In this riveting and surprising personal history, John Lithgow shares a backstage view of his own struggle, crisis, and discovery, revealing the early life and career that took place out of the public eye.
Above all Lithgow’s memoir is a tribute to his most important influence: his father, Arthur Lithgow, who, as an actor, director, producer, and great lover of Shakespeare, brought theater to John’s boyhood. From bedtime stories to Arthur’s illustrious productions, performance and storytelling were constant and cherished parts of family life. Drama details with poignancy and sharp recollection the moments that introduced a budding young actor to the undeniable power of theater.
Before Lithgow gained fame with films like The World According to Garp and television shows like 3rd Rock from the Sun, his early years were full of scenes both hilarious and bittersweet. His ruminations on the nature of theater, film acting, and storytelling cut to the heart of why actors are driven to perform, and why people are driven to watch them do it.
Lithgow chronicles the harrowing moments of his past, reflecting with moving candor on friends made and lost, mistakes large and small, and the powerful love of a father who set him on the road to a life onstage. Illuminating, funny, affecting, and thoroughly engrossing, Drama raises the curtain on the making of one of our most beloved actors.
©2011 John Lithgow (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers
I would recommend this audiobook to anyone interested in learning about "where actors come from" and in learning more about an interesting person's growth and development. John Lithgow reads his own story, and who better! His narration is a good listen, and there is no question that he knows the subject. I had met John in the early 1970's when he worked at a local theater so I was curious to know more about him. He was a nice guy then, and now I know much more about why he is who he is, and I enjoyed the story of his life. While Lithgow has done a lot of acting, he may not be at the top of the list of "most well known" actors, but that does not prevent the book from being an engrossing and educational listen. Some actor's auto- or bio-graphies tend to be filled with name-dropping and/or self-glorified tales. This book is not that way at all, and reveals more of a personal perspective on the growth of an actor. I really enjoyed the book!
There is something about the way an author reads their own life story that cant be matched. The product would just be that much less impacting if any other narrator took their place.
Told with all the gritty honesty and passion that only Lithgow could have portrayed about his own life journey, this is brilliantly written and stunning to listen to.
John Lithgow played a fairly important role in this... i suppose he would be the stand out for me.
Fantastic engaging storytelling
He is a consummate storyteller.
I actually want to listen to it all again.
I listened to the sample chapter about helping his father later in life and found it compelling. However, very little of the rest of the book was as personal. This is a book for professional actors and directors. I was not interested in the wonders of acting.
I wish it were more personal.
Mr. Lithgow is a marvelous actor and has a great voice, but his perform is not enough to buy this book.
A well written book is a gem.
We all harbor the fantasy that yes, given the chance, we too could have nightly stood on the planks, awash with light, and moved the crowds to tears and laughter. But alas 'twas not to be. If only, if only..
Well John Lithgow has. With the best of them, and he shares his unique experience with us in a very engaging way. Yes, he's over the top at some points, "They loved me!" And there is a chapter on his marriage that should have been left out. It's a painful to read letter to his family, not germain at all. But the book it is a good read. It enhanced my respect for the very few masters of drama, like John Lithgow, who can move us to tears and laughter so well.
I am a relatively new audiobook listener, and I have discovered that I will rate a story 5 stars if my mind doesn't wander. John Lithgow certainly delivered the goods in his autobiography. I enjoyed his life's story, and the way that he told it. He was just as forthright about his not-so-proud moments as he was about the times when he came out the shining star. A decent man, and I truly believe that he has lived a life worth living... and telling about!
John Lithgow is peerless in his ability to tell a tale. Hearing him is a treat.
Lithgow tells great stories of "brushes with fame" in his youth and encounters with theater greats. Even when he is not "telling all," he is compelling and reads so well.
To my mind, this was the perfect audiobook--great stories told by the ultimate perfomer.
I like to weed and read at the same time.
A beautiful 'slim volume' ostensibly about his father but also containing some wonderful insights into his own impressive acting career on the stage. I have never seen him on the stage and am unlikely to, living where I do; however, he is going to be in The Magistrate by Pinero live in HD from the National Theater London. Jan 2113-check your local listings.
To me, it is always a treat to listen to a book read by the author. This was a double delight as John Lithgow is both an excellent writer and skilled narrator. I was ambivalent about John Lithgow (hadn't seen much of his work) prior to listening to Drama but came out with a great admiration for this well educated, humble man. This is not a book full of tidbits and gossip about the Hollywood or Broadway scene but truly a tale about the difficult journey to finding success in the acting world, regardless how talented or smart you may be.
I don't usually read memoirs by well-known people, but I have always enjoyed Lithgow's acting. Third Rock from the Sun was one of my favorite TV shows. Interestingly, he talks little about this program, and I was looking forward to some behind the scenes scenarios. I saw some bloopers from this show and they were very funny.
I was looking for something humorous to listen to, and the memoir is not very funny. Still, I enjoyed listening to him relate his life's story; it just wasn't what I expected. It appears that an actor can play a humorous role without being a funny person. I guess that's called acting.
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