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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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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (310 )
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4.6 (282 )
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Performance
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  •  
    carolyn United States 10-01-12
    carolyn United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    9
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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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carey Key West, FL, United States 09-25-12
    Carey Key West, FL, United States 09-25-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    8
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    Performance
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    "Me, me, me"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would not recommend this book to anyone outside of John Lithgow's immediate family.


    What was most disappointing about John Lithgow’s story?

    He is so pleased with himself but has very little to say about "an actor's education."


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fr. M. David CT, USA 07-26-14
    Fr. M. David CT, USA 07-26-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "His professionaly life nearly exclusively"
    Would you try another book from John Lithgow and/or John Lithgow?

    Sure, he is one of the most versatile actors in the country and he is an astute observer of humanity.


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

    It would have been nice if there was somewhat more about him, the private person and broaden the perspective on him a little wider than the book does.


    What else would you have wanted to know about John Lithgow’s life?

    What makes him who he is? What are his priorities and motivations? What makes things matter to him?


    Any additional comments?

    If you're looking for a well told account of his professional life, then this is something you will appreciate. If you want anything outside of that realm, you may very well be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebreezy 04-03-14
    Rebreezy 04-03-14
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    "Absolutely fabulous!"
    Would you listen to Drama again? Why?

    Yes, I imagine I'll listen to this one again. Lithgow is a wonderful storyteller and as someone who's done theater all my life, I found the content fascinating and timeless. I don't think, however, you'd need any background in theater to enjoy it immensely.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Well, John Lithgow, of course!


    What does John Lithgow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He's a wonderful actor, which makes his narration incredibly engaging. And, of course, he is very much invested in his own experiences, which only adds to the pleasure of the listener.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes! Thank heavens I had a long car ride which allowed me to listen to it all the way there and all the way home. I still was so sad when it was over. I didn't want it to end.


    Any additional comments?

    Truly one of my most favorite Audible books ever!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay 09-26-12
    Jay 09-26-12 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    2
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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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    21
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    49
    13
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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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