This is a painting of my godfather / namesake, Larry O’Dwyer, and me. It’s called “STOP THE WORLD” after the musical “STOP THE WORLD I WANT TO GET OFF,” which was one of the first, if not the first, shows my mother and Larry did together in the late 1960s @theatrethree in Dallas.
Larry was one of the most important people in my early life (and beyond). The painting itself comes from a photograph taken of us in 1976 in the greenroom backstage.
Larry made people laugh till they cried and mad till they laughed. The theater, when it’s working in top form, is like a branch of lightening flashed across the stage, touching all, sparing nothing. He could cast it, ride it, extend it, double it, bend it, break it, show it or keep it, and break your heart with it too. He was a master showman, for a time a professor of theater at Bennington, an eventual member of the Baltimore Center Stage where he won the 2009 Helen Hayes Award for his role in THE FANTASTICS (which he’d taken on three days prior to opening due to another actor, um, not working out), and the dearest friend a “child” could ever have. Thank you to Larry O’Dwyer for saving my mind more than once and for being there in my earliest days when the music of Cole Porter, Russel Crouse and Howard Lindsay’s ANYTHING GOES went straight to my heart, and started my relationships with poetry and painting!