Nicknamed "The Great Profile," John Barrymore was one of the most acclaimed actors of his generation. His combination of good looks, natural charisma and stage-trained speaking voice helped him excel in light comic roles as well as in serious dramas. The only element Barrymore's makeup lacked was self-restraint; his love of wine, women and song eventually ruined him — but he played his hard fall for all it was worth. Now, more than 65 years after his death, John Barrymore makes the comeback he failed to achieve during his lifetime, as the Avalon Theatre Company presents John Luce's appropriately titled Barrymore. John Contini channels Barrymore on the eve of his last comeback attempt in 1942 — the year of his death — gabbing with the audience about the past glories, the female conquests, the scandalous hijinx and the plentiful drinks. Barrymore treads the boards once more at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (June 25 through July 12) at the ArtSpace at Crestwood Court (109 Crestwood Plaza, Crestwood; 314-351-6482 or www.avalontheatre.org). There is no performance on Saturday, July 4, but there are two shows on Sunday, July 5. Tickets are $24 to $28.
Thursdays-Sundays; Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: June 25. Continues through July 12, 2009