In Mark Twain Tonight!, Tony and Emmy Award-winning Hal Holbrook brings the famous author to life in an often comic, dramatic recitation of his writings. Holbrook began performing as Twain in 1954. In 1966, his second New York engagement won a Tony Award and a Drama Critics’ Circle Award followed by a CBS television special.
It all began as an honor’s project, focusing on Mark Twain at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. It has since turned into a beloved stage performance. Holbrook continues to perfect this performance, drawing upon his vast experience on the stage and screen. He has no set program — he chooses material as he goes along. There is an emphasis on Twain’s comedic material, and Holbrook always includes an excerpt from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Holbrook has since written two books about playing Mark Twain, the first was in 1968, entitled Mark Twain Tonight! An Actor’s Portrait and the second in 2011, titled Harold: The Boy Who Became Mark Twain.