‘Mark Twain’ Coming to TAMIU Jan. 31
Posted: 1/24/13

‘Mark Twain Tonight’ Coming to
TAMIU Thursday, Jan. 31

Hal HolbrookThe world of America’s beloved author and humorist Mark Twain will come to life in a special performance of  “Mark Twain Tonight!”  starring veteran American actor of stage and screen Hal Holbrook on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. at the Texas A&M International University Center for the Fine and Performing Arts’ Recital Hall.

The performance is part of the University’s 2013-14 A. R. Sanchez Sr. Lecture Series.  Tickets are free of charge and are available from the TAMIU Office for Institutional Advancement in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library or by calling 956.326.4483. Limited public seating is available.

“Mark Twain Tonight!” is a one-man play devised by Hal Holbrook, in which he depicts Mark Twain giving a dramatic recitation selected from several of his (Twain's) writings, with an emphasis on the comic ones. However, a lengthy excerpt from “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is always included.

Holbrook, who currently can be seen in Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed “Lincoln” and Gus Van Sant’s just-released “Promised Land,” has performed the one-man show as Mark Twain since 1954.

According to Playbill, Holbrook's first solo performance as Twain was at Lock Haven State Teachers College in Pennsylvania in 1954. Ed Sullivan saw him and gave Holbrook his first national exposure on his Feb. 12, 1956, show.

In 1967, “Mark Twain Tonight” was presented on television by CBS and Xerox, and Holbrook received an Emmy for his performance. Holbrook's Twain first played on Broadway in 1966, and again in 1977 and 2005; Holbrook was 80 years old during his most recent Broadway run, older (for the first time) than the character he was portraying. He won a Tony Award for the performance in 1966.

“Mark Twain Tonight” has repeatedly toured the country in what as of 2005 had amounted to over 2000 performances. He has portrayed Twain longer than Samuel Langhorne Clemens did.

Holbrook appeared in Sean Penn's critically acclaimed film “Into the Wild” (2007) and received an Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role at the 80th Academy Awards. This renders Holbrook, at age 82, the oldest nominee in Academy Award history in the Best Supporting Actor category.

In addition to “Lincoln,” and “Promised Land,”  Holbrook appeared in “Water for Elephants” (2011).

The A.R. Sánchez Distinguished Lecture Series honors Antonio R. Sánchez Sr. (1916-1992). After 20 years as the owner of an office equipment business, Sánchez in the 1960s began buying oil and gas leases and used his earnings to establish a bank. In 1974, Sánchez and his son, A.R. Sánchez Jr., along with geologist Brian O'Brien, established the Sánchez-O'Brien Oil and Gas Corporation. The same year the father and son team discovered the largest natural gas field (Webb and Zapata Counties) to that point in history.

Under his leadership as chairman, the International Bank of Commerce grew to become the International Bancshares Corporation, with banks in Laredo, Zapata, Houston, San Antonio, the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and the Gulf Coast. Today, the bank employs more Hispanic men and women in leadership positions than all other Texas banks combined.

A.R. Sánchez Sr. is best remembered in Laredo for his philanthropic efforts. Known for his work ethic and generosity, he was a major crusader for a four-year University in Laredo and a supporter of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. He was also a legendary Texas entrepreneur with a down-to-earth sense of humor.

This lecture series is presented through the vision and generosity of Mr. and Mrs. A.R. Sánchez Jr.

For further information on the A.R. Sánchez Distinguished Lecture Series, please contact the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at 326-2460 or visit offices located in the Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center, room 301.

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