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|'An Evening With Mark Twain' coming to Gulf Shores|
February 1, 2014 - Gulf Shores, AL (GSA) – The South Baldwin Community Theatre in GulfShores will present "An Evening with Mark Twain" on Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 9 at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15 and $12 for students and can be purchased at South Baldwin Community Theatre online and at the theatre box office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. If available, tickets will also go on sale one hour before each performance. SBCT is located at 2022 West Second St. in Gulf Shores. For more information go to South Baldwin Community Theatre online or call 251-968-6721.
"An Evening with Mark Twain" is written and performed by Kurt Sutton and includes tall tales, stories and music from Mark Twain the way Samuel Clemens would have played him today.
Sutton uses authentic Clemens' era music, as Clemens often entertained family and dignitaries in his parlor by singing and playing guitar, banjo, piano and harmonica. Clemens would not have played music on stage, as his performance would have been perceived as a minstrel show.
Mark Twain on his stage tours in the 1890's was considered a distinguished author and humorist.
The audience will be pleasantly surprised to find that the music of his era, now called traditional music, provides an occasional opportunity in the show for a sing-a-long to highlight the wonderfully witty, humorous stories of Twain.
The dramatic pieces are right out of Twain's most famous books, including “Huckleberry Finn,” “Tom Sawyer” and “Roughing It.”
This show gives the audience a look at the man and the myth. By having Mark Twain and Samuel L. Clemens on stage at the same time, presenting the audience with the opportunity to enjoy music and sing along to music from Clemens time period, while enjoying Twain's hilarious tall tales and witty humor.
This intriguing approach to this American literary icon is very unique and results in a wonderful evening of theatre.
Sutton was born in Mannheim, Germany, immigrating to the United States in 1950. He grew up in Canton, Ga., graduating from the University of Georgia in 1968. He taught history for six years at Western Carolina University.
A business speaker, musician and entertainer for 30 years, he has appeared in the movies "Go Tell It on the Mountain" and "Night Shadows."
Appearing as Twain in a white suit, Sutton makes a comment regarding impromptu speeches, which are always the best.
"It takes me two-three weeks to put together a good impromptu speech," he says, displaying his legendary wit.
Act I focuses mostly on the author's reminiscences of his early life, punctuated with folksy old songs such as "Down in the Valley” and "Old Time Religion." Twain's storytelling style is turned into a theatrical enactment of the "Grandfather's Old Ram" story from Roughing It.
The second act includes a segment from “Huckleberry Finn” and a hilarious tale about the 70-year-old Twain learning to ride a bicycle mostly by falling off it in many different ways.
An able actor, Sutton has no trouble convincing us of his character's authenticity, and anyone who loves Twain's works will appreciate his efforts.