If you ever wanted to spend a Saturday night watching Batman impersonate Mark Twain at a cemetery, here’s your chance. Val Kilmer will present his one-man play Citizen Twain, which he wrote, directed, and stars in as the legendary author, for a limited engagement at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Each performance will be followed by a Q&A session with Kilmer, whose previous theatrical experience includes an appearance as Moses in The Ten Commandments: The Spectacle Musical and a handful of Off-Broadway shows. There are eight performances scheduled over two weekends – March 23-25 and March 30-April 1 – for which you can purchase tickets online.
The production was conceived by Kilmer and, according to press notes, “delves into the heart and soul of Samuel Clemens and conjures forth the great spirit of Mark Twain, America’s greatest storyteller. Deeply entertaining, with great wit, song and prose, the play weaves Twain’s biographical themes into a play that proclaims and takes joy in the marvel of words, which, as Twain says in the play, ‘Form the ladder to my heaven.’ Storytelling was a lifeline for Twain, and in Kilmer’s Citizen Twain, this lifeline continues into and after Twain’s death, making it an appropriate choice to perform the show in The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.”
Both Twain’s work (namely The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which inspired the community theater staple Big River) and Twain himself are mainstays of the stage, with perhaps the most famous depiction of the author being Hal Holbrook’s one-man play Mark Twain Tonight!, which was first performed in the ‘50s and has since been continually performed by Holbrook on tour (and on Broadway in 1966, 1977 and 2005).