Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe Award Winner John Lithgow brings his critically acclaimed show “Stories By Heart” 8 p.m. Nov. 9 to Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University for one performance only. Tickets are on sale now at the Clowes Hall Box Office and Ticketmaster.
“Stories By Heart” is Lithgow’s touching and humorous reflection on storytelling as the tie that binds humanity.
Invoking memories of his grandmother and father before him, Lithgow traces his roots as an actor and storyteller, interspersing his own story with two great stories that were read to him and his siblings when they were children. These are “Uncle Fred Flits By” by P.G. Wodehouse and “Haircut” by Ring Lardner.
In the first, a fretful young Englishman is taken on a wild afternoon’s escapade in suburban London by his irrepressible uncle. In a hilarious tour de force, Lithgow performs with zany abandon, portraying 10 distinct, outrageous characters (including a parrot). By contrast, “Haircut” is a darkly comic look at Midwestern American implacability. It is a yarn told by a gossipy barber in small-town Michigan as he gives a shave and a haircut to a stranger in town.
Lithgow’s roots are in the theater. In 1973, he won a Tony Award three weeks after his Broadway debut, in David Storey’s “The Changing Room.” Since then, he has appeared on Broadway 20 more times, earning another Tony, four more Tony nominations, four Drama Desk Awards, and induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame.
Ensuing stage performances have included major roles in “My Fat Friend,” “Trelawney of the Wells,” and Comedians.”
In 2007 he was one of the very few American actors ever invited to join The Royal Shakespeare Company, playing Malvolio in “Twelfth Night” at Stratford-upon-Avon. In 2008 he devised his own one-man show “Stories by Heart” for The Lincoln Center Theater Company, and has been touring it around the country ever since, including a six-week run at The Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. He can currently be seen on Broadway in David Auburn’s new drama “The Columnist” in which Lithgow portrays famed Washington political columnist Joseph Alsop, a performance which has earned Lithgow his sixth Tony nomination.