Barrymore, a drama about legendary stage actor John Barrymore, starring Christopher Plummer, will open on Broadway March 9, 1997 at a theatre to be announced, possibly the Music Box. Broadway previews begin Feb. 23, 1997.
Produced by Livent Inc.'s Garth Drabinsky, the production is touring the U.S. after opening to positive reviews at the Avon Theatre in Stratford, Ontario.
The production is in the midst of a four-month tour. Remaining stops:
Royal Poinciana Playhouse in Palm Beach, FL -- Dec. 3-15.
The Playhouse in Wilmington, DE -- Jan. 2-12
The Music Hall in Detroit -- Jan. 14-19
Wilbur Theatre in Boston -- Jan. 21 - Feb. 2
Byham Theatre in Pittsburgh -- Feb. 4-16
Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore -- Feb. 18- Mar. 2
Shubert Theatre in Chicago -- Mar. 4-9
Barrymore, by William Luce, is a joint production of Stratford Festival Theatre and Livent. In the Luce play, Plummer has the starring role of John Barrymore, a once-great classical actor, who struggles to recreate one of the truimphant performances of his past. Though ravaged by time and alcohol, he has lost neither his zest for life nor his passion for his art. Luce is the author of another fact-based tour-de-force, The Belle of Amherst, about Emily Dickinson. Directed by Gene Saks, Plummer received a standing ovation on opening night in Richard Monette, Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival confirmed with Playbill On-Line at the reception after the opening that this is the first of many co-operative ventures with Livent.
Marty Bell, Vice President of Livent, standing in for an absent Drabinsky, who is very involved in another imminent Livent world premiere, Ragtime, said he was very pleased with the response to Barrymore.
Barrymore will be the second of three views of troubled actor John Barrymore that Broadway will have seen in a single year's time.
Nicol Williamson played the same character in Jack: A Night on the Town With John Barrymore, which had a brief run in spring 1996 at the Belasco Theatre. William Finn is preparing a new musical The Royal Family of Broadway based on Edna Ferber's The Royal Family which is based on the famous Barrymore acting clan. That clan persists today: actress Drew Barrymore is John's great-grandniece.
John Barrymore's ghost figured prominently in the early 1990s comedy, I Hate Hamlet.