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 not recommend this book to anyone outside of John Lithgow's immediate family.
He is so pleased with himself but has very little to say about "an actor's education."
I know, actors ARE egoists; however this was unbearable and tedious so I didn't finish it. John prattles on about how wonderful he is for realizing his own faults, still oblivious to the egotism buried in his statements. The feigned humility used throughout feels so omni-present all the time I got tired of the boasting. The book reads like a narcissist who realizes that narcissism is bad so the author covers up his real pretentiousness with a phoniness that oozes in the background. NO!: John didn't go to Harvard, he was a simply country boy who found himself at Harvard. It's was more like an accident really... Constantly portraying himself as the guy who didn't fit in but magically found himself in roles where he was the center of attention, John manages to evince that he just stumbled through his social life without doing much to manipulate anything.
3 hours of Lithow's ego was enough thanks.
Read a different book.
Chapters 2 onwards.
Sure, he is one of the most versatile actors in the country and he is an astute observer of humanity.
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 makes him who he is? What are his priorities and motivations? What makes things matter to him?
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.
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.
Well, John Lithgow, of course!
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.
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.
Truly one of my most favorite Audible books ever!
As an autobiography Drama is one of the best I have listened to.
His description of the time he spent with his parents as they advanced in age.
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.
Life at McCarter
The only way to experience the story.
I want my family to hear it.
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.
I really wanted to hear about GARP and THIRD ROCK and DEXTER. Just a little celebrity gossip wouldn't have hurt, would it?
I loved how he started it, the story about his father's illness. That really set the stage.
When he reads to his dad.
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.
Just isn't catching my interest, sympathy
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.
Will try listening to it again one day.
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