Theatre Mirror Reviews - "An Evening with Mark Twain"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2005 by Tony Annicone

"An Evening with Mark Twain"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Mill River Dinner Theater's current show is "An Evening With Mark Twain" compiled by Hal Holbrook. The show is based on the many amazing talks, essays and novels he wrote during his career. Paul Lavallee tackles this enormous role under the direction of Chuck PetitBon and brings you back to Mark Twain near the end of his life in 1910. The two act show has six scenes in each act and it gives you the flavor of Twain's wit and humor, making an enjoyable evening of dinnertainment.

The scenes of the first act include the introduction, the dangers of Abstinence (concerning his not giving up smoking cigars) an encounter with an interviewer where Twain twists and turns his words all around, The Italian guide who he names Ferguson while giving him a hard time with his mispronouncing Columbus' name and Egyptian, too, the next scene is about the Bavarian King demanding encores in a long German opera and commanding real water be used for rain onstage and the closing of Act 1 is where Twain recounts his courting of his wife Livy. In the Second act Twain tells us why he wears a white suit, then recounts the tale of Huckleberry Finn while doing the voice of Pap Finn and Jim (where he tells the sad story of Jim's little girl being deaf and dumb, a ghost story, how he stole his name from a pilot on the Missippippi riverboat, how to be seventy and the closing where he tells how he came in with Halley's Comet in 1835 and will leave with it while having the most important thing a person can attain in life, the affection of others. Paul gets a well deserved hand at the close of the show and Staci Watkinson does a bang up job with her old age makeup to make this 30 something year old man into someone in their 70's. Kudos also to Chuck for the excellent before show dinner of 5 different entrees. I had the Chicken Cordon Bleu that just melted in my mouth as well small loaves of bread, all you can eat chicken vegetable soup, stringbeans and carrots and oven roasted sweet and red bliss potatoes with Italian seasonings and the delicious dessert for this show is an apple turnover in cream sauce. So for a trip back in time to enjoy early Americana through the eyes and words of the talented humorist, Mark Twain, be sure to catch "An Evening with Mark Twain".

"An Evening with Mark Twain" (15 - 22 January)
MILL RIVER DINNER THEATER
499 High Street, CENTRAL FALLS RI
1 (401)721-0909

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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