THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: Tony Winner and Nothing Like a Dame Creator Phyllis Newman

By Andrew Gans
07 Mar 2012


Laurence Olivier in The Entertainer.

"While I was working full time in another show, The Entertainer, by John Osborne, came from London for a limited run. Its star, Laurence Olivier, played Archie Rice, a seedy, unsuccessful, aging vaudevillian. They arranged a special performance for the working actors who couldn’t get to a regular show. It’s impossible for me to describe the profundity, skill and chops, yes chops, that Olivier sent out across those fabled footlights... He took that entire audience with him on his sad descent. We remained in our seats for a long time after the curtain calls. Most of us there had chosen the same kind of profession as Archie, and we saw things we didn’t want to face, at the same time seeing one of the greatest actors of all time."