Thanks in large part to The Hartford Financial Service Group, Mark Twain will get the celebration he deserves.
April 21, 2010, is the 100th anniversary of the death of Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, the great writer and social critic who lived and wrote many of his greatest works in Hartford.
The Mark Twain House & Museum, the Hartford Stage Company, and other arts and cultural organizations are gearing up for a whole year of programs and events that will let us reflect on the life and work of Mr. Twain. What they needed was a major funder. The Hartford, which celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2010, stepped up.
Thanks to the company's generosity, the Year of Twain will begin on Jan. 23 with the incomparable Hal Holbrook performing his one-man show "Mark Twain Tonight!" at the University of Hartford's Lincoln Theater. Mr. Holbrook, a serious student of Mr. Twain's work, has developed the show over many decades.
In the months following Mr. Holbrook's appearance, there will be lectures, plays and other programs, including a world premiere adaptation of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" at Hartford Stage, "Tom Sawyer: A Chamber Opera" by the Hartford Opera Theater, and "The Prince and the Pauper" by the Hartford Children's Theatre.
Also, the Twain House and the Hartford Public Library are working together on the Big Read program, in which cities read and discuss a particular work. In Hartford, it will be "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer."
In all, courtesy of a company that was in business when Mr. Twain lived here, it will be a marvelous year for Mark. And if the state can come up with a little promotional money, perhaps we can tell the world.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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