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John Barrymore

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ENTERTAINMENT
October 15, 2011 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
In Bristol Riverside Theatre's production of William Luce's Barrymore , we meet Philly's own John Barrymore, "The Great Profile" - grandfather of Drew, sibling of Lionel and Ethel - a month before his death at 60. He staggers toward the final curtain of a career whose impact on stage and both silent and talking films ( Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde , Grand Hotel ) was rivaled only by the self-destructive zeal with which he pursued women and alcohol. Luce's conceit (Barrymore hopes to reprise his Richard III and rents a theater for the night to run lines before an audience)
NEWS
March 6, 1997 | By Lea Sitton Stanley, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
John Barrymore raced recklessly through life, kicking off brilliant performances as an actor and miserable ones as a man. Some might say he got what he deserves: a scruffy hilltop in North Philadelphia and few visitors. But not everybody. "I'm appalled," said David Wren of Center City, local theater buff, newspaper reporter-turned-paralegal and fledgling novelist. "Being from Texas, I have to tell you, Lee Harvey Oswald's grave is in better shape," he said yesterday at the family plot in Mount Vernon Cemetery where Barrymore's ashes rest.
NEWS
March 31, 2000 | This is a shortened version of a column by Jack McKinney that appeared in the Daily News July 9, 1982
The three were born over the course of three years in Philadelphia. Lionel Barrymore, won the Academy Award for best actor in 1932. Ethel Barrymore won an Oscar for best supporting actress in 1944. John Barrymore was acclaimed for his movie roles as a debonair leading man, but was best known for his flamboyant off-screen behavior. They celebrated the centenary of John Barrymore's birth the other night up in Broadway's Beacon Theater. I wish I had been there, because listening to John Barrymore stories is one of my two favorite pastimes.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 10, 1997 | By Clifford A. Ridley, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
It seems, on the surface, like such a good idea. But it's probably time to concede that it is not. The idea, simply, is to offer up the life and times of the great, flamboyant actor John Barrymore in a solo piece by one of our great contemporary actors - Nicol Williamson, say, or Christopher Plummer. Williamson had his crack at the project last season in a show called Jack, which he cowrote with Leslie Megahey; now Plummer takes his cuts in William Luce's Barrymore, on view through Sunday at the Playhouse Theatre.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 19, 2000 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
In Barrymore's Ghost, John Barrymore returns from the dead to tell us about his life, and what he has to say about himself is so unrelentingly unfavorable, you wonder why he'd want anyone to know about it. Barrymore presents himself as a gifted actor who squandered his talents and sold out to Hollywood for fame and easy money. As a man, he was a rake and an out-of-control alcoholic whose several marriages were failures. Presumably, the famed thespian communicates with no one from his grave in Philadelphia's Mount Vernon Cemetery, but he's onstage at Theatre Double as conceived and performed by playwright/actor Jason Miller, whose Barrymore's Ghost is the latest in a series of one-man plays about the Great Profile.
NEWS
April 11, 1991 | By Clifford A. Ridley, Inquirer Theater Critic
In I Hate Hamlet, which opened April 8 at the Walter Kerr Theater, the jokes racket across the footlights like automatic-weapons fire - good jokes and bad jokes, old jokes and new jokes, New York jokes and California jokes, sex jokes and no-sex jokes, theater jokes and - well, more theater jokes. Many more theater jokes. Will the show play in Peoria? Shoot, it's so inbred that it could barely play the East Side. Still, Paul Rudnick's new comedy is fun while the jokes hold out, which is roughly one act. The cast is agreeable, the premise amusing.
NEWS
July 31, 2010 | By Howard Shapiro, Inquirer Staff Writer
A young bon vivant carrying $25,000 in gambling winnings thinks he has killed a New York cabbie in a brawl and flees on the next boat. He ends up on the remote Central American isle of San Mañana, where he is installed as the American consul. That's the plot of The Dictator - a farce, and pretty far-fetched even for that theatrical genre. In the spring of 1904 it lasted 64 performances on Broadway, a good enough run in those days to be revived with the same cast, including John Barrymore, for another month later the same year.
NEWS
May 25, 1992 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
The Philadelphia Drama Guild's search for a new theater site has become a search for a site for a performing-arts center that also would be home to the American Music Theatre Festival. Daniel Schay, managing director of the Drama Guild, said a joint committee of board members from the two theaters was looking into "a handful of sites" for the center, which, he said, will be located in Society Hill or elsewhere in Center City. He did not indicate when an announcement on the choice of a location would be made.
NEWS
May 27, 1993 | by Nels Nelson, Daily News Theater Critic
Five theater attractions of the summer solstice which may tickle your fancy or be otherwise worthy of your patronage: "Twist": This new musical with Broadway ambitions is based on the Charles Dickens classic "Oliver Twist" but set in 1920s New Orleans. It stars Andrea McArdle and Ron Richardson and features an integrated cast of more than 30, including Adrian Bailey, Gregg Burge, Marva Hicks, Ken Jennings and Larry Marshall. The book is by Eugene Lee, the music by Tena Clark and Gary Prim with lyrics by Clark, the choreography by Claude Thompson, the set design by David Mitchell, the costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge.
NEWS
April 9, 1991 | by Nels Nelson, Daily News Theater Critic
A funny thing happened to Paul Rudnick on the way to Broadway. He leased John Barrymore's old apartment on the top floor of a four-story house off Washington Square. When the Great Profile acquired the flat in 1918, he had supervised its transformation into an environment he called "the Alchemist's Corner. " Barrymore filled it with bric-a-brac, suggesting the den of a reclusive Medieval mystic. He smoked the walls and the furnishings to heighten the illusion of age. He lit candles in tall standards whose reflections flickered eerily in crusty Venetian mirrors.
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NEWS
January 3, 2014
AS NOTED here last week, one of the biggest news stories of 2013 was the announcement that the Barrymore Awards, this region's answer to the Tonys, were being revived. So, we figured we'd kick off 2014 with an update on the citation program named in honor of the Barrymore family, the Philly-bred brood that reigned over several generations of local and national theater (and is still represented in show-biz circles by Drew Barrymore , granddaughter of the legendary John Barrymore )
ENTERTAINMENT
October 15, 2011 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
In Bristol Riverside Theatre's production of William Luce's Barrymore , we meet Philly's own John Barrymore, "The Great Profile" - grandfather of Drew, sibling of Lionel and Ethel - a month before his death at 60. He staggers toward the final curtain of a career whose impact on stage and both silent and talking films ( Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde , Grand Hotel ) was rivaled only by the self-destructive zeal with which he pursued women and alcohol. Luce's conceit (Barrymore hopes to reprise his Richard III and rents a theater for the night to run lines before an audience)
NEWS
July 31, 2010 | By Howard Shapiro, Inquirer Staff Writer
A young bon vivant carrying $25,000 in gambling winnings thinks he has killed a New York cabbie in a brawl and flees on the next boat. He ends up on the remote Central American isle of San Mañana, where he is installed as the American consul. That's the plot of The Dictator - a farce, and pretty far-fetched even for that theatrical genre. In the spring of 1904 it lasted 64 performances on Broadway, a good enough run in those days to be revived with the same cast, including John Barrymore, for another month later the same year.
NEWS
June 22, 2010 | By Howard Shapiro, Inquirer Staff Writer
You can find cotton candy at lots of places down the Shore, but the theatrical cotton candy at Cape May Stage - in the form of Paul Rudnick's play called I Hate Hamlet - is different. Bite into it, and somewhere inside, a hidden lump of fine chocolate will surprise you. Rudnick, whose plays include Jeffrey and whose wit often finds its way into the New Yorker, at first glance offers us some pleasant, unremarkable fluff in his 1991 play about a popular TV actor with inch-deep experience on the stage.
NEWS
October 2, 2007 | By Toby Zinman FOR THE INQUIRER
The Arden Theatre Company's production of Caroline, or Change, and the Walnut Street Theatre's Of Mice and Men led the 13th annual Barrymore Awards last night as outstanding musical and play, respectively, each capturing three awards. The Walnut Street Theatre, returning to the Barrymores after not participating since 2002, led with five awards overall in a ceremony where the honors were spread around to more than a dozen shows. There were no sweeps, no oddball surprises. For the first time, the gala (red carpet and all)
NEWS
February 23, 2005 | By Gene D'Alessandro INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
You'd think theater critic and artistic director Robert Brustein would be sick of actors by now. After all, he's spent nearly 60 years rubbing elbows and egos with them - and has overseen the grooming of some of this country's finest players: Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken, Sigourney Weaver, Sam Waterston and Tony Shalhoub. Still, it's got to wear thin. Not so, says the semiretired Brustein, who remains a quiet force in the American theater. "Actors are highly sympathetic human beings - which is ironic because they can be highly narcissistic - but there's something about the actor's heart," said Brustein, in Manhattan earlier this month to discuss his latest book.
NEWS
May 15, 2001 | By Douglas J. Keating INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
Jason Miller, who in 1973 won a Pulitzer Prize as a playwright for That Championship Season and an Oscar nomination as an actor in The Exorcist, died of a heart attack Sunday in his hometown of Scranton. Over the last decade, Mr. Miller, 62, had mounted and directed several plays in Philadelphia, most notably a production of Inherit the Wind staged in a City Hall courtroom. His final local appearance was last fall as John Barrymore in Barrymore's Ghost, a one-man play about the famous actor that Mr. Miller also wrote.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 19, 2000 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
In Barrymore's Ghost, John Barrymore returns from the dead to tell us about his life, and what he has to say about himself is so unrelentingly unfavorable, you wonder why he'd want anyone to know about it. Barrymore presents himself as a gifted actor who squandered his talents and sold out to Hollywood for fame and easy money. As a man, he was a rake and an out-of-control alcoholic whose several marriages were failures. Presumably, the famed thespian communicates with no one from his grave in Philadelphia's Mount Vernon Cemetery, but he's onstage at Theatre Double as conceived and performed by playwright/actor Jason Miller, whose Barrymore's Ghost is the latest in a series of one-man plays about the Great Profile.
NEWS
March 31, 2000 | This is a shortened version of a column by Jack McKinney that appeared in the Daily News July 9, 1982
The three were born over the course of three years in Philadelphia. Lionel Barrymore, won the Academy Award for best actor in 1932. Ethel Barrymore won an Oscar for best supporting actress in 1944. John Barrymore was acclaimed for his movie roles as a debonair leading man, but was best known for his flamboyant off-screen behavior. They celebrated the centenary of John Barrymore's birth the other night up in Broadway's Beacon Theater. I wish I had been there, because listening to John Barrymore stories is one of my two favorite pastimes.
NEWS
March 6, 1997 | By Lea Sitton Stanley, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
John Barrymore raced recklessly through life, kicking off brilliant performances as an actor and miserable ones as a man. Some might say he got what he deserves: a scruffy hilltop in North Philadelphia and few visitors. But not everybody. "I'm appalled," said David Wren of Center City, local theater buff, newspaper reporter-turned-paralegal and fledgling novelist. "Being from Texas, I have to tell you, Lee Harvey Oswald's grave is in better shape," he said yesterday at the family plot in Mount Vernon Cemetery where Barrymore's ashes rest.
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