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‘An Evening with Mark Twain’ opens Saturday

image“An Evening with Mark Twain” is a hilarious and insightful recreation of an actual lecture that the world-famous humorist and author would have given during his highly-acclaimed world tour culminating in 1905. 

Arts Alive will present New York actor Michael Mauldin in this theatrical tour-de-force at the Robinson/Olsson Auditorium in West Point on Saturday, January 30, at 7 p.m.

Mauldin undergoes an almost three-hour make-up transformation to achieve an uncanny likeness to the 70-year-old “Grand Old Man of American Letters.” Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Mark Twain grew up in Hannibal, Mississippi. He was a Mississippi riverboat pilot, gold digger, writer and investor. 

When Twain was 35, he married Olivia Langdon then later moved to Hartford, Conn., where he wrote “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” (1876), “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (1885), and other novels.

Mauldin initially spent three months researching and compiling the show in the Twain libraries of Hannibal and Hartford. He has toured the country several times over the course of the last 15 years, and his years of performing have given him a wealth of material to draw from, so that the material used in the performance constantly varies, much as Twain himself would have lectured at the turn-of-the-century. 

In his customary white suit and ever-present cigar, Mauldin as Twain takes us through a fascinating array of uproarious comedy, gentle reminiscence, biting social satire, and often dark commentary of the human condition. 

In addition to his five national tours, and countless appearances on university campuses across the country, Mauldin’s performance as Twain has been shown on PBS, and his show was adapted into a one-hour ABC special entitles, “Mark Twain: Sketches from Life.”

Tickets for this Saturday’s performance are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors (65 and over), and $10 for students. Tickets for this show are limited and reservations are available by phone at 843-3475 or email at . Tickets are also available at C&F Bank branches in West Point or at the door. Group rates are available at $15 each for groups of 10 or more. For more information, access the Arts Alive website at

Arts Alive gratefully acknowledges the sponsors that have helped make this performance possible:  Co-lead Sponsor C& F Bank and Gold Sponsor Pelligroup Inc., and business sponsors Eltham Auto Clinic and West Point Pharmacy.

Also being held this Saturday is the opening of the art exhibit “Photography Exhibit” at 6:30 p.m. The Visual Arts Committee of Arts Alive Inc. will exhibit works from talented local photographers until February 2 in the exhibit area at the auditorium. 

The 2009-10 season series continues on Saturday, April 24, at 7 p.m. with the “Canadian Tenors” featuring a mix of music and sounds from theatre, classical, operetta, and alternative world pop. Prior to this show, Arts Alive will offer a fund-raising catered dinner at the Van den Boogaard Hall at 5 p.m. for $25 each plus a cash bar.

posted 01.26.2010

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