November 6, 2015 |
Hearing the words of Mark Twain, Frederick Douglass, and Ulysses S. Grant come to life is a privilege and a pleasure. The same goes for interviewing the actors who portray these three American icons onstage. "I hope we do more than entertain people," says longtime Twain actor Rick Bonnette. He's the author of two literate, witty, and affecting plays in which he will appear, separately, with Leon Morgan as Douglass and Richard Gross as Grant. "When you pick three towering figures to write about," Bonnette says, "you've got an opportunity to say something.
February 1, 2015 |
In Act II Playhouse's Mark Twain Unplugged , Tom Teti, as Twain, remarks, "The works of fine literature are like wine; mine are like water. But everybody drinks water. " Much beloved, oft-quoted, occasionally banned, with a history as colorful as his characters, the author makes an excellent, lively subject for a solo show. Unfortunately, this isn't that show. Teti, who also wrote the script and appeared in a 2012 People's Light and Theatre production as Twain, dons the white linen suit, white hair and iconic droopy moustache again here.
August 23, 2013 |
MICHAEL VICK and DeSean Jackson did something after practice yesterday that they rarely did in the 4 years they played together under Andy Reid. They watched film together. No, they didn't sneak out of the NovaCare Complex to go watch "Kick-Ass 2" or "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. " They found a quiet room and reviewed some defensive video of the Eagles' third preseason opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars. While watching film is mandatory for a quarterback, it's never been high on Jackson's list of priorities.
April 24, 2013
By Tobias Peter Terrorism is like cancer. If you've ever suffered from it, there are things you remember. Like the fear of dying. And the fear that it can always return - even after years of remission. It leaves scars, like the ones left after the attacks on New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001, which left more than a few scratches on the great American soul. After last week's attack on the Boston Marathon, the angst is back. However, while America might be more vulnerable than other nations, it is also psychologically stronger than many of them - both for exactly the same reason.
March 1, 2013
HOLY SEQUESTRATION, BATMAN! Calm down, Robin. It arrives today, a Death Star launched by leaders of the Planet of the Apes, a/k/a Congress, described by Mark Twain as "the smallest minds and the selfishest souls and the cowardliest hearts that God makes. " Sequestration supposedly is so deadly a doomsday device that rational people would not let it happen - but who says Congress is rational? Mark Twain again: "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress.
October 24, 2012 |
ELLEN DeGENERES was hailed as a trailblazer Monday night as she received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center, in Washington. The show will be broadcast Oct. 30 on PBS stations. When DeGeneres first heard that she was receiving the same honor that Bill Cosby , Tina Fey and Will Ferrell won in recent years, she joked, "It really makes me wonder . . . why didn't I get this sooner?" More than just 'Avatar' Deep-sea explorer James Cameron has come up from beneath the sea. The director of "Aliens," "Terminator 2," "Titanic" and "Avatar," has picked up movie rights to The Informationist , a novel by Taylor Stevens , whose main female character has been compared with Lisbeth Salander, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
October 16, 2012 |
On the speaking circuit of 19th-century America, no one commanded greater audiences than Mark Twain. The author of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer crisscrossed the country, reading his books to sold-out crowds. Wendy Bable's Mark Twain: Sacred Cows Make the Best Hamburgers builds on this. She sets her play in 1904, the self-proclaimed last lecture of Twain's first annual final farewell tour. This sets the tone for the evening: a bit whimsical, with a hint of Twain's sardonic, bubble-bursting humor.
May 17, 2012 |
IT'S BEEN QUITE a week for gays: "The New Normal" was picked up by NBC; the "E! True Hollywood Story" for Joan and Melissa Rivers aired on Mother's Day; the president came out in favor of gay marriage; and Ellen DeGeneres was named the winner of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Ellen is being honored for her stand-up work, daytime show, activism and books. According to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in D.C., recipients of the Mark Twain Prize are "people who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th-century novelist and essayist Samuel Clemens.
April 27, 2012 |
The House's passage last week of the Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act might have provoked scathing mockery from Twain himself that we can only imagine. Beyond his likely bemusement at the tribute, Twain probably would have scorned its enactment by a Congress so broken by partisanship as to be unable to address more serious matters. Twain — who once suggested that coins should read "Within certain judicious limitations, we trust in God" — would have been tickled to see his face engraved on currency.
March 20, 2011
1. h. Henry David Thoreau. 2. c. Mark Twain. 3. j. Rainer Maria Rilke. 4. i. Pablo Neruda. 5. a. Langston Hughes. 6. b. Emily Dickinson. 7. f. Margaret Atwood. 8. g. Nadine Stair. 9. d. Pam Brown. 10. e. Bern Williams.