Although it seems like Hal Holbrook has owned the role of Mark Twain for decades, another actor has staked a theatrical claim to the white-haired novelist and wit. Val Kilmer has been working on "Citizen Twain," a solo play in which he plays the writer, for the past several years and presented a workshop version at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery last year.
Kilmer -- who has starred in "Top Gun," "The Doors," "Heat" and "Batman Forever" -- will take his Twain play on the road for a short tour starting in April. "Citizen Twain" will play two venues in Southern California -- the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge (April 6) and the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City (June 28-July 28).
The engagement at the Kirk Douglas isn't a production of Center Theatre Group, which operates the theater. A CTG spokeswoman said that the "Citizen Twain" run is a rental.
Other tour venues include the Wyly Theatre in Dallas (April 18 to 21) and the Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts in Wickenburg, Ariz. (May 3-4).
The version of "Citizen Twain" seen last year was a stream-of-consciousness monologue in which Twain, resurrected from the dead, holds forth on a host of issues both contemporary and historic. The show included some musical interludes, with Kilmer displaying vocal skills.
Kilmer relied on a teleprompter for his lines during the performance at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Kilmer told The Times last year that he is trying to get a movie project off the ground that would dramatize the rivalry between Twain and Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science.
The actor previously performed his Twain play, in various stages of development, at Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Ivy Substation in Culver City.
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