Actor Hal Holbrook has portrayed Mark Twain longer than Samuel Clemens did -- 57 years for Holbrook, who first performed a version of his one-man stage show as Twain in 1954, versus 47 years for Clemens. So it's not surprising that the white-wigged, mustachioed, sardonic, witty grandfatherly archetype Holbrook has brought to stages nationwide has become Twain in the imaginations of generations. Would the real Twain have approved? After all, essays and letters published only after Twain's death reveal a darker, angrier soul than suggested by the light gloss high school students receive (at least in those high schools where his books are permitted to be taught.) But Clemens also relished the life of raconteur and celebrity, so maybe the man who originated the character of Mark Twain would appreciate Holbrook's taking on the part. Those familiar with the author whose pen was “warmed up in hell” (from the title of a collection of Twain's short works) can judge for themselves as Holbrook brings Mark Twain Tonight! to the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets start at $38 and are available at tickets.attpac.org or by calling 214-880-0202.
Fri., Jan. 13, 8 p.m., 2012