Members say: Great acting, Slow, Disappointing, Entertaining, Indulgent

About the show

Roundabout Theatre Company presents the Broadway debut of Tony and Emmy Award winner John Lithgow's solo piece, an exploration of storytelling full of personal insights.

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With equal measures of humor and heart, Lithgow conjures a cast of indelible characters from classic short stories by Ring Lardner and P. G. Wodehouse. 'Stories By Heart' first took shape in 2008 at Lincoln Center Theater in a special repertory presentation, with Lithgow telling one story each night. Since then he has evolved the play in theaters around the country. Directed by Tony winner Daniel Sullivan. the Broadway debut of 'John Lithgow: Stories By Heart' is the culmination of this artistic development.


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$69 select orchestra and mezzanine (reg. $99-129)
$39 mezzanine rear (reg. $69)

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Regular prices $29-$129. Discount price is $69 select orchestra and mezzanine and $39 rear mezzanine. Discount prices are valid for performances through 01/21/18. Must order by 01/21/18. Additional blackout dates may apply. All prices include a $2 facility fee. Limit of 8 tickets per order. Normal service charges apply to phone and Internet orders. Offer subject to availability and is not applicable toward previous purchases Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. All sales are final.

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$49 rear mezzanine (regular $89), $59 select orch/mezz (regular $114)
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$59 rear mezzanine (regular $89), $79 select orch/mezz (regular $114-$154)

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Regular prices are $49-$154. Discount prices for Tuesday through Thursday performances are $79 select orchestra side, $59 select orchestra and mezzanine, and $49 rear mezzanine. Discount prices for Friday through Sunday performances are $79 select orchestra, and $59 for select mezzanine. Discount tickets valid for performances through 3/4/18. Must order by 3/4/18. Additional blackout dates may apply. All prices include a $2 facility fee. Limit of 8 tickets per order. Normal service charges apply to phone and Internet orders. Offer subject to availability and is not applicable toward previous purchases. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. All sales are final. Photos by John Midgley.

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Rear Mezzanine $59 (reg. $79-$89)
Select Orchestra and Front Mezzanine $79 (reg. $109-$149)

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Extra fees are $9 per ticket, but that's the standard charge on all tickets. Book by March 4. Regular prices are $39-$149. Discount price is $79 select orchestra and mezzanine and $59 rear mezzanine. Discount prices are valid for performances through March 4. Must order by March 4. Additional blackout dates may apply. All prices include a $2 facility fee. Limit of 8 tickets per order. Normal service charges apply to phone and online orders. Offer subject to availability and is not applicable toward previous purchases. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. All sales are final.

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Details

Weekdays 
$79 Select Orchestra
$59 Select Orchestra & Mezzanine
$49 Rear Mezzanine

Weekends
$79 Select Orchestra
$59 Select Orchestra & Mezzanine

Terms

Regular prices $49-$154. Discount price for Tuesday through Thursday performances are $79 select orchestra side, $59 select orchestra and mezzanine, and $49 rear mezzanine. Discount prices for Friday-Sunday performances are $79 select orchestra, and $59 for select orchestra and mezzanine. Discount tickets valid for performances through 3/4/18. Must order by 3/4/18. Additional blackout dates may apply. All prices include a $2 facility fee. Limit of 8 tickets per order. Normal service charges apply to phone and Internet orders. Offer subject to availability and is not applicable toward previous purchases Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. All sales are final.

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

95
TheaterScene.net

“In 2008, John Lithgow ‘cooked up’ a pretty ‘slapdash affair’ of a one-man show which he appeared in for a number of Monday nights at Lincoln Center, before taking it on the road in the intervening years--to, he calculates in a story in the New York Times, about 35 different cities. In the process, he has honed it into a first-rate piece of theater that showcases his inestimable skills as an actor and performer, even as it comes to focus on two particular stories, told apparently in their ent... Full Review

90
Lighting & Sound America

“Lithgow is at home at the American Airlines Theatre, making the auditorium seem half its size with the sheer mastery of his art...There's no fireplace on John Lee Beatty's attractively paneled set, but there might as well be, so inviting is Lithgow's manner, so warm his wit...A tribute to the fundamental joy of storytelling...It's part memoir, part literary reading, and all entertainment...And what stories they are..Director Daniel Sullivan handles the proceedings with impeccable sensitivity." Full Review

90
The Washington Post

"In the delightful 'John Lithgow: Stories by Heart,' an actor known for great intelligence and range devotes two hours on a Broadway stage to advancing that reputation...Offers new vigor for a form that many actors would like to master but few manage to successfully conquer: the one-person show. Under Dan Sullivan’s adroit direction, Lithgow does...If I were to compare this evening with others in the genre, Lithgow’s would land somewhere in the top dozen." Full Review

90
Stage Buddy

"I’d have believed the man could fly if he told me so. He’s thrilling...It’s heavenly to see Lithgow work, primping and fluffing and chopping and snipping and, really, dancing his way through the murky tale...Lithgow blows them each a kiss; tears in our eyes, we hear the lovely refrain, 'I hope you feel better.' In that moment the entire audience gasps with recognition; Lithgow’s both at his parent’s bedside and directly in front of us. He’s family. He’s breathtaking. I’ve never felt better." Full Review

90
Epoch Times

"Lithgow, in an absolutely sterling performance, uses the classic art of storytelling to take the audience on a journey through his own past, while also showing just how transformative the power of the spoken word can be...He throws himself full force into making the two stories come wonderfully, and, and at times, hysterically, to life...'Stories By Heart' shows the lasting emotional resonance a really good story can have." Full Review

85
The New York Times

"To begin with, give Mr. Lithgow a sound effects award. And then give him one for spiritual effects, because 'Stories by Heart' is delightful: illuminating the stories, uplifting us...Though golden enough for any nostalgist, 'Stories by Heart' is neither soporific nor cute. For starters, the two stories that Mr. Lithgow recites are superb, outlandish and, in very different ways, hair-raising." Full Review

85
Drama Queen NYC

"Lithgow’s love for his father is palpable in this piece, and I found that particularly moving...Lithgow is marvelously specific in the physicality he gives these short stories, realistically pantomiming an early 20th Century 'two bit' shave-and-a-haircut in the Lardner...This production is lively and vivacious, due in equal parts to Lithgow’s native theatrical intelligence and Daniel Sullivan’s canny direction. 'Stories by Heart' is thoroughly sincere and sentimental, which I find very refre... Full Review

85
The Wall Street Journal

"John Lithgow reads two of his favorite short stories out loud and tells us how he came to know them. That’s all there is to 'Stories by Heart,' and it’s more than enough. Rarely have I spent so entertaining a night at the theater—or witnessed so touching a tribute to a departed parent...I rather wish that Daniel Sullivan, the director, had suggested that he tone down the comic effects a notch or three. On the other hand, Mr. Lithgow is so naturally funny that he gets his laughs anyway." Full Review

85
New York Magazine / Vulture

"There’s a healthy helping of nostalgia in there, but 'Stories by Heart' is full of smart, good-natured charm. It’s like listening to the reminiscences of a favorite uncle...The stories themselves are, excitingly, not what you might expect...Lithgow has picked material that undeniably showcases his virtuosity. His accents are impeccable, his impressions side-splittingly absurd, and his physicality both playful and precise...Pure entertainment of the most ancient and appealing kind." Full Review

85
CitiTour

"An extended look into the power and joy of listening to great writing -- especially when handled with true expertise by one of our foremost stage performers...I might have been just as content to hear Lithgow spend all two hours onstage regaling us with memories. But I can’t really quibble with the bulk of program...A tour-de-force that, among other things, makes you wish the actor was available for private reading of bedtime stories." Full Review

85
Theater Pizzazz

"What a gift!...It’s not just physical prowess that makes Lithgow’s performance beguiling. Pacing and emotional truth inform his creation of a small-minded barber chronicling the exploits of the town clown...Lithgow is hilarious as all four participants in the foray and as Fred, stirring the pot...All are uproariously exaggerated, and Lithgow has a ball savoring their rollicking reality. So do we." Full Review

85
What Should We Do?

"Two delightful hours...He brings his whole bag of tricks to 'Stories by Heart,' delicately shaped and grounded by director Daniel Sullivan...The performer has a wonderfully light touch, garrulous and self-amused...Anyone who loves literature—consumed in silence or zestfully shouted aloud—will heartily agree: Stories are oxygen. Head over to the Roundabout Theatre Company and breathe deep." Full Review

85
Journal Inquirer

"Though these introductions are brief, they create an intimate atmosphere as the presence of Lithgow pulls us into his broad, loving embrace...Lithgow's performance is tender...His enactment of 'Haircut' gets a little dicey at times as the first half of the story tends to ramble a bit, making it about five to 10 minutes too long. His performance of 'Uncle Fred Flits By,' though, is one of the funniest things you’ll see all year." Full Review

85
Theater Life

“An intimate celebration of the art of storytelling, the actor’s craft, and the love of literature and family...Transforming raw materials into theatrical gold...'Uncle Fred' is a riotous romp satirizing British middle-class snobbery...Daniel Sullivan’s subtle direction, John Lee Beatty’s handsome drawing-room set, and Kenneth Posner’s cozy lighting compliment Lithgow’s tour-de-force turn perfectly. This one-man show has artistry as well as 'Heart.'" Full Review

85
Woman Around Town

“The artist creates a comfort zone in which tension fades and spirits rise...You’ll be glad you came...This show, beautifully honed over a ten year period, is comprised of two short, enacted stories...Lithgow is warm, inventive, and utterly charming. He owns every moment of this potent pleasure from hokum to heartache. One can only hope there’s a sequel...This version of the presentation is directed by Sullivan whose talents here are both broad and nuanced. There’s never a dull moment.” Full Review

82
City Cabaret

“A collection of colorful characters in his ebullient one-man show...With the buoyant charm of a favorite neighbor, the voice of an eloquent professor and an elastic physical prowess that has served him as a poignant leading man, a scintillating wit, a flat-out silly comic, Lithgow is masterful...Lithgow found a personal value in the healing power of story-telling...A charming reminiscence over some cold winter hours.” Full Review

80
Time Out New York

"It is hard to imagine who, aside from John Lithgow, could fashion a Broadway show from a pair of bedtime stories and not make everyone fall asleep. Yet there the actor is in 'Stories by Heart'...with nothing to keep us on the hook but his masterly cultivation, confidence, and warmth...It is a pleasant way to stay put on a winter’s night...Likable though the stories themselves may be, the heart of this show is in their telling." Full Review

80
Theatre Reviews Limited

"The two short stories seem an odd choice: neither one seems appropriate for children; neither is particularly funny; and neither seems to capture the attention of the audience...What is spellbinding is Mr. Lithgow’s stories about his father (whom he adored) and how he influenced Lithgow’s life and career in the theatre. The craft of story-telling overshadows the choice of stories and the evening is enjoyable and memorable...John Lithgow is a joy to watch and a joy to listen to." Full Review

80
Village Voice

“The clarity and precision of Lithgow’s acting suggests that Sullivan has been vigilant in focusing the actor’s capabilities...Some spectators may feel that ‘Stories by Heart’ is overlong and too modest in scale, there is no denying how well Lithgow commands its 740-seat auditorium. It is a pleasure to witness Lithgow demonstrate his proficiency as an actor while honoring both his father and the power of the spoken word.” Full Review

80
The Huffington Post

“Lithgow’s someone who, it undeniably seems, would be great fun to have a cup of coffee and talk with...His irresistible affability that’s all but palpable throughout the two-act piece...Unmissably, he instantly wins hearts and minds because he arrives on John Lee Beatty’s simple wood-paneled set to chat about his upbringing...Lithgow’s movements—he makes sounds to duplicate scissors snipping—are clippingly directed by Sullivan...His masculine charm prevails throughout." Full Review

80
Center on the Aisle

"Even in a large Broadway house, its an extremely intimate evening with the brilliant Lithgow. He performs almost a dozen characters throughout both his stories. They’re people he has come to know like family. And although as an audience we inherently come to the theater for a good story, Lithgow reminds us that we also take them with us when we go. And a good one can become a part of our character, shaping us for generations to come." Full Review

80
Financial Times (UK)

"Lithgow first takes on the role of a gossipy Midwestern barber in Lardner’s 'Haircut'...Lithgow’s uncharacteristically subdued delivery, which befits Lardner’s dismal tone, further taxes our powers of concentration. What results is a scrupulous rendition that nonetheless seems to lack an extra theatrical dimension. No such quibbles pertain to Lithgow’s take on ‘Uncle Fred Flits By’...Wodehouse’s vaudevillian characters and winningly bizarre turns of phrase become ideal theatrical fodder." Full Review

80
British Theatre Guide

“Both very personal and universal. Lithgow frames two short stories...with two poignant excerpts drawn from his own history...Lithgow delivers a masterclass, while providing a worthy memorial to his parents in a quiet show that does exactly what his fans will expect. Quite how much of an impression it will make on those sitting at the back of the auditorium may be open to question but, in close-up, it is a unique opportunity to commune with an institution.” Full Review

80
The Huffington Post

"Lithgow poses a fundamental question to his audience when the show begins. Why do we tell and listen to stories? And by way of giving us an answer, his answer…he determinedly shows more than tells. Gratifyingly, his ‘Stories By Heart’ is written and staged with deceptive simplicity, and entirely avoids any air of the didactic...The small stretches of writing he has himself contributed are cannily woven around two classic short stories that he’s chosen to perform." Full Review

80
Newsday

“Heartwarming...Lithgow honors his father and mother with this sentimental look at his family’s past...Lithgow performs two stories. The first, ‘Haircut’ by Lardner...Using impressive mime skills, Lithgow portrays a barber...Far funnier is Wodehouse’s ‘Uncle Fred Flits By.’ Lithgow makes full use of his theatrical repertoire...Precious, to anyone who sees ‘Stories by Heart,’ is the loving way son has chosen to pay tribute to father.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

60
Great acting, Slow

See it if John is a good storyteller, I'm just not sure why he picked these stories. It picks up in Act 2, but overall a pretty slow night.

Don't see it if you are looking for something action packed.

65
Great acting, Intelligent, Indulgent, Slow

See it if You love John Lithgow and would see him read the telephone book.

Don't see it if You are expecting a more interesting play. His stories are interesting, but just overall very dry.

60
Boring, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you really want to see john lithgow on broadway.

Don't see it if you want to see a better one man show, go see springsteen.

70
Dizzying, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you are a fan of John and would like to hear him read and act out 2 childhood stores

Don't see it if if story telling will bore you

87
Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Great acting

See it if youre a fan of John Lithgow, want to love him even more and adore heartwarming stories about family and the power of what love can achieve

Don't see it if you do not like one man shows or storytelling like fables

84
Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Masterful, Entertaining

See it if This is both a captivatingly charming piece of fluff and a master class in acting; John Lithgow could not be more compelling or likeable

Don't see it if The personal, family stories that Lithgow tells to set the stage for the two stories he reads/enacts are better than either of them

71
Loved lithgow in "3rd rock from the sun"; great actor, great material; here great actor, not so great material

See it if Lithgow is masterful in acting out short stories by Ring Lardner and PG Wodehouse; Lardner story - light w/twist OK for the stage

Don't see it if Wodehouse's class-based humor is so old fashioned and obvious that Lithgow couldn't save it

75
Clever

See it if you like storytelling as an artform and/or Lithgow.

Don't see it if you don't like storytelling. Seriously, this is storytelling, not a play.

78
Enjoyable, Masterful acting, Lovely story-telling

See it if one of the best actors in the world superbly acting out two stories and giving an engaging glimpse into what made him a story teller

Don't see it if you want high emotion or amazing stories; the first story is somewhat weak, but perhaps nostalgic for those who grew up in 1950's America

68
Funny, Ambitious, Great acting, Indulgent, Cliched

See it if you love the histrionics of John Lithgow and stories

Don't see it if you don't like one man shows

75
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Entertaining, Touching

See it if Lithgow gives a masterful performance, acting out two stories that his father read to him as a child.

Don't see it if He chews the scenery a bit (a lot), and his first act barber became annoying after a while. I would have preferred more stories about him.

Also This was enjoyable, but not what I expected. I thought it was going to... Read more Read less

70
Ambitious, Delightful, Great acting, Endearing, Lacking

See it if you’re a fan of John Lithgow or would enjoy one man telling his childhood bedtime stories by portraying expressive multi characters.

Don't see it if you don’t like one man shows or story telling. Also if you’re expecting intimate personal stories or substantial broadway entertainment

Also It was heartfelt and endearing when Mr. Lithgow spoke of his parents a... Read more Read less

76
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you are a huge fan of John Lithgow and like to follow intricate stories

Don't see it if you can't follow complex plotlines or aren't a fan of PG Wodehouse or Ring Lardner

61
Indulgent, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You are a huge fan of John Lithgow and want to hear him perform a couple of stories close to his heart and anecdotal material

Don't see it if Lithgow has talent but this was an indulgent performance piece. Part of my Roundabout subscription so I went

65
Great acting, Indulgent, Disappointing, Overrated, Dated

See it if you are eager to see a fine actor even in a warmed-over untheatrical production.

Don't see it if you are expecting an evening of theater with a narrative arc.

Also The family reminiscences were more affecting than the storytelling. Sh... Read more Read less

79
Absorbing, Clever, Resonant, Slow, Entertaining

See it if Like short stories brought to life, are interested in family stories, like one man shows or John Lithgow

Don't see it if Want a musical or something with all the bells and whistles. You dislike one man shows or hearing stories told

64
Funny, Great acting, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you're a fan of John Lithgow and you like to see one man acting out two stories.

Don't see it if you like to see a play with a plot or a purpose.

78
Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You want to appreciate the skills of a master actor at work. He inhabits the characters in each story,using changes in body,face and voice.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of his work or do not care for one person shows. One story related in each act has personal relevance to him and his dad.

70
Great acting, Indulgent, Slow, Dull, Touching

See it if Similar to NPR's Selected Shorts, John Lithgow reads 2 short stories out loud. Best parts were the personal, heartfelt intros about his dad.

Don't see it if This wasn't my cup of tea; I was bored. Lithgow does an amazing job acting out the stories, but I found them dull, dated, not engaging.

70
Great acting, Slow, Nostalgic, Sweet

See it if you want to see a very charming John Lithgow. He is wonderful when speaking about his childhood memories of his father and family.

Don't see it if I would have preferred to hear more of his personal memories than having two stories read to him as a child, acted out on stage.

94
Funny, Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You like to hear great story telling from a great actor.

Don't see it if You don’t like one man shows.

74
Ambitious, Indulgent, Disappointing, Slow, Charming

See it if you really, really love John Lithgow.

Don't see it if you won’t enjoy the stories w/in the stories by Lardner & Wodehouse as much as you will the intros, Lithgow’s sweet homage to his parents.

Also The second act story from Wodehouse is much stronger, but by then I wa... Read more Read less

65
Ambitious, Great acting, Quirky, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you are a fan of John Lithgow. He is quite good. Its just him and his stories. To his credit, he is able to convey multiple characters well.

Don't see it if You are easily bored. It takes a lot of energy to try to not fall asleep in this one. Even with the great acting, the stories are dull.

30
Disappointing, Dull

See it if You want to see an undeniably talented actor deliver a few delicious minutes of personal anecdote.

Don't see it if You aren't interested in seeing the two dull, confusing stories that the play spends the majority of its time adapting.

60
Intelligent, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if you want to see John Lithgow live on stage

Don't see it if you don't have patience to sit through a show that could easily have 10-15 minutes cut from the first and second acts.



Cast & Creatives (10)