John Lithgow is a mighty fine actor, and an all-around decent fellow judging from two hours spent in his company at his solo show, “John Lithgow: Stories By Heart.” In the show, Lithgow proves to be a congenial host and raconteur, sharing literary enthusiasms and family anecdotes that invoke the feeling of a metaphorical fireside chat. All of this is diverting enough, but the evening itself doesn’t exactly catch fire.
The show began at the Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in 2008, after Lithgow had scripted the autobiographical musings and adapted the classic short stories that are the basis of the production. Lithgow has been presenting various versions around the country ever since. Now, with the steady guidance of veteran director Daniel Sullivan, Lithgow, who has a kind of revered elder statesman status in the acting community, has brought this divertissement to the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway.