase tickets or read more about the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts, visit the festival’s official website. For information about other Bermuda events, attractions, activities or accommodations, visit www.bermudatourism.com or call 1-800-BERMUDA.