The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 2, 2012

Film of Plummer as John Barrymore, documentary to be shown Dec. 11

For The Register-Herald


Greenbrier Valley Theatre announces a special event — for one night only, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. — a screening of the acclaimed film performance by Christopher Plummer in the fascinating role of John Barrymore, the extraordinary actor who ruined his life and eventually his talent through alcoholism.

Barrymore’s Hamlet was praised by Orson Welles, a theater genius himself, as “a man of genius who happened to be a prince … tender and virile and witty and dangerous.”

In the film, Barrymore is seen late in life, offstage preparing to play Richard III, and reminiscing about his life delivering songs, limericks, innuendoes and some truly powerful Shakespearean scenes.

The film of the play “Barrymore” is accompanied by a short documentary, “Backstage with Barrymore.”

Plummer won a Tony for this portrayal on Broadway, and discusses how it felt to win an Oscar last year, at the age of 82, ironically for his Best Supporting Actor role in the independent film “Beginners.”

Plummer has starred on Broadway, at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre in London, as well as in films.

Perhaps Plummer’s best-known film role was Capt. von Trapp, opposite Julie Andrews, in “The Sound of Music.”

“Barrymore” plays at Greenbrier Valley Theatre, 113 E. Washington St., in downtown Lewisburg. For tickets, contact GVT’s box office at 304-645-3838 or online at