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Events at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel - Nashville

LIVE AT THE RYMAN Val Kilmer in Citizen Twain

Val Kilmer (The Doors, Tombstone, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) will take the Ryman stage as the country's famed storyteller, first stand-up comedian and greatest satirist in this special two-night event.

"This is a unique experiment," explains Kilmer. "Mark Twain traveled the world sharing his love of America and humanity; part of my process in discovering Twain - complete with his humor and pathos - is to develop the show as he might have. This requires touring the work and not restricting this great figure to one theater or city. This play will land in everyone's backyard, and I am looking forward to how America laughs and, hopefully, takes something deeper away from the evening. To perform as Twain, with his riverboat background - and namesake - in a building constructed by riverboat captain Tom Ryman - makes this event particularly special to me."

Exploring the famed author's wry humor - from politics to death, love, racism, money, and religion - Kilmer channels the wit and wisdom of America's first stand-up comedian in a presentational style as much conversation as traditional theatre. Citizen Twain adopts Samuel Clemens' writing and stage persona to track the satirist's fictionalized journey to acceptance, forgiveness, and enlightenment through the scope of his writings - especially those critical of Mary Baker Eddy - whose work would serve as a catalyst for Twain's aspirations and self-improvement later in his life.

"Twain's reach as a thinker and conversationalist is shown to be virtually boundless in Kilmer's play," says novelist and essayist Walter Kirn. "Ranging from matters of science and technology to questions of morality and myth, and proving Twain correct in his assertion that he was not 'an American' at all - he was 'the American.'" The actor's raucous portrayal of Twain reveals a reluctant, recalcitrant, and downright defiant prophet whom the Almighty calls upon to deliver a sermon about truth and fiction that ranges from the utterly slapstick to the profoundly sublime.

Kilmer's fascination with the figure began while doing research for a film project entitled Mark Twain and Mary Baker Eddy. 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." He began experimenting last year, offering workshop performances around the country at venues including Disney Concert Hall, Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles, the Wyly Theater in Dallas, and many others.

This 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 meet and greet with the actor.

Friday, February 7, 2014
8:00 PM
$77 , $67 & $57