Congratulations to Hal!
Saw Hal perform "Mark Twain Tonight" at a Chicago Public school around 1958. My first experience watching a stage presentation. Didn't understand everything, but it made a lasting and positive impression. His show was great then, it's great today.
It was an honor for me to meet Hal in Elmira at your program presentation and I also feel fortunate to benefit from all the scholarly contributions.
I've never seen Hal look a day over 72.
PS - In my book, Hal is also a great teacher! Thank you for making a difference.
From: Mark Dawidziak <[log in to unmask]>
To: TWAIN-L <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wed, Mar 19, 2014 11:13 am
Subject: A round of applause, please
Today marks the 60th anniversary of "Mark Twain Tonight!" The very first
performance of this remarkable one-man show was on March 19, 1954, at
the State Teachers College in Lockhaven, Pennsylvania. At 89, the
amazing Hal Holbrook still regularly performs the show that he
constantly reshapes and revises to keep relevant.
Hal estimates that he has gone through about 16 hours of Twain
material during these 60 years. Since 1975, I've seen "Mark Twain
Tonight!" about 12 times, and I've never seen the same show twice. So, a
round of applause, please, for one of the greatest achievements in
theater history and one of the most important and influential slices of
Mark Twain scholarship. I long ago lost count of how many Twain scholars
and biographers have told me that they got fired up about Twain by
seeing this show performed live or when CBS broadcast it on March 6,
1967 (30 million people watched that night).
He always has been generous in crediting and celebrating the work
of Twain scholars. "You are the teachers," he told the assembled Twain
"family" in 2009. Let us be generous in recognizing how much his efforts
have meant to us.
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