“Until then I followed the River wherever it led. For me, it almost always led to laughter. Because power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution can all affect a colossal humbug. Push it a little. Crowd it a little. Move it a little century by century. But only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” —Mark Twain
MARK TWAIN’S LAST STAND
THE KRAINE THEATRE
85 EAST 4TH STREET
MAY 13-15 8 PM MAY 16 3 PM
MAY27-29 8 PM MAY 30 3 PM
The SPIRITS OF CHARLES DICKENS, ERNEST HEMINGWAY AND DOCTOR HUNTER S. THOMPSON have just seen MARK TWAIN’S LAST STAND, written and performed by ALAN KITTY at the Kraine Theatre in NYC and now are upstairs at the bar at KGB having cocktails.
Dickens: Mark Twain died on April 21, 1910…so there’s a whole hoot-nanny of Twain celebrations going on across the USA …is that what you Americans would say by the way? A hoot-nanny of celebrations?
Hemingway: You’re asking me?
Thompson: Bad Craziness. Bartender….Wild Turkey. For these dudes. I’ll have a protein shake.
Bartender: We don’t have any protein shakes guy….this is what’s left of the East Village.
Dickens: I spoke a lot publicly, probably influenced Twain, and I know Hunter spoke publicly a lot, probably influenced by Twain and me. One of the things that’s fascinating about this play is that, in it, Twain considers himself to be mainly a speaker. He was a consummate professional, and he probably banked more speaking and appearing than doing anything else. So I REALLY wanted to see this show…because, thanks to writer and actor Alan Kitty, you’re pretty much able to see exactly how Twain lectured and told stories to audiences around the country and in my native England.
Hemingway: He was a tremendous visual stylist obviously, one of the first great American show business icons…maybe the first genuine non-political American icon, period. Kitty’s easiness in doing Twain…his application of Twain’s eloquent philosophizing to modern ideas …the sheer force of the believability of what he’s dong….he becomes even more believable in profile…heading back to the lectern to see where he is in his lecture….really makes the experience just phenomenal for the theater-goer. You are in front of one of the greatest speakers and story tellers in history, and Kitty has fun applying that to modernity…commenting as Twain on modern affairs, opening with Twain announcing his candidacy for the 2012 presidency, later that he’s already dead…and that half of congress plays dead…if they were actually dead they’d perhaps be more effective.
Dickens: An idea I think we can all relate to. My backlist does better today that I could have possibly imagined.
Thompson: Here here.
Dickens: The show, my dear fellows, is filled with Twain’s own witticisms …and Kitty’s adaptation of his criticism of modern events…you are hypnotized by it. Deeply drawn in by this fabulously creative re-creation of one of history’s greatest storytellers. You learn a great deal about Twain. You hear about his relationships with his children and his wife, about how he was paid as a writer (by the word…so he learned how to write using primarily short words) and his ability to adapt to the road and to life as if it were the river…ever changing…as life most certainly is.
Thompson: And all I did was snort coke on stage and grunt at Northwestern University for 8 grand and that was in the seventies….you do the math. This guy was the premiere writer and speaker of his age…and truly one of history’s great personalities.
Dickens: Because of Kitty’s creativity and his downright extreme excellence in portraying Twain, the show is a bonafide theatrical event. Hunter, Earnest, and I are giving n in 6 thumbs up.
Thompson: Cheers, baby.
Thompson downs a shot of Wild Turkey and shoots a whiskey bottle off the the bar….
Dickens: Em… I think you should work style old chap.
Thompson: Yeah? How well did you do when you played Northwestern University, dude?
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