Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

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Great Lakes Theater Festival

Kathleen Cerveny and Patrick Zohn
John Lithgow-Stories by Heart)

Robyn Barrie and her sister, Jeanie Voss
(John Lithgow-Stories by Heart)

Natalie Epstein and Tim Pistell
(John Lithgow-Stories by Heart)

Charlie Fee, Audrey Watts and John Lithgow
(John Lithgow-Stories by Heart)

Great Lakes Theater Festival
“John Lithgow – Stories By Heart

    If anyone can ever revive the art of reading aloud, it will be John Lithgow, distinguished actor and alumnus of the Great Lakes Theater Festival who spent a weekend in Cleveland doing just that — reading aloud to hundreds of happy people.
    Actually, he started by reading and, actor that he is, morphed his stories into a one-man show playing the various characters. The 320 guests at the Saturday night benefit for GLTF were charmed with a P.G. Wodehouse classic called "Uncle Fred Flits By" which John”s father read to him and his siblings as children. On Sunday he presented a program to a packed Hanna Theatre.   
    Party guests enjoyed pre-show cocktails at the Hanna and the gracious Mr. Lithgow chatted with quite a few of them. "Oh, gosh, I think the last time I was in Cleveland was 1965," he told us. "I guess switching planes another time doesn”t count." He had spent the morning at the Cleveland Museum of Art which he pronounced, "so great." His father, along with Dorothy Teare, founded GLTF 49 years ago in Lakewood. "I think Dad came back 15 years ago." His father has since died but his mother is alive at 92.    
    The excellent buffet supper by Marigold Catering (the short ribs were a huge hit) was served across the street from the theater at Grays Armory where a splendid silent auction awaited the eager bidders who couldn”t stop tapping their toes to the music of the Bill March Band. Robyn Barrie chaired the event which added $100,000 to the GLTF coffers. STORY BY MARTHA TOWNS/PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN BASHIAN

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