“I’m your huckleberry.”
Who can forget that fantastic line, famously uttered by Val Kilmer’s mesmerizing Doc Holliday in Tombstone, one of our favorite Westerns?
We sure haven’t. And how fitting that we caught up to Val Kilmer (valkilmer.com) just recently to ask him about the 20-year anniversary of “Tombstone,” as well as his one-man stage show, Citizen Twain, about none other than the Huckleberry author himself, Mark Twain.
“Citizen Twain is a love story,” Val told us, “and the love story is love of America.”
Why Mark Twain?
“Twain had a way of looking back and looking at our character and telling stories that on the surface were just enjoyable stories,” he said, “yet were so much more. Huckleberry Finn, for example, remains an important piece of literature.”
The issue of race, Val said, continues to be one that our country struggles with.
“We have every opportunity to be more graceful yet we carry on Neanderthal-type prejudices for no reason.”
And playing Mark Twain is an extension of the kinds of roles Val says he’s been drawn to playing—very American.
“I was looking for material I could remain passionate about for many years,” Val said. “And he’s the best character in terms of comedy—there’s stuff I read ten years ago that now is in the play that I’m still laughing at, and laughing out loud.”
And humor, Val says, is very gratifying to share.
“It’s a wonderful gift to give someone, to make them laugh,” he said.
The coincidence is not lost on us–both men, Doc and Twain, spoke in a lovely southern drawl, smoked and sported a wicked sense of humor, leaving us with quotable material we’ll always remember. And just as he did in “Tombstone,” Val delivers a fantastic performance as Twain.
There’s just one thing.
“Spoiler alert: Mark Twain is dead,” Val said. “But he’s aware that he’s in Dallas,” the current location of the show.
If you’re lucky enough to live in or near Texas, Citizen Twain is playing April 18 through April 21st at the Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St., Dallas. Tickets range from $45 to $125. Call 214-880-0202 or visit attpac.org.
You can learn more by visiting Val’s website at valkilmer.com.