Mark Twain, arguably the most celebrated American Humorist of all time, has long been a favorite author of mine. I even made a pilgrimage to his boyhood home in Hannibal, Missouri, a few years ago. There I attended a Mark Twain lecture/show, and was enthralled by the depth of the actor’s knowledge and portrayal.
Last weekend I attended another delightful show, “Mark Twain Out West,” at the Netel Grange, just a few miles south of Astoria, Oregon. Grange Master Joseph Stevenson wrote and directed the performance, which included live music intermixed with Twain’s stories from the book “Roughing It,” published in 1872.
Twain was quite the character, and his stories still make us laugh. Many of my former students will undoubtedly remember my interpretive reading of “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” Mark Erickson, as Twain, did an excellent job of infusing all 14 stories he told with the wry wit, energy, and enthusiasm they deserve.
There are three more opportunities to see this entertaining show. Friday and Saturday, October 22 and 23 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, October 24 at 2:00. Tickets are just $10, and for almost three hours of down home country fun, you just can’t beat it!