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Mark Twain, Live!

a One Man Show
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Mark Twain, Bill Oberst, Jr.

COMPANY : ART Station Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : ART Station Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 4837

SHOWING : January 13, 2016 - January 17, 2016

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Twain said, "I like a good story well told, so I am forced to tell them myself." And so he does! Bill Oberst, Jr.’s Twain is irreverent, caustic, funny, and a slice of pure Americana. The evening’s selections are pulled from the deep well of Sam Clemens’ life in the public eye: the books, the speeches, the ludicrous stories of miraculous adventures, and the biting observations on humanity.


CAST & CREW LIST
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REVIEWS

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Mark Twain, Lite
by playgoer
Sunday, January 17, 2016
2.5
Bill Oberst, Jr. portrays a septuagenarian Mark Twain in ART Station’s "Mark Twain, Live!" His aged stoop and his sentences come with the same halting pace, which makes the evening seem long. It doesn’t help that one of the set pieces of the first act is a rambling anecdote of a storyteller who goes off on unrelated tangents, which seems to parallel the structure of the show as a whole.

The best parts of Mr. Oberst’s one-man show are when he performs excerpts from Twain’s works. A ghost story in the second act is remarkably well-told. An excerpt from "Huckleberry Finn" in the first act also holds interest. Aspects of Mark Twain’s biography are told in a rather slapdash manner, however, not giving a very full portrayal of the man. This is more "Mark Twain, Lite" than "Mark Twain, Live."

The action takes place on an attractive set that encompasses three areas: a table stage right, a bookcase stage left, and a columned white porch upstage, complete with rocking chair. Lighting highlights one area or another, depending on how the action flows. With the trim Mr. Oberst dressed all in white, this is a fairly elegant-looking production.

While Mr. Oberst is a fine actor, his Twain doesn’t have a twinkle in his eye. The humor is dry, and he doesn’t seem to have much rapport with the audience. It doesn’t help that the audience is much of Twain’s age when he’s doling out advice to a supposed group of young people. The show might work better pared down to an hour-long presentation for school audiences. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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