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Arts & Culture

Hal Holbrook Brings Mark Twain To San Antonio

Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain

Stage and film actor Hal Holbrook will be in San Antonio this week, and I found out, for nowhere near the first time.

"I started out in Texas," he remembered. "About 200 towns and villages in Texas."

Holbrook is talking about his one man Mark Twain stage show he wrote in college, then immediately after school, he began touring around the country. It was an amazing education for him, with lessons he's kept in the years since.

"I learned very clearly that you couldn't count on anything as an actor. And that I could be unemployed at any moment."

He says that taught him to keep the one-man show close by so he could perform it when all else failed.

"Even though I was doing movies or television or whatever, I always kept the Mark Twain thing on the side, and I would always do some every year."

Holbrook says Twain's views on the world haven't aged. They are, in fact, timeless.

"One other decision I made back then Jack that was very important: I never update Mark Twain.  I discovered very early on that everything he's talking about in 1900 is happening today. In Congress. In Politics. In Society.  You do not have to change a word."

The 91-year-old is exceptionally sharp, and as passionate as ever.

"You're damned right I have my passion. That's what keeps me going!"

Arts San Antonio is bringing Holbrook's Mark Twain program to the Laurie Auditorium on Thursday night.

"I'm looking forward to going back there."

Find more on Arts San Antonio here.