Actor John Lithgow will bring his "Stories by Heart" performance to Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University on November 9, 2013.
Lithgow has performed the show at New York's Lincoln Center and London's National Theatre. Invoking memories of his grandmother and father before him, Mr. Lithgow traces his roots as an actor and storyteller, interspersing his own story with two great stories that were read to him and his siblings when they were children.
These are "Uncle Fred Flits By" by P.G. Wodehouse and "Haircut" by Ring Lardner. In the first, a fretful young Englishman is taken on a wild afternoon's escapade in suburban London by his irrepressible uncle. In a hilarious tour de force, Lithgow performs with zany abandon, portraying ten distinct, outrageous characters (including a parrot).
By contrast, "Haircut" is a darkly comic look at Midwestern American implacability. It is a captivating yarn told by a gossipy barber in small-town Michigan as he gives a shave and a haircut to a stranger in town.
Lithgow won a Tony Award three weeks after his 1973 Broadway debut, in David Storey's "The Changing Room." Since then, he has appeared on Broadway twenty more times, earning another Tony, four more Tony nominations, four Drama Desk Awards, and induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame.
Ensuing stage performances have included major roles in "My Fat Friend," "Trelawney of the "Wells,"" "Comedians," "Anna Christie," "Bedroom Farce," "Beyond Therapy," "M. Butterfly," "The Front Page," "Retreat from Moscow," "All My Sons," the Off-Broadway premieres of "Mrs. Farnsworth" and "Mr. and Mrs. Fitch," and the musicals "Sweet Smell of Success" (his second Tony), and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."
In 2007 he was one of the very few American actors ever invited to join The Royal Shakespeare Company, playing Malvolio in "Twelfth Night" at Stratford-upon-Avon. In 2008 he devised his own one-man show "Stories by Heart" for The Lincoln Center Theater Company, and has been touring it around the country ever since, including a triumphant six-week run at The Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. He can currently be seen on Broadway in David Auburn's new drama "The Columnist" in which Lithgow portrays famed Washington political columnist Joseph Alsop, a performance which has earned Lithgow his sixth Tony nomination.
Lithgow was born in Rochester, New York, but grew up in Ohio, graduated from high school in Princeton, New Jersey, attended Harvard College, and used a Fulbright Grant to study at the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art. He has three grown children, two grandchildren, and lives in Los Angeles and New York. He has been married for thirty years to Mary Yeager, a Professor of Economic and Business History at UCLA.
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