Two English actresses and a Russian author are the ingredients of a new recital named after a famed French performer, due to arrive at New York's Symphony Space May 13. The evening, titled Sarah Bernhardt Comes to Town, features Vanessa Redgrave and her real-life mother, Rachel Redgrave, reading from several newly discovered stories by Anton Chekhov.
The works were uncovered and translated by Peter Constantine, and are scheduled to be published by Seven Stories Press in September 1998. The recital was devised by Vanessa Redgrave and was performed by her and her mother, Rachel, May 2 and 3 at the fifth annual Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, before moving to Symphony Space. The evening is named after one of the Chekhov stories.
In his review of the show (May 6), New York Times critic Peter Marks noted that because Redgrave's daughter, Natasha Richardson, is currently on Broadway in Cabaret, three generations of Redgraves will be performing in New York on May 13.
Vanessa and Rachel first acted in Chekhov together in Tony Richardson's production of The Seagull in 1967. Vanessa most recently appeared in New York in last season's Antony and Cleopatra at the Public Theater, a production she also directed.