Réjane

Definition

Theater

  • (Gabrielle-Charlotte Reju; 1857 - 1920) French actress and comedienne,whose performances enchanted Paris at the turn of the 20th century, althoughmost of the plays she appeared in are now forgotten. She made her Paris debutat the Théâtre du vaudeville in 1875 and later appeared in bothLondon and New York. She was known for her eccentricities, such as drivingabout Paris in a carriage drawn by two mules.

    Réjane's appearances in serious roles tended to dividethe critics. Some, including Shaw, admired her mastery of pathos,comparing her with Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse.Many of her best roles were in works by Sardou; in 1893 shecreated the part of Madame Sans-Gêne, taking the playto New York two years later. She also appeared in Sardou's Divorçons,Alexandre Dumas's La dame aux camélias, and Ibsen'sA Doll's House.

    She opened her own Théâtre Réjane in Parisin 1906 and remained on the stage until the year she died; her lastperformance was in a production of Henri Bataille's La Vierge folle.

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