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MARK DAWIDZIAK <[log in to unmask]>
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MARK DAWIDZIAK <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 17:48:53 +0000
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Hal, even more remarkable is that the other Hal still is adding and changing the show. There are pieces like "Grandfather's Old Ram" that have stayed in the repertoire over the decades, but a chunk of what you saw in St. Louis was new. Hal has lost track of how much Twain material he has committed to memory and performed since 1954, but I think a good estimate at this point would be 18 hours. I've lost track of how many times I've seen "Mark Twain Tonight!" since the first encounter in 1975 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (about 15 times in various cities), but I know that I've never seen the same show twice.  

     On Monday, April 13, 2015 12:17 PM, Hal Bush <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

 Folks, in the spirit of the many reviews of Twain performance gracing our
list recently--

A brief review of MT Tonight, @ UMSL in St. Louis on Saturday April 11:

The show was spectacular.  I've actually never seen any one-person show,
and until Saturday had never seen Hal Holbrook's performance of MT

To cut to the chase:  it was spellbinding; and the talent to pull that off
is really off the charts.  Imagine doing that at 90!!  I hope you will all
recognize my gratitude and compliments to Hal.  It was very cool hearing
many famous passages delivered from a walking and talking near-version of

In particular I was mesmerized by Hal's use of the moments of silence --
including the Jim Blaine tale when the actor pretends to fall asleep.  The
way he takes on the character fully is really quite a spectacle.  The
audience seems uncertain what exactly is happening.  There is much laughter
as confused observers squirm in their seats.  The dramatization of Huck
Finn (the feud scenes with Grangerfords & Shepherdsons) was quite long but
extremely powerful.

All in all, I suspect I will remember the performance for a very long time,
and I am grateful I made the time and arrangements to see it.  Highly


Prof. Harold K. Bush
Professor of English
3800 Lindell
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO  63108
314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)