Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review of "In Spite of Myself - A Memoir" by Christopher Plummer: A Very Literary Look At a Luminous Career

I have long been a fan of Christopher Plummer.  I think I first became aware of him in the role of Baron Von Trapp in the iconic film adaptation of "The Sound of Music."  I really got to appreciate his work when I saw him multiple times in the musical version of Cyrano de Bergerac, which played at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis before opening on Broadway.  He was brilliant as Cyrano, and I was sad that the show did not have a longer run on Broadway.  I also got to see him as Iago opposite James Earl Jones in "Othello" when it played in Boston.  Two titans on the same stage.

"In Spite of Myself - A Memoir" takes the reader through a very self-aware journey beginning with Plummer's privileged upbringing in Canada,  He is very candid in looking at decisions he has made in his life, his struggles with alcohol and relationships.  The anecdotes he shares of encounters with stars of stage and screen are tantalizing and titillating.  There are enough inside-Hollywood stories to keep a gossip columnist occupied for many months.

Having appreciated the artist for many decades, I now have a deeper appreciation for the personal wells from which Mr. Plummer has drawn to create the memorable characters that he has played with such aplomb.  His writing style is lucid and literary, and a delight to read.



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