Val Kilmer to Star in CITIZEN TWAIN at Laguna Playhouse, 11/21-14
The Laguna Playhouse Executive and Artistic Directors Karen Wood and Ann E. Wareham present a special event, Val Kilmer starring in CITIZEN TWAIN, for a five-show limited engagement. Val Kilmer, famous for his portrayals of iconic characters such as Jim Morrison (The Doors), Doc Holliday (Tombstone) and Batman (Batman Forever), inhabits the spirit of yet another legendary figure: Mark Twain. "We are thrilled to bring this extraordinary production to our audiences in Laguna Beach," offers Wood. Wareham adds, "Val Kilmer brings to remarkable life one of the greatest legends of all time and we are honored to have him here." CITIZEN TWAIN will perform five performances only beginning on Thursday, November 21 and run through Sunday, November 24, 2013 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.
This theatrical presentation uniquely explores Samuel Clemens' journey to acceptance, forgiveness, and enlightenment through the scope of his writings, and the self-reflection and engagement inspired by his relationship with Mary Baker Eddy. Kilmer's hilarious, raucous portrayal of Twain positions the character as a reluctant, recalcitrant, and downright defiant prophet whose undeniable skills as a story-teller and wordsmith compels the Almighty to call upon Twain to deliver a Sermon on Love to help us through our daily challenges. Kilmer's Twain aggressively attempts to escape the responsibility of the Almighty's calling only to find himself thwarted at every turn by divine interventions that range from slapstick to sublime. Not even Mark Twain, it seems, can avoid his eternal fate.
Kilmer's fascination with Mark Twain began while doing research for a possible film project. Famous for his fierce commitment to fully explore and inhabit every character he plays, Kilmer soon realized that "the only way to understand Twain is when he's on his feet and talking." "Mark Twain was the first person who talked the way we do," Kilmer says. "CITIZEN TWAIN is a lively exchange with the audience, so my performance is fluid and somewhat free-form. That's part of the fun. It's a comedy and a character study."
Kilmer workshopped the piece at the Pasadena Playhouse, Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge, CA and the Wyly Theatre in Dallas before bringing it to Laguna. "It's a unique experiment," explains Kilmer. "We're developing CITIZEN TWAIN without the benefit of a home theater, which is a challenge, so we're going to where the audiences are. Mark Twain traveled the world sharing his love of America and humanity, and part of discovering Twain is to do that with this show."
Every performance of CITIZEN TWAIN concludes with an audience talkback while the actor has his extensive make-up removed in full view, and select tickets are also available which include a backstage meet and greet with the actor.
Val Kilmer graduated from Julliard, where, when he was 17, he was the youngest actor ever accepted to the Drama Division. Ranked as one of the "Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time," Val burst onto the Hollywood scene at age 24 as rock star Nick Rivers in the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker spy spoof, Top Secret. He starred in the cult classic Real Genius, then rocketed to international stardom playing the "Iceman" in Top Gun opposite Tom Cruise; rock legend Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's The Doors; and Doc Holliday in Tombstone. Other memorable roles include the title role in Batman Forever and Simon Templar in The Saint. He headlined Michael Mann's classic crime drama Heat with legends Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, transformed into Elvis Presley for Tony Scott's True Romance and co-starred with Marlon Brando in The Island of Dr. Moreau. An accomplished stage actor, he made his Broadway debut in the 1983 production of Slab Boys with Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon. He appeared in Joseph Papp's Delacorte Theatre productions of Henry IV: Part One; As You Like It; Hamlet (in the title role); and 'Tis Pity She's A Whore.