Actress Claire Bloom will give a single performance of her new one-woman show, Enter the Actress, on Monday, Jan. 19 at 8 PM at the Loeb Drama Center of the American Repertory Theatre (ART) in Cambridge, MA.
The play, created by ART resident dramaturg Gideon Lester, is a look at the offstage lives of England's actresses, from the female impersonators of Shakespearean times to Nell Gwynn (1650-87) and Sarah Siddons (1755-1831).
Bloom, born in England in 1931, made her initial stage appearance at the age of 16 and first came to the public's attention in Fry's The Lady's Not for Burning (1949) and Anouilh's Ring Round the Moon (1950), after which she joined the Old Vic Company; it was with that company that she made her American debut as Juliet on Oct. 24, 1956.
Over the years she has played many roles onstage in New York and London, from Sasha in Ivanov (opposite Gielgud) to Nora in A Doll's House, Rebecca West in Rosmersholm and Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire (for which, in 1974, she won most of London's top theatre awards).
Bloom's film career began in 1952, when she played opposite Charlie Chaplin in Limelight; in 1955 Olivier cast her as Lady Anne in his film version of Richard III. More recently, she has been seen in Woody Allen films including Crimes and Misdemeanors. Bloom appeared recently at ART as Mary Tyrone in Long Day's Journey into Night, as Ranevskaya in The Cherry Orchard and in her two previous one-woman shows.
Last year Bloom's autobiography, Leaving a Doll's House (published by Little Brown), in which she wrote about her career and her disastrous marriage to novelist Philip Roth, was praised by the critics for its frankness and its poignancy.
In other ART news, Elizabeth Egloff's adaptation of Peter Pan and Wendy, which began previews Dec. 12 and opened Dec. 17, continues its run at the theatre through Jan. 22, with Marcus Stern directing; it's playing in rep with Euripides' The Bacchae, directed by Francois Rochaix.
Upcoming plays at ART include The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Andrei Serban, Jan. 31-Mar. 21; Brecht's In the Jungle of Cities, directed by Robert Woodruff, Feb. 20-Mar. 14; and Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid, directed by Andrew Belgrader, May 8-31. In addition, there are ART New Stages offerings of Lisa Kron's 2.5 Minute Ride (Jan. 6-18); Albee's Men, created and performed by Stephen Rowe (Mar. 24-Apr. 11); and Robert Brustein's Nobody Dies on Friday (Apr. 16-May 2).
ART is located at the Loeb Drama Center in Harvard Square at 64 Brattle St., Cambridge. For tickets and information, call ART's Info-Line at (617) 547-8300 or check out their website at http://www.amrep.org.
--By Rebecca Paller