features + interviews

When John Lithgow Called, He Said Yes

[image 1] John Lithgow by Joan Marcus [reduced]

John Lithgow. Photo: Joan Marcus.

[Full article published in TDF Stages, January 11, 2018.]

How director Daniel Sullivan is helping the actor honor his father


Tony-winning director Daniel Sullivan is known for helming complex, multicharacter plays on Broadway, from sumptuous period pieces like last season’s revival of The Little Foxes, to new works by the likes of David Auburn, Donald Margulies, and David Lindsay-Abaire. So what’s he doing directing a very personal solo show? Oh, just helping his old pal, Tony- and Emmy-winning actor John Lithgow, pay tribute to his dad and the art of storytelling.

“It’s always fun to work with John,” says Sullivan, who has directed Lithgow in four other productions including The Columnist on Broadway and King Lear at the Public’s Shakespeare in the Park. “I love being around him and his energy and good spirit.”

A mix of family history and dramatic readings, John Lithgow: Stories by Heart was born in 2008 during a brief run directed by Jack O’Brien at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse Theater. Over the past decade, the actor has honed the piece by performing it all over the country, from 2,000-seat theatres to friends’ living rooms. With O’Brien busy rehearsing the upcoming Broadway revival of Carousel, Lithgow turned to Sullivan to help bring the show to Roundabout Theatre Company’s American Airlines Theatre, where it runs through March 4.

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