Mark Twain and Mr. Clemens, Tonight!
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The Performance

Short Preview Show at the University of Montana

Mr. Sutton's play features tall tales, stories and music from Mark Twain the way Clemens would have played him today. He uses authentic Clemens era music, with which Clemens often entertained family and dignitaries in his parlor, singing and playing guitar, banjo, piano and harmonica. Clemens would not have played music on stage as his performance would have been perceived as a minstrel show. Mark Twain on his stage tours in the 1890's was considered a distingushed author and humorist. 
The audience is pleasantly surprised to find that the music of his era, now called traditional music, provides an occasional opportunity in  the show for a sing-a-long. to highlight the wonderfully witty, humorous stories of Twain.
The occasional dramatic pieces out of Twains most famous books, Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, Roughing It, are compelling contrasts to the rest of the performance of humor and music.
This show usually presented in a 2 act version is great for audiences of all ages in Regional, Community Performing Arts Centers and Civic Centers, Dinner Theatres, Schools and Colleges. Mr. Sutton also performs after dinner speaking at business conferences (Twain was the most sought after dinner speaker of his time), and as a successfully failed businessman he was qualified o put forth all sorts of useful and timely business advice.   


Big Read Project - Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts
Cherokee Library System & TLAC Theatre, GA
Kingsport, TN, Big Read
Rancho Cucomonga, CA, Library Big Read
Gainesville Arts Center and Schools, Gainesville, TX
Binghamton, NY,Big Read
Flint MI, Big Read
St. Louis Cultural Events, St. Louis, MO, Big Read
Fishtrap Library Sysem, Enterprise, OR Big Read
Pendleton Library Sysem, Pendleton, OR Big Read
Rapides Parish Library, Big Read
Carollton Library Supporters,  Carollton, GA

The Better Twain

By Jerry Dobson

One Friday evening in November 2013, I saw Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain at the Lied Center on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence, KS. 

Now, tie yourself down so you don't float away:  I say without question that yours is by far the better Twain.

When I saw you perform in Fairfield, Iowa, I laughed more and felt more comfortable with Twain himself.  Plus, I think you are far more engaged with the audience.  You stepped on the stage and started conversing with us as if we were meeting in the lobby, not sitting distant in an auditorium.  You leaned over the podium just enough to make us feel that you were reaching out to us.  Then we had that quiet chat with you in the armchair that you incorporate so effectively into your show.

A KU professor, who is a true expert on Twain, spoke to us at a dinner preceding the performance, and she was really interesting.  She didn't talk at all about Twain's humor; rather his various styles of performance, his mannerisms, and his fluctuating revenues.  She pointed out that Clemens wrote far more edgy stuff than Twain would use in his public performances, because he knew it would alienate audiences and likely reduce his revenues.  She said Holbrook sometimes incorporates some of the edgy stuff, and gauges his audience to see how far he can go with it.  I think we saw that happen Friday.  When he hammered on Congress the audience started out laughing.  When it got too edgy, they stopped clapping, and he switched abruptly to a story about Noah's Flood.

He did one character reading in which he spoke as Huck, Pap, and Jim.  When I think of how well you did with Huck and all including Becky Thatcher, I'm stunned.

I knew you were good, but seeing "the best" helped me realize just how good you really are, and I like your mix of Clemens with Twain.  Keep up the good work.

Jerome E. "Jerry" Dobson, Professor of Geography, University of Kansas ( )                       
President, American Geographical Society  ( )
Jefferson Science Fellow, U. S. Department of State & National Academies
Co-Author, The Waters of Chaos (
Colleges and Schools
University of Virginia
University of Montana
Centralia College, Centralia, WA
Walter State College, Morristown, TN
Lewis and Clark State College, Lewiston, ID
Peddie Prepatory School, Princeton, NJ
Connections Academy, Atlanta, GA
East Arizona State, Safford, AZ
Rhode Island College, Providence, RI
Cayuga Community College, Cayuga, NY
North View School
Smoky Mountain School

Mr Sutton,
The PTSA and the teachers have given me great feedback on your programs yesterday. I have passed along website links for the two programs you are doing this weekend. Have a great year--I will be in touch again, I am sure,
Pat Boegel

University of Virginia

Lincoln Square Theatre

Twain on stage

Mr. Sutton's performance and speeches of  "Mark Twain Businessman" is based on years of research and development to assure that the best of the writer's humorous and timeless stories are delivered with the appropriate nuance and impact of the period. Material is selected from Twain's writings which cover the expectations of the business audience. Mr. Sutton also speaks with authority on subjects as diverse as motivation, planning, managing others, and other business issues reflected from his 25 year experience as a management and sales consultant and trainer.

You may contact for information on your school assembly needs.

Business Meetings and Conferences
"Mark Twain Businessman", delivers Twain's insights, wit and humor based on his experience as a businessman. Twain has much to say about:
* Motivation
* Business Relationships
* Government
* Money and Investment
* Leadership
* Congress
* And More
As America's greatest humorist Twain delivers his experiences and observation on these topics in a manner that is funny and thought provoking. With Twain's material and the theatrics of the presentation Mr. Sutton has created an event that is definitely NOT your usual and predictable meeting speech.

"Always do right. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest." Mark Twain

For Booking Information Contact: Kurt H. Sutton, or call 770-932-5467