In 1963, Orson Welles was asked who the best Hamlet he’d ever seen was and he responded without hesitation, “Barrymore…he was a man of genius…” A legendary star of stage and screen, John Barrymore stretched beyond what even he might have thought himself capable of with his portrayals of Hamlet and Richard III. He was larger than life, charismatic, and charming like a rogue. But with fame came complications that included four failed marriages, a troubled mind, and a lifelong relationship with the bottle, in his endless search for love.
Now Gordon Goodman delves into the psyche of one of the greatest actors of the twentieth century in BARRYMORE, offering a multi-faceted portrayal that is as eloquently poignant as it is gleefully mischievous. Featuring two characters, Goodman and his offstage prompter Frank (Matt Franta), the play takes place shortly before Barrymore’s death, during a fictional rehearsal for a revival of Richard III. With masterful insight, Goodman skillfully breaks into the Shakespeare passages, at times as if awakening from a dream. Lost in the words he reveals a devastatingly honest connection with his troubled characters as they interrupt the decline of age. It is a play, and a performance, for anyone who loves the theater. Now through December 1st.
Photos by Steve Anderson
BARRYMORE by William Luce
November 8 – December 1, 2013
Directed by Janet Miller
Starring Gordon Goodman and Matt Franta
Good People Theater Company at Greenway Court Theatre
544 N. Fairfax Avenue, between Melrose and Beverly
Tickets: www.goodpeopletheaterco.org or (323) 655-7679 x 100
Parking is free in the theater’s lot (entrance on Fairfax).