Members say: Great acting, Disappointing, Slow, 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.

... Read more

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)
Weekends: 
$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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$59 - $79
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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

75
Variety

"Lithgow is the most personable of performers...The two stories are charming examples of the ones that his dramatically disposed father recited to his audience of spellbound children...'Haircut' is a deceptively folksy yarn...'Uncle Fred Flits By' is a typically droll Wodehouse story...It’s not a typical Broadway audience’s cup of tea. But it takes on richer meaning when Lithgow tells us that it was his father’s favorite story, and the one he read to his parents when they were old and ill." 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

45
The Hollywood Reporter

"Despite the performer's estimable talents, 'John Lithgow: Stories by Heart' smacks mainly of self-indulgence. The charms of Lithgow's chosen stories prove only intermittent...Ironically, the most resonant moments of come not from the stories Lithgow recites but rather the personal anecdotes he shares. However, those are not enough to compensate for the thinness of this gussied-up literary reading, which seems out of place in a large theater charging steep Broadway prices." 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

55
Theatermania

"Unfortunately, as a theatrical work, 'Stories by Heart' yields mixed results...Lithgow shows his exquisite acting talent as he becomes Lardner's gossipy barber. Yet halfway through, the story itself fails to grab hold with sufficient theatrical interest, and the performance loses steam...Despite Lithgow's acting prowess and the nostalgic appeal that 'Stories by Heart' promises, director Daniel Sullivan hasn't whipped things up enough to make the show into engaging theater." 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

45
The Guardian (UK)

"It is both a pleasure and a disappointment to find him doing something as aggressively ordinary as this...Why would a leading non-profit like the Roundabout devote a Broadway theater to something so humdrum?...Lithgow performs both ably, switching voices, postures and outsized facial expressions with ease. But that’s really the bare minimum for a successful single-actor, multi-character show...'Stories by Heart' is cozy and folksy, as affable and daring as a dish of vanilla ice cream." 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

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

75
DC Theatre Scene

"Lithgow doesn’t just read the two stories; he performs them, bringing to life each character using an impressive arsenal of voices, elastic facial expressions and other tricks of the acting trade...Lithgow’s well-told personal anecdotes are what provide much of the heart...As enjoyable as his spiced-up performance is, it sometimes had the effect of upstaging Wodehouse’s language. It’s true that many lines got terrific laughs, but some of Wodehouse’s wit is best appreciated on the page." Full Review

80
New York Theatre Guide

“An homage to his father and mother, to writing, and to storytelling itself...On this large stage a bit of nuance couldn’t hurt. I don’t know how much Sullivan was able to offer in the way of direction, but it seems as though he was outnumbered...Lithgow does his share of indicating rather than experiencing...In spite of the meandering performance in ‘Stories’, Lithgow himself is completely engaging." Full Review

80
Theatre's Leiter Side

“Lithgow's delectable performance deploys simple mannerisms, impeccable…accents and voices, and overt mugging...This is a character actor at the top of his form, his personal likeableness enhancing the appeal his long career has established...John Lithgow…doesn't always get the opportunity to use all the weapons in his arsenal. Even though the stories he tells in 'John Lithgow: Stories by Heart' are not precisely cream of the crop they serve ably to show what he's been hiding.” 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

60
AM New York

"As much as one can appreciate Lithgow’s elated and elastic theatricality, generous and open spirit and passionate advocacy for the arts, it is not easy to fall in love with the show — or even sit through it without zoning out...When Lithgow chats with the audience and talks about his parents and childhood, he is engaging and delightful. But then the fun stops and story time begins...Perhaps the show would work better in a smaller venue — or as an audiobook." 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

75
Front Row Center

“Lithgow takes on a variety of literary characters and takes time out to reveal himself...A relaxing, and tame, two hours. Lithgow is always colorful, but here he is coloring well within the lines...‘The Haircut’ is overly theatrical...Lithgow’s pantomime...overwhelms the storytelling...Lardner’s gritty story falls flat. ‘Uncle Fred Flits By’, on the other hand, is a totally enjoyable piece of escapism. Lithgow, transforms into ten different characters, including a young girl and a parrot." Full Review

45
Times Square Chronicles

"In both of these stories, the humans are into using others for their own mirth. I don’t find this funny, nor is it something I want to watch...The stories are masterfully told, but going back to Lithgow’s first question 'Why do all of us want to hear stories?,' the reason is to learn, to become emotionally connected and to be entertained, and I was none of these. I am a huge Lithgow fan, but I would rather see him take on a character and dig deep...than tell stories that hurt my heart." Full Review

70
Deadline

"Daniel Sullivan directed this long-developing show, and it’s fleet. But Lithgow isn’t well served by the design...As someone who loves the short story form, I know one reader’s Wodehouse is another’s I.L. Peretz, one reader’s Cheever is another’s Pynchon. Lithgow is deeply impressive in sharing two wildly different examples. I wasn’t sold on the first, but he had me at Pongo." Full Review

60
New York Daily News

"Most noteworthy is this Tony- and Emmy-winner’s easygoing charm, along with his talent for creating distinct voices and visages for characters...Lithgow’s show is personal and has heart. But it also has a weak pulse. Long story short: The two-hour piece, directed for the Roundabout by Daniel Sullivan, makes for a slim evening...The show was at its best between the works of fiction, when Lithgow revealed his own true heart and why stories became family treasures." Full Review

68
Front Mezz Junkies

“Sweet, engaging, sentimental, and charming...but also a bit too easy and dull on the ears, mind, and heart...This lovely performance celebrating the art of acting as well as paying homage to the beauty of storytelling almost put me to sleep with its soothing charm and pleasant wit. Lithgow glows with a comforting personality, sharp wit, and winning smile, but for this theater junkie, I guess I need a more compelling reason to turn up at a Broadway theatre.” Full Review

65
CurtainUp

"Lithgow is charming and a physically as well as vocally masterful storyteller...But whether two recreated remembrances of stories his father told to him at his siblings when they were young, is really a theatrical outing worth the high price of admission depends on whether you share Lithgow's enthusiasm for this type of storytelling...Admirable as Lithgow's morphing into the various personas is, I was much more engaged by his personal recollections." 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

55
Talkin' Broadway

"There is no doubt that 'Uncle Fred Flits By' is the raison d'être for the evening. It is the perfect marriage of story and performer, and it comes mighty close to justifying those aforementioned Broadway prices...Less successful is the Lardner piece that fills most of Act I...While the tidbits Lithgow shares about his family and his presentation of 'Uncle Fred Flits By' are decidedly entertaining, these are not enough to justify the evening." 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
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

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

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.

62
Great acting, Indulgent, Disappointing, Excruciating, Overrated

See it if you are a fan of John Lithgow, enjoy one person shows, enjoy lengthy short stories read out loud, appreciate a world gone by

Don't see it if you don't like 1-person shows with 1 set, no costume change & little movement, unexciting short stories, or Lithgow himself

Also If you are expecting Lithgow to be sharing stories and tales about his... Read more Read less

70
Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Tedious, Specific

See it if If you love John and are a fan of story telling. This show requires focus.

Don't see it if You have minimal patience or if you ate a big meal before attending. I love this actor but I was struggling to stay awake.

75
Clever, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if You want to witness a living legend telling stories in all his glory

Don't see it if You want a play with more than one person telling the stories.

85
Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you want a gentle, humorous evening at the theatre. Also, if you enjoy brilliant storytelling & are a fan of pre-grabby Lake Woebegone Days.

Don't see it if you want a lot of action on the stage or to see a big musical with lots of bells & whistles.

90
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Great acting

See it if you like stories--and why do you go to the theatre if you don't like stories?Lithgow gives a masterful performance. Set is perfect. Just go!

Don't see it if you want to see Jersey Boys or other pointless fluff.

81
Ambitious, Great acting, Masterful, Sweet, Sentimental

See it if Entire Lithgow toolbox is laid bare to masterful use in this two-story two-act play; touching context of his real-life parents

Don't see it if Choice of stories may be disappointing if you were expecting a full evening of slapstick 3rd Rock type humor

69
Ambitious, Great acting, Cliched, Overrated, Great staging

See it if You love John Lithgow.

Don't see it if If you are expecting a play that isn't about how good the performance is.

75
Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you love John Lithgow.

Don't see it if you don't like one man shows, especially John Lithgow.

90
Enchanting, Great acting, Masterful, Must see, Entertaining

See it if You are lucky enough to see a master performer like John Lithgow at the top of his craft. I was mesmerized.

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy listening to interesting stories, with all the parts acted out by John Lithgow.

78
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if You want an intimate evening. Some lovely stories about his family and growing up. Wonderfully acted out short stories. Unexpected, charming

Don't see it if You want a dishy, tell all, gossipy evening of theater stories. Not that kind of evening.

55
Boring, Disappointing, Labor of love, Brilliant physicality, Not the stories i thought there'd be

See it if You want to see a warm homage to his parents from a talented actor with both physical and vocal elasticity. It is a labor of love.

Don't see it if The stories are lost on those who don't share Lithgow's childhood memory of them being read to him by his Dad. "I guess you had to be there"

78
Funny, Great acting, Quirky, Refreshing, Touching

See it if you love John Lithgow, storytelling, and personal reminiscences put together into a quiet evening with enormous skill and dazzling technique

Don't see it if you want lots of high drama, if you dislike even a touch of sentimentality, or if you are unwilling to go along with an unusual concept.

85
Delightful, Great acting, Resonant, Romantic, Entertaining

See it if you love the theater and wonderful acting. This is a love story to his father and when he speaks of him it is profoundly moving simply swell

Don't see it if you need bells and whistles. This is acting in its most clean and honest presentation. Great stage business and funny second act story

85
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Charming, Old fashioned, Endearing

See it if you want to see a National Treasure in John Lithgow perform a one man show that is , for him, from the heart.

Don't see it if you are not a John Lithgow fan (Impossible!) or do not like old fashioned stories acted out in a one man show.

Also Examine the title. John Lithgow: Stories By Heart. OK...John Lithgow, ... Read more Read less

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Uneven

See it if want brilliant acting. Lithgow is a treasure. Uplifting evening of storytelling and celebration of a functional family.

Don't see it if want cutting edge stories. Chosen tales are old-fashioned and occasionally too slow.

87
Enchanting, Great acting, Resonant

See it if you like to hear John Lithgow's commanding voice and especially if you like stories that are well written.

Don't see it if you want a play with lots of people. It's quite a sentimental reflection on what shapes us.

65
Disappointing, Dated

See it if If you like John Lithgow

Don't see it if If you expect comedy.

70
Clever, Indulgent, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you want to see John Lithgow live. The second story/act is better than the first.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy a one-man show. This first story is long and slow.

65
Boring, Great acting, Indulgent, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You like one man shows with many characters

Don't see it if Boring pointless stories



Cast & Creatives (10)