Nigel Reed Returns to Rep Stage as Barrymore

Oct 10, 2011

Rep Stage, the professional Equity theatre in residence at Howard Community College (HCC), continues its 19th season with William Luce's "Barrymore," directed by Steven Carpenter ("Hysteria," "Mrs. Farnsworth"). The faded glamour of the 1940s theatre comes to life as Rep Stage favorite and Helen Hayes Award-winning actor Nigel Reed ("Travels With My Aunt," "Mrs. Warren's Profession," "The Judas Kiss") reunites with the director of 2008's "Trumbo: Red, White, and Blacklisted" to portray stage legend John Barrymore as he rehearses a comeback performance of his triumphal "Richard III." Mr. Reed delivers a comedic yet haunting portrayal of the acclaimed stage and screen actor from the legendary Barrymore family, icons of the American Theatre. "Barrymore" opens October 26 and runs through November 13, 2011 in the Smith Theatre of the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center (HVPA) on the campus of HCC.

Michael Stebbins, Rep Stage's producing artistic director, chose "Barrymore" with Nigel Reed in mind. "I've had 'Barrymore' on my 'list' for a number of years," says Stebbins. "I was front row center when Christopher Plummer performed the role on Broadway and I've never forgotten the experience. A couple of years ago, while vising New York City, I was talking with a fellow director who also wanted to produce 'Barrymore.' He said, 'You can't do 'Barrymore' without an actor capable of 'being Barrymore.'' I told my friend that I had a Barrymore in the form of actor Nigel Reed. He replied, 'You most certainly do,' as he had directed both Nigel and myself in Rep's production of 'Mrs. Warren's Profession' a few seasons ago. I spoke to Nigel about it, and he was sold on it. And, since Nigel worked with director Steven Carpenter so beautifully on Rep's 'Trumbo: Red, White and Blacklisted,' I thought this would be an ideal teaming. I hope audiences will be highly entertained and moved by this production."