John Lithgow, world-renowned actor, will present “Stories by Heart,” featuring works by P.G. Wodehouse and Ring Lardner, Friday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall at Brigham Young University.
Tickets start at $35 ($10 off with BYU or student ID and $3 off for senior citizens or BYU alumni) and can be purchased at the Fine Arts Ticket Office, (801) 422-2981, or at byuarts.com/tickets.
Conceived and written by John Lithgow, “Stories by Heart” is part of BYU’s BRAVO! Professional Performing Arts Series. Following Lithgow’s triumphant appearances at New York’s Lincoln Center and London’s National Theatre, the Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor offers a 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 tales that were read aloud to him and his siblings when they were children – “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 escapade in suburban London by his irrepressible uncle. In a hilarious tour de force, Lithgow performs with zany abandon, portraying ten distinct, outrageous characters (including a parrot). By contrast, “Haircut” is a darkly comic look at Midwestern American implacability.
The technical crew includes Eric Cornwell, lighting design; Daniel J. Gerhard, sound design; Matthew Aaron Stern and Jason Brouillard, production stage managers; and Staci Levine, producer and manager.
John Lithgow attended Harvard College and used a Fulbright Grant to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. 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.
Lithgow began to make a major mark in films and was nominated for Oscars in back-to-back years, for “The World According to Garp” and “Terms of Endearment.” In the years before and after, he has appeared in more than 30 films, including “Footloose,” “Harry and the Hendersons,” “Orange County,” “Shrek” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” Up next for Lithgow on the big screen is Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar.”
For his work on television, Lithgow has been nominated for 11 Emmy Awards. He has won five of them, most of them for “3rd Rock from the Sun.” In that show’s six-year run, Lithgow also won the Golden Globe, two SAG Awards, The American Comedy Award and, when it went off the air, a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.