By William Luce. A recent Broadway hit, Barrymore won the 1997 Tony Award for
Best Actor in a Play for its original star Christopher Plummer. Good Theater co-founder
Stephen Underwood takes on the role of legendary actor John Barrymore. This irreverent
and funny play takes places as John Barrymore is rehearsing for a come back to
the stage. Very little rehearsing takes place, but there are numerous and hilarious
stories about the great Barrymore family from his grandmother to his father as
well as his famous siblings. Brian P. Allen portrays Frank, Barrymore’s trusted
stagehand and prompter. Lee K. Paige who starred in Shirley Valentine and Same
Time Next Year for Good Theater directs this Maine premiere.
BARRYMORE, A LIFE LIVED WELL LUBRICATED
Portland Press Herald, Nov 8, 2004
By April Boyle
Actor John Barrymore died more than 62 years ago but
the declining star was vividly alive once again in Stephen Underwood's portrayal
Saturday night. "Barrymore" is set in 1942 on the stage of a New York City
theater. Having fallen from stardom, Barrymore hopes to restart his career with
a revival of his most renowned role, "Richard III."
life had the elements of a tragedy, he preferred to live it like a tragicomedy.
Underwood's portrayal perfectly brings to life both the comedic and tragic elements
that were the essence of Barrymore. Audiences laughed as Underwood cracked suggestive
jokes, all the while imbuing sadness in the clownish exterior.
is virtually a one-man show, though the play also features Barrymore's assistant,
Frank, played by Underwood's Good Theater co-founder, Brian Allen.
gives a sense of believability to his character as he drunkenly staggers around
the stage, slurring words. His actions and mannerisms are often subtle, never
cartoonish. For those times that Barrymore drifts into lucidity, Underwood delivers
the lines like a Shakespearean pro.
"Barrymore" is a wonderful way to become
acquainted with a legend that is simply a familiar name to most people today.
The play takes a personal look at Barrymore's illustrious bad-boy life that catapulted
him to stardom, led to four divorces and in the end, left him washed-up, but not
forgotten. Check it out.
Good Theater portrays theatrical giant in one-man 'Barrymore'
The Forecaster, Nov 10.
By Scott Andrews
"Good Theater, the resident thespian troupe
at the St. Lawrence Arts Center, presents Stephen Underwood in a riveting biographical
portrayal of the actor in 'Barrymore," a Tony Award-winning one-man play."
Underwood plays the title role with both force and finesse, dissecting Barrymore's
contradictory qualities and revealing his internal conflicts in this riveting
Directed by Lee K. Paige
John Barrymore - Stephen Underwood
Frank - Brian
Stage Manager - Adam Gutgsell
Set Design - Janet Montgomery
Lighting Design - Jamie Grant
Costumes - Joan McMahon
- Stephen Underwood
Assistant Technical Director - Craig Robinson
* Member Actors' Equity Association