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Drama: An Actor's Education | [John Lithgow]

Drama: An Actor's Education

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

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Average Customer Rating

4.2 (295 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Pseudo I washington, DC 12-11-12
    Pseudo I washington, DC 12-11-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "John Lithgow is the consummate dramatist"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Drama to be better than the print version?

    John Lithgow is peerless in his ability to tell a tale. Hearing him is a treat.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    To my mind, this was the perfect audiobook--great stories told by the ultimate perfomer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    susan Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada 11-07-12
    susan Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada 11-07-12 Member Since 2014

    I like to weed and read at the same time.

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    "Lovely generous book,beautifuly read."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alana 10-15-12
    Alana 10-15-12 Member Since 2011

    knittingnut

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    "Well, it's John Lithgow"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carolyn United States 10-01-12
    carolyn United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Entertaining. A life well lived!"

    I enjoyed this book. A very creative man is John Lithgow. How precarious the life of an actor is.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay 09-26-12
    Jay 09-26-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent piece of work"
    Where does Drama rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    As an autobiography Drama is one of the best I have listened to.


    Have you listened to any of John Lithgow’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    His description of the time he spent with his parents as they advanced in age.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joey BREWER, ME, United States 09-17-12
    Joey BREWER, ME, United States 09-17-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Surprising, Insightful, Honest"

    Autobiographies are usually an interesting read - this one is no exception. John Lithgow is an actor whom I was mildly acquainted - I am a fan of 3rd Rock from The Sun - however I knew very little about the man behind the performance. These words, written and spoken by Mr. Lithgow spring truly, honestly, from the speakers. Not much is hidden, the good, the bad. If you have a passing interest in Mr. Lithgow, you'll come away from this book with a new found respect for him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Avondale, PA, United States 09-12-12
    Robert Avondale, PA, United States 09-12-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Another outstanding performance by Lithgow"
    Would you listen to Drama again? Why?

    Yes.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Drama?

    Life at McCarter


    What about John Lithgow’s performance did you like?

    The only way to experience the story.


    Any additional comments?

    I want my family to hear it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary United States 08-06-12
    Mary United States 08-06-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Good, but what happened to THIRD ROCK?????"
    What made the experience of listening to Drama the most enjoyable?

    It is always fascinating to learn how people get to be the celebrities that they are. Did they scratch and claw their way to the top or ride a wave of talent? JL seemed to have the talent to make it happen. And he was born into acting. There were some good stories and interesting insights.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I really wanted to hear about GARP and THIRD ROCK and DEXTER. Just a little celebrity gossip wouldn't have hurt, would it?


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved how he started it, the story about his father's illness. That really set the stage.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When he reads to his dad.


    Any additional comments?

    When I finished I realized that, not only did he leave out the "good stuff" about Hollywood, but he left out is mother! It seems like his father was his only important parent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-20-12
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    "Not so good"
    What disappointed you about Drama?

    Just isn't catching my interest, sympathy


    What could John Lithgow have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Can't say really. It is too much of the kind of story between lunch time friends. Not really written to catch a readers attention.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    Will try listening to it again one day.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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