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Tom Swenson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 13 Jun 2012 15:57:11 -0400
text/plain (48 lines)
At a terrible risk of getting hate mail, I want to share my very mixed  
feelings about this tour. I have seen Mr. Holbrook most recently in Las Vegas  
some five years ago. I am myself a Twain re-creator, and was at that  time 
therefore anticipating see a performer who for me had reached nearly  godly, 
mythical stature. I had seen him once before then, some 20 years  earlier.
I was very disappointed in the Las Vegas performance. As many other reviews 
 have pointed out, Mr. Holbrook's delivery had gotten to a point where 
large  sections were simply unintelligible. Mumbling, very strange inflections, 
I don't  know what the intent was, but it was not clear at all. Beyond that, 
the  performance was good, but not great by any measure. 
Despite that, when I read of the latest tour I said--  one last  time, let 
me trek to Peoria to see him. There were several reasons to go: A)  to see 
if this performance might be different and B) to see if there wasn't  still 
much to learn, and C) out of a deep sense of nostalgia.
Well, I guess the depths of my nostalgia are not that deep, because when I  
saw I would have to pay well over $100 per ticket for nose-bleed seats -- 
all of  a sudden 20 other things I could do with that $250 came immediately 
to mind. 
A side issue for me in the entire entertainment business is the greed  of 
performers at this level and the insanity of the fans to actually pay these  
I was about to say, Twain would have been outraged, but that would have to  
come with a qualification -- he would be outraged if the performer wasn't  
In a message dated 6/13/2012 2:42:21 P.M. Central Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

For your  viewing pleasure, here is the Mark Twain Tonight poster from his
first  (that I know about) visit to Phoenix in 1975. My memory isn't that
good - I  had to match the date to calendars from that era. The most fun
fact from  this is that the best seats (we bought two of them) were a
princely seven  dollars. It was an awesome night that I still remember
clearly. Went to  several more of his shows in Arizona before we moved east
in 1990. The most  memorable was a night that his material was colorful
enough that a couple  of Phoenix's genteel citizens walked out. Twain still
had the power to  offend. What better recommendation could you hope for as