By Kristina Dorsey — The Day

Published May 11 2016


Hal Holbrook has played a lot of roles, from Deep Throat in “All the President’s Men” to Gemma’s father in TV’s “Sons of Anarchy,” from Abraham Lincoln in the 1976 TV series “Lincoln” to newspaper man Francis Preston Blair in the 2012 movie “Lincoln.” But sometimes an actor finds a role that really becomes his. So it is with Holbrook and Mark Twain.

Holbrook has been starring as the iconic author in the one-man show “Mark Twain Tonight!” on and off for more than six decades. He won a Tony Award in 1966 for his performance and was nominated for an Emmy in 1967 when CBS telecast a performance of the piece.

Holbrook is bringing the show to the Garde Arts Center on Saturday. That is only fitting, since Connecticut residents feel some ownership of Twain. He did, after all, live in Hartford from 1874 to 1891, and he penned some of his greatest works there, including “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

And I know what you’re wondering: Holbrook is now 91 years old, and Mark Twain died at age 74. Maybe playing Twain keeps Holbrook feeling young.

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