Favorite Installation Artists

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mark Twain Tonight!

Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain

In fact, Hal Holbrook is so good, he is Mark Twain.  It is as close as any of us will ever get to the man, so expertly is he portrayed.  I could imagine myself seeing the great orator himself, calmly walking across the stage, cigar in hand, blue eyes twinkling, a smile at the corners of his lips.  His acerbic wit and gentle humor is as topical today as it was over 150 years ago. 

Hal Holbrook walked onstage to a chair and table with a water pitcher, glass and ashtray in front of a packed house that soared two balcony levels to the ceiling.  For two hours, he held us captive by sheer force of his acting talent.  So entralled was the audience that you really could have heard the proverbial pin drop. 

Mr. Holbrook is 85 years old.  His voice has some telltale quavers.  But once he got going, his voice thundered and soared to the rafters.  He never missed a beat.  This is a man at the top of his game, totally in control of his material and his audience.   If you get the chance, don't miss this.  It is a performace of a lifetime. 

I first saw Hal Holbrook in a television special called "Mark Twain Tonight!"  It is still available by calling 1-800-458-5887.  If you like Mark Twain, you won't be disappointed in the video.

It's just him.  No music.  As he says..."a trombone player was engaged, but is unreliable and should not be expected".


  1. what an evening this must have been! i saw him as mark twain years ago and i remember it vividly.

    boy i wish i had this sense of humor when the road gets rocky!

    ps dearest linda, i couldn't comment on the previous post because the picture upset me so much.

    psss happy valentine's day ♥ from me.

  2. kj,

    Hal Holbrook is a treasure, for sure.

    I know, it gives me nightmares to think this is even contemplated in a free speech society. I think it's like yelling "fire" in a theater. It serves no purpose other than spreading destruction and hate.

  3. Susie of Arabia sent a comment with her email (which I treasure!). I can't figure out how to edit a comment and don't want the email published so I'm retyping it here, w/o the email info.

    "Hi Linda! First of all, thanks for the lovely comment you left on my blog - it made my day! I've always loved Hal Holbrook. I just watched "Into the Wild" and he was so good. He is such a likable actor. I love all your Arizona photos. I really miss Arizona. I usually visit in the summer. Maybe we could meet?! I met three other bloggers last summer and it was the coolest thing.

  4. Susie!

    I would love to meet you! I'll send you the info and we can trade times and places if you get to come out West this year again. I would imagine the temps here in the summer would feel pretty familiar!