Mark Twain in Person Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through March 1 2009

Richard Henzel, Chicago's answer to Hal Holbrook, has been playing the bard of American fortunes and follies off and on for more than 40 years. He never slips into caricature in his latest lecture-cum-performance, despite the white suit and nimbus of even whiter hair. By this time, Henzel probably has 80 hours worth of material, but his focus opening night was on a trio of dreams concerning Twain and a woman he calls "the love of his life." Interspersed were humorous accounts of piloting the Mississippi, that river "bristling with exigencies," and a mournful but understated rendition of Twain's scathing "The War Prayer." A coda with soap bubbles added the perfect final note to Twain's meditations on the fleeting beauty and small joys of life. --Kerry Reid

Price: $15-$20

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