Barrymore’s Ghost

by Jason Miller

November 3rd, 4th & 5th at 7:30pm

You’ll laugh, and you’ll cry as you are masterfully guided through triumphs and heartaches of legendary John Barrymore who is synonymous with American theatre and film, and of course, Hamlet.

When “Barrymore’s Ghost” landed in Jud Harmon’s hands shortly before he shipped out for deployment to Iraq it became the rock that got him through tough times. Having researched John Barrymore years earlier for the role in “I Hate Hamlet” it didn’t take long at all for him to identify with the ”Hollyweird” legend.

“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.

Jud masterfully guides the audience through each new topic. He is consistently engaging and entertaining, and uses his considerable skill to draw the audience into John Barrymore’s world.

In addition to having a scheduled performance, Jud held acting workshops at local high schools, and he was recently encouraged to hold an encore performance locally. In February, Jud traveled to The Rocky Mountain Theatre Association’s annual festival, where he performed and held a workshop for students, instructors and community theatre group leaders around the Rocky Mountain States.

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 bring an American Theatre icon to your stage!


Albany County Theatre presents
Barrymore’s Ghost

Click the PLAY button above to start the stream

  1. No Comments

Leave a Reply