I mean, let’s be real. You can’t really go wrong with John Lithgow. He fairly oozes with smarts and debonair charm, whether he’s playing a con man or an alien, or narrating a PBS documentary about embryonic development.
In The Columnist, Lithgow plays a flamboyant writer grappling with the changing of the journalistic guard in the 1960s. The play itself is no easy jaunt. David Auburn’s words (and words, and words) are so intricately layered and spun that they could, in lesser hands, leave the audience feeling a tad exhausted.
But dude, John Lithgow would not let that happen. In a career of crazy good performances, I love this one the best. Both petulant and vulnerable, his Joseph Alsop is also unfalteringly suave, even when he’s falling apart. It’s a hell of a performance.
Sure, John’s already won truckloads of awards, but here’s a new one to add to his collection: The Tony of our hearts. Maybe he’ll even keep it on the shelf right next to his real Tonys.