HAl Holbrook has channeled Mark Twain in his near-legendary one-man-show, Mark Twain TONIGHT, at every major theatrical venue across the globe and, by his own estimation, in over 2000 performances. He is, by all accounts, the nation's foremost authority on Mark Twain, America's most beloved humorist and author, and on March 1 he brings his highly acclaimed production to The McCallum Theatre. Mr. Holbrook is said to have accumulated over fourteen hours of material – stories and observations both comedic and dramatic – which he interchanges freely so that each and every performance is slightly different.
Mr. Holbrook was just a young man when he first began playing the elderly Mark Twain back in the early 1950's --- his first performance was at Lock Haven State Teacher's College in 1954 at just twenty-four years old. Ed Sullivan caught a performance and was so impressed with Holbrook's innate abilities that he gave him his first national exposure on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. Mark Twain TONIGHT opened off-Broadway in 1959 to great critical success and toured the nation for several years. In 1964 Holbrook played the role of The Major in Arthur Miller's "Incident at Vichy" and in 1964 he replaced Richard Kiley in the original Broadway production of "Man Of La Mancha". Mark Twain TONIGHT opened on Broadway in 1966 where Mr. Holbrook received both The Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Role. The stage production was taped for broadcast on CBS television and he received an Emmy Nomination for his performance.
Mr. Holbrook's film credits include Magnum Force, The Star Chamber, The Fog, Fletch Lives. All The President's Men, Capricorn One, The Firm and Into The Wild (2007) for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor which, at age 82, made him the oldest nominee in Academy history. His most recent film appearance was in the role of "Old Jacob Jankowski" in Water for Elephants, On television he regularly appeared on "Designing Women" with his late wife Dixie Carter, and in the role of Burt Reynolds' father on "Evening Shade." He has also appeared as a guest star in episodes of "The Sopranos," "NCIS," "The Event," "Sons of Anarchy" and "ER," among many others.
Mark Twain TONIGHT has been called a tour-de-force for Mr. Holbrook and a remarkable piece of theatre. The production runs at The McCallum Theatre on Thursday, March 1, at 8:00pm. Tickets are priced at $75, $65, $55 and $45 and are available by calling the McCallum Theatre Box Office at (760) 340-2787 or online at www.mccallumtheatre.com.