June 10, 2012 |
The Complete Short Stories Mark Twain Introduction by Adam Gopnik Everyman's Library: 716 pp., $28 Mark Twain was on the lecture circuit for over three decades. He would take the stage feigning bemusement at discovering his audience and stand silently smoking one of the 30 cigars he would enjoy that day. He was a solitary performer working in dusty, drafty, dimly lit halls, sans audio equipment, Twain knew every trick to keep his audiences engaged. His delivery, emotion, intelligence and humor would bring crowds to their feet.
May 15, 2012 |
Ellen DeGeneres just landed a major honor in the form of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, while pal Ryan Seacrest landed something pretty cool himself: DeGeneres' Beverly Hills house. DeGeneres becomes the 15th comic superstar selected for the honor by the Kennedy Center, including original 1998 honoree Richard Pryor, Whoopi Goldberg, Tina Fey and Steve Martin. Ellen's "special brand of humor has allowed us to find hilarity in the mundane and has kept us laughing for years,” Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein said . "It's such an honor to receive the Mark Twain Prize," the talk show host said in a statement.
April 23, 2012 |
Mark Twain moved to Carson City, Nev., in the 1860s and fell in love with the area, though a campfire he built accidentally started a low-burning forest fire. The question of where exactly Twain camped on Lake Tahoe has inspired the Gatekeeper's Museum in Tahoe City to host the "Mark Twain Tahoe Mystery Public Festivity," featuring two authors with competing theories. The event takes place June 21 at the museum. Info: www . northtahoemuseums .org . . . . Airline industry consultant Robert Herbst says to expect a merger of American Airlines and US Airways in the next two years . Fresh out of their own bankruptcies, Delta and Northwest merged in 2008, he notes.
April 6, 2012 |
Few actors own a role the way Hal Holbrook owns Mark Twain. The Tony- and Emmy-winning actor, who recently turned 87, has played the humorist in his one-man stage play "Mark Twain Tonight!" since 1954, logging thousands of performances and many more miles traveling with the show. But longevity doesn't necessarily guarantee that you have an exclusive monopoly on a part. A relative newbie to the Twain game, Val Kilmer recently launched his own one-man play, "Citizen Twain," running in a workshop production at the Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever cemetery through Wednesday.
December 11, 2011 |
"Harold: The Boy Who Became Mark Twain" Hal Holbrook Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 468 pp., $30 Actor Hal Holbrook, still etching craggy characterizations at 86, recollects his difficult beginnings in "Harold: The Boy Who Became Mark Twain. " This is his version of "Act One," Moss Hart's irreplaceable theatrical autobiography tracing his climb from a hardscrabble boyhood in the Bronx to his first intoxicating whiff of Broadway success. But Holbrook's memoir, written as though he felt the need to offer a clerical hand for his entry in the Book of Life, is too ploddingly encyclopedic to become another classic of the genre.
October 27, 2011
BOOKS Celebrate the spooky season with three chilling adaptations of classic horror literature presented at an actual cemetery with Wicked Lit. Walk the hallowed burial grounds as three scary stories unfold around you: Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Body Snatcher," M.R. James' "Casting the Runes," and Mark Twain's "A Ghost Story. " Mountain View Mortuary and Cemetery, 2400 N. Marengo Ave., Altadena. Thu.-Mon. 8 p.m. and Nov. 2-Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. $39-$60. (818) 242-7910. http://www.wickedlit.org.
October 24, 2011
A roundup of entertainment headlines for Monday: "Paranormal Activity 3" spooks the competition and breaks records at the box office. ( Los Angeles Times ) Will Ferrell is honored with the Mark Twain Award for American Humor in a ceremony at the Kennedy Center. ( Los Angeles Times ) Janet Jackson reschedules her Australian tour so she can attend the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, who is accused of involuntary manslaughter in her brother Michael's death. ( Entertainment Weekly )
May 13, 2011
Will Ferrell, who honed his impression of President George W. Bush on "Saturday Night Live" and crossed over to make a career in movies, was named Thursday to receive the nation's top humor prize from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Ferrell will be honored Oct. 23 with the 14th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, an honor that previously has gone to Bill Cosby, Steve Martin and Tina Fey, among others. Ferrell starred for seven seasons on "Saturday Night Live.
February 8, 2011
BOOKS Peggy Orenstein and Lori Gottlieb The Writers Bloc reading series invites author Orenstein to discuss her work, including her new book, "Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture," which examines the troubling side of female youth culture. Gottlieb, a writer on women and relationships and the author of "Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough," will join the Writers Bloc conversation. MGM Tower , 10250 Constellation Blvd.
January 8, 2011 |
It's been a tough week for the arts in academia. Nationally, more than a few jaws dropped over Auburn University professor Alan Gribben's plans to publish new editions of Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" with the words "nigger" and "Injun" excised from the texts so as not to offend readers. The offensive idiocy of vandalism masquerading as sensitivity need not be belabored here. Suffice to say that this is one of those ideas so utterly and breathtakingly off the mark that it isn't even wrong.