I had the pleasure of attending Mark Twain Tonight every decade since the 1950’s. Perhaps the most memorable was at the Warner Theatre in Washington DC right after the invasion of Iraq. The DC audience roared with laughter as he assailed corruption and dysfunction in Congress and sat in stone silence as he described unjust wars. That evening incentivized me to write a book on Mark Twain and politics which illustrated, as Holbrook did so consistently, Mark Twain’s continuing relevance.
I once chatted with Holbrook after a production of the Merchant of Venice. He said he learned about the evils of discrimination by reading Huckleberry Finn as he made the role of Shylock into a teaching experience of the evil of anti-semitism.
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> On Feb 2, 2021, at 8:41 AM, John R. Pascal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> [EXTERNAL MESSAGE]
> https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/02/theater/hal-holbrook-dead.html?action=click&module=News&pgtype=Homepage <https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/02/theater/hal-holbrook-dead.html?action=click&module=News&pgtype=Homepage>
> Thank God six classes of The Writings of Mark Twain got to know him. One class got to meet him.
> Future classes will continue to study and appreciate him.
> John R. Pascal, M.B.A., M.A.
> Teacher of 9th, 11th Grade English Honors, & The Writings of Mark Twain Honors
> Seton Hall Preparatory School
> Contributing Author to Mark Twain and Youth