The Great Profile

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

BY AUSTIN BAER AND LAURA JACOBS

In the right hands, the one-actor play is an exhilarating form. Think back, if you will, to Julie Harris as Emily Dickinson in William Luce’s The Belle of Amherst. Or look forward, if you prefer, to Luce’s Barrymore. The Barrymore in question (you will recall that there were several) is the glamorous, driven John, impersonated by Christopher Plummer. The script depicts the aging thespian in the last year of his life, running lines from Richard III on an abandoned Broadway stage and confronting his demons. If Plummer is in customary form, his acting will hold in balance the canny, calculating flamboyance of yesteryear, the psychological acuity of the moderns, and the hip, cool detachment of today. Will he channel the “real” John Barrymore? Of course not. But probably no one today could get closer. Outof-town tryouts, announced for this spring, with a Broadway opening to follow, have been postponed. As we go to press, the best advice is to stay tuned. —A.B.