EXTENDED THROUGH FEBRUARY 1! The New York premiere of American playwright Otho Eskin's new play Duet, starring Laura Esterman and Pamela Payton-Wright as the stage legends Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse, is directed by Ludovica Villar-Hauser and presented by The Villar-Hauser Theatre Development Fund. Duet dramatizes an unexpected encounter between Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse, the first megastars of modern times. Tonight the two women, whose distinct personalities and acting styles were endlessly compared, and who viewed each other with suspicion and derision, have nothing to lose in facing each other privately. They will shed all pretenses, and, in remarkable recognition of the many things they shared (including their appetites for love and celebrity and the terrible losses that haunted them both), the two will reach beyond their mythic rivalry to discover a surprising, profound and abiding friendship. The play is based on newspaper articles, private letters and other historical accounts of the two women who died within a year of each other in 1923 (Bernhardt) and 1924 (Duse). Here's what the critics say: "Pamela Payton-Wright captures the suffering radiance of Duse in all its internal quiet and delicacy." -- The Village Voice "Lustrous performances!" -- The New Yorker "What lover of the art of acting could not be thankful!" -- The Village Voice Directions to the theatre are available by phone at 212-647-7530 if necessary.