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Albany County Theater Presents Barrymore’s Ghost

(Courtesy AlbanyCountyTheatre.org)

The Albany County Theater has several shows coming up soon, the first being Barrymore’s Ghost. The show kicks off on November 3rd at 7:30 PM and plays nightly through November 5th at the same time. You can purchase tickets for the show online or at the Albany County Theater Box Office in the Civic Center; tickets are $12 a piece and there is a $2 discount for students, seniors, and the military. Here is a little more about the play:I was unaware that John Barrymore was the first box office star as well as the first movie star. Barrymore’s Ghost takes you through the triumphs and heartaches of legendary John Barrymore who is synonymous with American theatre and film.

“Barrymore’s Ghost” is the bittersweet tale of John Barrymore, a larger than life actor, but also a flawed human.  Not only was he the first box office star, but he was also the first nationally known movie star. And it is widely recognized that he was the first of his kind to grapple with national fame, and all its trappings.

John Barrymore is haunting the local stage as penance for squandering his talent.  Once he realizes there is an audience in the darkened house he begins the tale that explores his own life.  He candidly talks about his marriages (or bus accidents as he calls them), his relationships with his famous siblings Ethel and Lionel Barrymore, and his penchant for being prickly to directors, co-stars and even loyal fans.  He talks about his most famous accomplishment of playing Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and his list of early American Films both silent and “talkie”.

John Barrymore was well known for his drinking, womanizing and outlandish behavior in and out of the spotlight.  He describes his “castle” and his opulent lifestyle without apology but certainly with a self-reflective question as to why.  The questions he has about the way he lived are ones we all have at some time in our life and thus the character is endearing.

Even if you don’t know who John Barrymore was you’ll find yourself being captivated by his story.  The script is witty, sardonic and beautiful in its language and the performance is riveting.  Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the story of an American Theatre icon on stage!

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