Mark Twain imitator set for Tuesday show

Published 6:38 pm Friday, March 5, 2010

Crenshaw County is in for a big treat as actor Will Stutts prepares for his one-man performance of “Mark Twain’s America” next Tuesday evening, March 9, beginning at 6:30.

The two-hour theatre performance will take place at the Luverne United Methodist Church Dei Center and is part of the “Big Read: Alabama Reads” program. Both the Luverne and the Brantley public libraries are participating in this program.

“We are very excited to have such a distinguished actor to be coming to Luverne for a performance of this caliber,” Kathryn Tomlin, Luverne Public Library director, said. “We have not had anything quite like this in a long time, and everyone is very excited about it.”

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A catered dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. with Sandy Walker graciously serving as the hostess.

The theatre production will begin promptly at 7:30 and will include a 15-minute intermission.

Stutts will be in town next Tuesday and Wednesday. On Wednesday morning, he will also do an abbreviated performance for all of the seventh grade students in the county at the LUMC Dei Center.

Immediately following that performance, Stutts will take his show just down the road to the Luverne Senior Center.

“Not only are we looking forward to this performance, but we appreciate what Mr. Stutts is bringing to our county, and especially to our young people,” Tomlin said.

For over three decades, Stutts has appeared in 39 of the United States and three Canadian provinces, in well over 1,000 single engagements before audiences estimated to total over one million.

A native of Alabama, Stutts’ second cousin was the legendary actress, Tallulah Bankhead. He attended Yale University’s School of Drama.

“This is like bringing a little bit of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival to Luverne,” Tomlin said.

Tickets are still on sale for the “Mark Twain’s America” dinner/theatre performance at both libraries. Individual tickets are $25, and a table for eight is $175.

Please call 335-5326 for more information as the number of remaining tickets is very limited.

As part of the “Big Read” program, both Luverne and Brantley libraries have been participating in several special events, all revolving around the classic novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.

Some of these events included a jumping frog contest for the children; a “Tom Sawyer” pajama party including the movie “Tom Sawyer”, popcorn and juice; “Tom Sawyer” novel discussions in all of the county’s schools led by Luverne Assistant Director Regina Grayson and Brantley Director Davina Mount, as well as a local authors’ book signing and discussion held in Luverne on Feb. 27.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and bring the transformative power of literature into the lives of its citizens.

The Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment.