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Style: Folsom | El Dorado Hills

Hal Holbrook In Mark Twain Tonight! in Folsom

Dec 17, 2015 01:15PM ● Published by David Norby

LEGENDARY ACTOR Hal Holbrook In Mark Twain Tonight!

A Living, Breathing, American Masterpiece at Harris Center 

(December 11, 2015 Folsom, CA) It is, quite simply, one of the most acclaimed and enduring performances in the history of theater. Fifty years ago, a young actor took the stage in a tiny Off-Broadway theater and introduced the world to a man they would never forget. The actor was Hal Holbrook and the man was Mark Twain. Now Harris Center audiences will be able to experience this legendary performer for themselves.

Having performed the show well over 2000 times, Holbrook knows Twain as well as he knows himself, bringing richness to the character far beyond the quoting of Twain’s most memorable lines. There's no word that suits Hal Holbrook better than 'legend.' The 89-year-old actor and veteran has a career stretching back sixty years, with 12 Emmy Award® nominations on television and over 40 feature films including Magnum Force, All the President’s Men, Wall Street, Water for Elephants, Lincoln and Sean Penn's Into The Wild, for which he received an Academy Award® nomination.

HAL HOLBROOK IN MARK TWAIN TONIGHT! performs on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at 7 pm, and Friday, January 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are priced at $39-$75, Premium $79; Children and Students with ID $25; 10% discount on Wednesday Evening Single Tickets. Tickets are available online at or from the Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from noon to 6 pm Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.

Hal Holbrook was born in Cleveland in 1925.  When he was two his mother disappeared, his father followed suit, and young Holbrook and his two sisters were raised by their grandfather in South Weymouth, Massachusetts where his people had settled in 1635.  He was sent away at the age of seven to one of the finer New England schools, beaten regularly by a Dickensian headmaster, and at twelve was sent to Culver Military Academy where he learned self-discipline and discovered acting as an escape from rigid authority.  He believes Culver saved his life.

After three years in World War II, Holbrook completed his college education at Denison University in Ohio, where the Mark Twain characterization grew out of an honors project which gave him and his young wife an immediate job after graduation, playing scenes from Shakespeare to Twain on the school assembly circuit in the Southwest.

His first solo appearance as Mark Twain was at the Lock Haven State Teachers College in Pennsylvania in 1954, a desperate alternative to selling hats or running elevators in New York to keep his young family alive.  When a radio and television soap opera, The Brighter Day, rescued them, Holbrook still pursued the Twain character in a Greenwich Village nightclub.  While doing the soap opera in the daytime, he developed his original two hours of material in the curve of a baby grand piano at night and Ed Sullivan caught his act.

The New York stage debut three years later was such a stunning success, he quit the soap; the State Department sent him on a tour of Europe where he was the first American dramatic attraction after World War II to appear behind the Iron Curtain.

Then he pursued a new career as himself, playing Shakespeare, Abe Lincoln in Illinois Off-Broadway, and booking Twain in between.  He joined the original Lincoln Center Repertory Company in New York and built a career as an actor in a variety of roles with no connection to Mark Twain – Man of La Mancha, King Lear, Shylock, Willy Loman onstage, and in more than 50 feature films.  He has no set program in Mark Twain Tonight!  It changes and evolves and he sometimes chooses the material he will do as the show goes along. 

Fifth Anniversary Season of Great Shows. Up Close. In Folsom! 

Now in its Fifth Anniversary Season, the Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College brings the community together to share in cultural experiences featuring the work of artists from throughout the region and around the world.  Built and operated by the Los Rios Community College District, the $50 million, state-of-the-art regional performing arts center boasts three intimate venues with outstanding acoustics, an art gallery, a recording studio, elegant teaching spaces, plenty of safe parking and all the other amenities of a world-class performing arts venue.  Each year the Center hosts over 400 events attracting more than 150,000 annually.  

Event Summary


When: Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at 7 pm 
Friday, January 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm 
Where: Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College
10 College Parkway
Folsom, CA 95630
Ticket Price:    $39-$75, Premium $79; Children and Students with ID $25 
10% discount on Wednesday Evening Single Tickets.

Tickets are available online at or from Harris Center Ticket Office at 

916-608-6888 from noon to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time.

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