A Bold New Experience in Forgiveness

Her mother was shot. Her father jailed. Then he married her aunt. This is Brenda’s true tale of forgiving the unforgivable.
"My Brooklyn Hamlet" is Brenda’s acclaimed one-woman show about family, murder, love, betrayal and the awesome power of forgiveness. In 1995 Adelman’s mother was shot and killed by her father and within months he married her aunt. This is a story about love and hate, passion and numbness and how to find joy after you’ve lost everything.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll surrenda ta Brenda the red hot contenda.

Click here for performance history
My Brooklyn Hamlet, a True Tale of Surrenda by Brenda the Red Hot Contenda
Newsday, October 3, 1995:  MILL BASON WOMAN SHOT DEAD IN HOME.  A 57-year-old woman was shot to death in her home in an affluent Brooklyn Neighborhood, police said yesterday.  The victim, Barbara Adelman, had been shot once in the head and was found face up in her bedroom Sunday afternoon...no weapon was found.

                                                                      --Copyright © Newsday, Inc. produced by Newsday Electronic Publishing                                
BRENDA ADELMAN (Writer, Performer)

Brenda would like to thank her family for the love she got growing up and the lessons she has learned as an adult.  Creating this one-woman show, based on her unbelievable life has been pivotal to her healing.  She embraces life with a zest and a fervor and she has been an inspiration to all who have been touched by her story. She shares generously with strength and with humor what she has learned along the way. Guns are not toys, awareness is key, love is eternal and forgiveness divine.  Brenda studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, The Riverside Shakespeare Company in NYC and at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in LA.  She was a member of the Village Theatre Company in New York and the Tomcats (Thomas Waites, Alfred Molina: Artistic Director) in Los Angeles.  Favorite roles she's played are Georgie in Spike Heels, Theresa in Italian American Reconciliation, Viola in Twelfth Night and Karen in Boy's Life.  She can be seen in numerous films in parts ranging from a queen lesbian vampire, a famous french chanteuse, a big-haired Brooklyn guidette, to a quirky mom.
She's proud of her stand-up rountine which she has performed several times at the world famous Improv in Hollywood. And. she is currently co-writng a screenplay based on her incredible life.

The show is dedicated to my shining star in the sky...Mom.
This is a sample of my Mom's artwork.  Click on the photo for a larger view.
BARBARA ELLEN ADELMAN (Artwork)

Barbara was an award winning photographer who exhibited her work in numerous galleries, including Creative Photography Gallery (Dayton, OH), BC Space (Laguna Beach, CA), Salamagundi Club, Union Square Gallery, and Visual Arts Galleries, (New York, NY).  Her work was published in: Best Photography Annual; 1990, Photographer's Forum, Encyclopedia Of Living Artists in America, 4th Edition. Her work also appeared in the 1988 Citibank calendar of art and the cover of the French Monthly, Le Pelican (#4).
This is Brenda with her Los Angeles Director, CheRae Adams at the LA opening   The painting behind Brenda is of her late mother, Barbara.  Click on the picture for a larger view.
“We were taken to the edge of human existence…Brenda Adelman’s My Brooklyn Hamlet, relived her mother’s murder by her father (who then married the victim’s sister), a drama that created a classical Greek catharsis in a modern Brooklyn setting.”
Henrik Eger, Ph. D., Association for Jewish Theatre

“I met Brenda earlier this year and was instantly drawn to the energy she possessed. Warm, calm, inviting, grounded, honest, strong, deep, free…these are all words that simultaneously flood my mind when I think of how to describe her. As a lover of theatre, I was compelled to see her perform her life story onstage. Brenda’s journey is one of wisdom, courage, and blatant honesty-both refreshing and undeniably intriguing. It was my experience after watching My Brooklyn Hamlet, that I was forced to examine myself and look inward to find the fractured and unsettled relationships in my life. This search, while not easy, instantly began to heal the wounds I hid from myself and solutions that would allow for closure immediately began to bubble up from within. This demonstrated to me, firsthand, how powerful forgiveness is. I am honored that Brenda allowed me to assist her in bringing My Brooklyn Hamlet to the stage in a new way and hope that the experience you have with her tonight touches you and your life story in an unexpected way.”
Matthew Hannon, Dir.
My Brooklyn Hamlet
Celebration Theatre

“What intrigued me the most about Brenda’s show, aside from her dramatic childhood experiences, is her ability to make the essence of Shakespeare for the first time accessible to me.
Her talent to relate and intertwine tangible, emotionally understandable scenes of her life to and with Shakespeare is ingenious.
It allowed me to equate that emotion evoked by her scene to each selected Shakespeare scenes, which gave me for the first time a “feeling access” to Shakespeare, which I consider a much more personal and lasting experience that merely observed by the mind. – Thank you, Brenda.”
Christoph


“Brenda Adelman has the rare combination of having been profoundly wounded by life, having a willingness to bring her wounding into the public eye with great love and immense humor, and being an extraordinary talent. Her show captures the audience from the moment she steps onto the stage and she holds our attention throughout. Finally, and most significantly, the show is an experience in healing for all who attend. In my opinion, as a spiritual teacher who spent years encarcerated and living the dark side in my earlier life, nothing impacts us more than to actually see someone who has returned from the darkness with a message of redemption. Such is the case of Brenda Adelman and her phenomenal show, My Brooklyn Hamlet.”
Rev. Mark Pope
Minister/Unity Church of Sedona
Founder/ The Awakening Heart Center of Sedona

“Brenda,
More than a week has passed since your visit to Manhattanville College and our students are still praising your moving and powerful performance and the workshop following. Among the gifts you offer are honesty, courage, genuine emotion without sentimentality and a humane and welcome sense of possibility and regeneration. I was particularly struck by the openness, coherence and compassion of the workshop, how suddenly and surely forgiveness and the desire to forgive arose in the room-clearly the therapeutic model is close to your heart. So on behalf of the students and faculty of the Department of Dance & Theatre and those from the Duchesne Center, our deepest thanks and appreciation. Please keep in touch and let us know when you are next in the east.
All good wishes and success.
Kol tuv.”
Michael
Professor Michael Posnick, Director
Department of Dance & Theatre


“I saw Brenda Adelman’s performance in September of 2006, while attending the annual conference of the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Having worked as a domestic violence advocate and therapist for 15 years, I thought I understood the emotional experience of survivors, children, and offenders quite well. Yet, as I watched Brenda’s life unfold before my eyes, I came to a humbling conclusion:
I did not understand how survivors, including myself, could still love, still trust, still forgive, after all the pain our abusive partners or parents caused.
That is, not until she spoke to her father, “I hate you, I love you.”
For in that moment, I realized how unforgiving and resentful I had been toward those in my life and in my field who caused me harm, or inadvertently revictimized those clients with whom I identified.
I had thought I was cured, when in reality, I was holding onto hatred, and denying my love.
Brenda Adelman’s moving performance opened the door to my own further healing. She is an amazing woman, with courage, strength, and above all compassion. She normalized the experience of my being a survivor, and made it okay to feel again.
Though it was over a year ago that I witnessed her performance, it inspires me to this day. Now, I am able to find and restore the sweet souls beneath the scars of indignity that she has forever opened my eyes to see.”
With Infinite Gratitude,
Deena Stewart-Hitzke, M.A.H.R.,.M.A.P.C.,
L.I.S.A.C.
Domestic Violence Educator, Treatment Provider, and Advocate.
Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Survivor

To inquire about booking a show or speaking engagement call (310) 429-1193.


Brenda would like to thank her family for the love she got growing up and the lessons she has learned as an adult.  Creating this one-woman show, based on her unbelievable life has been pivotal to her healing.  She embraces life with a zest and a fervor and she has been an inspiration to all who have been touched by her story. She shares generously with strength and with humor what she has learned along the way. Guns are not toys, awareness is key, love is eternal and forgiveness divine.  Brenda studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, The Riverside Shakespeare Company in NYC and at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in LA.  She was a member of the Village Theatre Company in New York and the Tomcats (Thomas Waites, Alfred Molina: Artistic Director) in Los Angeles.  Favorite roles she's played are Georgie in Spike Heels, Theresa in Italian American Reconciliation, Viola in Twelfth Night and Karen in Boy's Life.  She can be seen in numerous films in parts ranging from a queen lesbian vampire, a famous french chanteuse, a big-haired Brooklyn guidette, to a quirky mom.
She's proud of her stand-up rountine which she has performed several times at the world famous Improv in Hollywood. And. she is currently co-writng a screenplay based on her incredible life.

The show is dedicated to my shining star in the sky...Mom.
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