Onstage: Mark Twain Tonight

Hal Holbrook has been playing 19th-century American writer Mark Twain for 50 more than years. At the age of 84, he’s actually 10 years older than Twain was when he died in 1910. So in a sense, he’s played the colorful and opinionated novelist, essayist a

Hal Holbrook has been playing 19th-century American writer Mark Twain for 50 more than years. At the age of 84, he’s actually 10 years older than Twain was when he died in 1910. So in a sense, he’s played the colorful and opinionated novelist, essayist and lecturer longer than the original act. Despite his age (not to mention the fact that he’s personified Twain more than 2,100 times), Holbrook has shown no sign of slowing down: He recently won a 2009 Academy Award for his featured role in the film Into the Wild. But it’s undoubtedly as Mark Twain that Holbrook will be remembered. With more than 16 hours of Twain’s material at his command, he edits and changes his performances in response to the events of the moment. That makes him all the more like the original, fresh and timely, and it also means that even if you’ve seen Holbrook play Twain before, you’ll be seeing something fresh and new this time around. Twain once quipped that a classic is “a book which people praise and don’t read.” Hal Holbrook’s Mark Twain Tonight is a classic — both in the praise it’s received and the number of people who have experienced it. Don’t miss this chance to see him at the Aronoff Center. His appearance is for just one evening. $25-45. Get tickets and find nearby bars and restaurants here.

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