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  • I caught only the last hour of this play taped for PBS. This play is well written and somewhat outdated but it displays the enormous, beautiful talent of Dame Rosemary Harris (She's not damed yet but she should be)she's beautiful and very talented. She's one of the great divas of the theatre overall. Then there is Eva LaGallienne who is one of the great acting divas of all time. Eva and Rosemary should have earned Emmys for their roles as mother and daughter. They were totally into characters. It's worth $30 to order it now. It wasn't until I recently read more about Eva LaGallienne who should have had more roles in her lifetime that brought her fame and happiness. She was respected for her caliber in the theater but it never transferred to film or television because of her sexual orientation. She never denied who she was attracted too and she should be remembered that the true passion of her life was truly the stage. That's how I will remember Eva's legacy is that the stage is where she belonged most.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I know that's true because I happened to see the play produced on stage by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland recently. It's no secret that this excellent family drama was suggested by the antics, tribulations and frantic life of the Barrymore clan of thespians. Lionel isn't included for some reason, but the rest of them are all there, agonising about not getting parts, planning an extensive tour even at advanced age, frantically escaping to Europe to avoid lawsuits, and planning to leave the stage to get married. One of them does, the youngest, but obviously regrets it later on. Another plans to marry, but at the end she obviously isn't going to.

    The principal people we see beyond in-laws and such are the matriarch played by Eva LeGallienne, "Julie", who presumably represents Ethel Barrymore, played exquisitely by Rosemary Harris, and the daughter of "Julie", limned rather petulantly by Mary Layne. Rosemary doesn't much resemble Ethel, but when we come to "Tony" we get a surprise. He looks one heck of a lot like John Barrymore, and acts like him, too. Pay attention to the scene near the end when "Julie" realises the big business tycoon she plans to marry is a shallow nincompoop aside from business. That settles it, she stays in the theatre. Don't worry that this looks like a filmed play. That's what it is. The set used in the Ashland production looks almost exactly like the one in this made-for-TV filming. It's a lot of fun.