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John Lithgow to Boost Great Lakes Theater Fest

By admin Published: March 5, 2010

Here's the announcement about Lithgow, who spent part of his youth in Akron:

Great Lakes Theater Festival (GLTF) acting company alumnus - two-time Tony award-winner, four-time Emmy award-winner and recent Golden Globe award recipient - John Lithgow will return to Cleveland for a one-performance-only event, entitled STORIES BY HEART on Sunday, May 23, 2010 (2:00 p.m.) at the Hanna Theatre, PlayhouseSquare. All proceeds from the performance will benefit Great Lakes Theater Festival.

John Lithgow’s father, Arthur Lithgow, was Great Lakes Theater Festival’s founding Artistic Director and served the company in that capacity for four seasons (1962-1965). A member of Great Lakes Theater Festival’s acting company from 1963-64, John Lithgow performed in twelve GLTF productions over two summer seasons.

“I am thrilled to return to support a theater company that has meant so much to so many members of my family,” said John Lithgow in a recent statement. “It is extraordinary to see how much this company has grown over the five decades since my father – the Johnny Appleseed of Shakespeare – became its first artistic director. And I’m proud to play a part in its continued success.”

The announcement continues after the jump.

STORIES BY HEART is a touching and funny meditation on the art and essence of storytelling. Invoking memories of his grandmother and father, Lithgow traces his own history as an actor and storyteller - a history spanning three generations. Directed by Jack O'Brien, and following its acclaimed Lincoln Center Theater presentation, STORIES BY HEART features both P.G. Wodehouse's Uncle Fred Flits By and Ring Lardner's Haircut.

In the hilarious Uncle Fred Flits By, Lithgow conjures nine outrageous characters with zany abandon to tell the story of a skeptical nephew’s surprising and endearing journey with his unstoppable uncle. A wry look at Midwestern implacability, Haircut is a tale told by a loquacious Michigan barber who's seen it all - or so he believes. Lithgow’s magical transformation is positively captivating.

“We are truly grateful to our good friend John Lithgow for his immense generosity in helping to support the theater company that his visionary father founded nearly fifty years ago,” said Charles Fee, GLTF’s current Producing Artistic Director. “All of us in Northeast Ohio remain forever indebted to the Lithgow family for the extraordinary theatrical and educational legacy that they have left for our community. From the entire Festival family – we say thank you John!”

Tickets for STORIES BY HEART are on sale now. All seats are priced at $55. Tickets are available by calling (216) 241-6000, by ordering online at or by visiting the PlayhouseSquare Ticket Office.

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