When your father is a stage actor, and your mother is a stage actor, and your grandfather is a stage actor, though it may not be in stone, your fate is pretty set. As it was for his older brother Lionel and older sister Ethel, so was it for John Barrymore.
In accordance with Newton's law, a career that had a great ascent had an equally tragic descent. Nonetheless, it makes great material for the play Barrymore, which started off the season at Long Island's Broadhollow Theatre Aug. 19 and will close Sept. 17.
Ed Dennehy plays "The Great Profile" in this mounting -- a role that won Christopher Plummer the 1997 Leading Actor in a Play Tony Award. Dennehy also directs.
For tickets call (631) 581-2700. For more information visit their website at www.broadhollow.org.
* Broadhollow artistic director Patricia Zaback has a lot on her hands trying to fill out the season of the company's three theatre season. With the help of managing director Richard T. Dolce and the rest of her staff, they announce the Millennium Season that includes some classics, like The Sound of Music, Mame and Funny Girl. More contemporary works, such as As Bees in Honeys Drown and Moon Over Buffalo are also included. And, Broadhollow is also premiering an original musical called Cyrano.Com.
Starting the season at the BayWay was Smoke and Mirrors, a mystery-comedy by Will Osbourne and Anthony Herrera that centers around the production of a multi million dollar movie. Following that was the doo-wop teeny-bop sock-hop musical, Grease by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Currently running at the East Islip playhouse is Bermuda Avenue Triangle, the OB comedy by Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna about a Las Vegas love triangle. Mame, the classic Jerry Herman musical, and Murder at the Howard Johnson's a murder-mystery-comedy by Ron Clark and Sam Bobrick and a special holiday presentation of Annie will end the season.
West of the BayWay is the Players' Bethpage home, the self-titled Broadhollow Theatre. This season began with Barrymore, the play about legendary actor John Barrymore by William Luce. Next -- in perhaps the most notable venture of the season -- comes the new musical debut of Cyrano.Com, a show loosely based on Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac with a Little Shop of Horrors feel. After that, Douglas Carter Beane's As Bees in Honey Drown makes its way to Long Island as Broadhollow presents the story of a young writer who journeys through self discovery -- after being hooked by a con-artist. The final two productions of the season here are What The Rabbi Saw, a slapstick pre wedding farce by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, followed by The Rothschilds, a musical by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick about the struggle of a Jewish family to make their way in the business world.
At the Centre Stage Theatre at Rockville Centre's Molloy College, the Broadhollow Players opened with The Sound of Music. Running now is the production of Smoke and Mirrors that started at BayWay, then Arthur Miller's hit, that was recently revived on Broadway, A View From the Bridge about a man who opens his house to Italian immigrant relative and is torn when one of them wants to wed his daughter. If you miss the BayWay run, you could still catch Mame at the Centre. Ending the Rockville runs will be the backstage farce by Ken Ludwig, Moon Over Buffalo.
There's plenty to choose from in the Broadhollow buffet, and you can make your reservations by calling (631) 581-2700. A rundown of the entire season to come and the theatres they play at follows:
Bermuda Avenue Triangle (Sept. 9 - Oct. 1) - BayWay Arts Center
Smoke and Mirrors (Sept. 23 - Oct. 8) - Centre Stage
Cyrano.Com (Sept. 30 - Oct. 22) - BroadHollow Theatre
A View From the Bridge (Oct. 14-29) - Centre Stage
Mame (Oct. 14 - Nov. 5) - BayWay Arts Center
As Bees in Honey Drown (Nov. 4-26) - BroadHollow Theatre
Murder at the Howard Johnson's (Nov. 11 - Dec. 3) - BayWay Arts Center
Annie (Dec. 9-23) - BayWay Arts Center
What The Rabbi Saw (Dec. 9 - Jan. 7) - BroadHollow Theatre
Mame (Jan. 14-28) - Centre Stage
The Rothschilds (Jan. 20 - Feb. 11) - BroadHollow Theatre
Moon Over Buffalo (March 10-25) - Centre Stage
The BayWay Arts Centre is located at 265 East Main St in East Islip, the BroadHollow Theatre is at 200 Stewart Avenue in Bethpage, and the Centre Stage is at Molloy College 1000 Hempstead Ave in Rockville Centre. For more info on Broadhollow and their entire season, view their website at www.broadhollow.org.
--by Ernio Hernandez