Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Val Kilmer has appeared in dozens of films and television shows in his 30-year career, playing everyone from Batman to Jim Morrison to Moses. Now the actor has recently added Mark Twain to his repertoire, and is bringing the renowned author and humorist to life here in Fulton when he comes to deliver William Woods University’s commencement address in May.
Kilmer will bring his one-man show, “Citizen Twain,” to Dulany Auditorium May 1. The hour and 15 minute show will begin at 7 p.m. Kilmer will do a 15- to 30-minute question-and-answer session after his performance.
The production, which Kilmer has written and directed as well as starred in, brings us the inner musings of Mark Twain — real name Samuel Clemens — the author known for penning some of America’s most beloved works, including “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” Twain was also an avid political commentator, and was perhaps one of Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy’s most prominent critics. A Christian Scientist himself, Kilmer plans to bring their relationship to the silver screen in a biopic.
William Woods President Jahnae Barnett said that Kilmer was more than happy to bring his play to Fulton while he was in town for the commencement.
“It was his idea,” said Barnett. “He said he’d really like to perform ‘Citizen Twain,’ and I certainly didn’t pause at that. We welcome that, it’s a great opportunity for the William Woods community, but also for the whole Mid-Missouri community right here.”
“Citizen Twain” has only been performed a few times in Kilmer’s native Los Angeles. Barnett said he plans on bringing it further out west, but William Woods is its first stop. Kilmer requires two hours in the makeup chair for the show, during which he becomes almost unrecognizable.
“I know that he has done an awful lot of research and writing and reading, and has always been very interested in the genius of Mark Twain as well as his humor,” said Barnett. “His goal is to portray a little bit of his own interpretation of Mark Twain as well.”