Early in his career, Mark Twain wrote a lively and affectionate tribute to the world of the romantic steamboat pilots of the Mississippi River called LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI. It is filled with reminiscent celebration of his time as a boy apprentice and as a skilled steamboat pilot who learned to maneuver the treacherous currents of the mighty river. Stories about the life on the river are among Mark Twain’s happiest accounts and can be found in the novels THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER, ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN and various Short Stories.
“When I was a boy, there was but one permanent ambition among my comrades in our village on the west bank of the Mississippi River. That was, to be a steamboat man. We had transient ambitions of other sorts, but they were only transient. When a circus came and went, it left us all burning to become clowns. When the first Negro minstrel show came to our town, we all wanted to try that kind of life. Now and then, we had a hope that if we were good, God would permit us to be pirates. These ambitions faded out, each in its turn but the ambition to be a steamboat man always remained.” – MARK TWAIN
Our reading will feature texts from a variety of works by Mark Twain presented by Jeanne Ragonese and Derrick Jenkins, interspersed with LIVE MUSIC from Twain’s era, provided by the marvelous STÄFFELES BANJO RUTSCHER, a formation that plays traditional New Orleans style music and consists of six Banjos, Tuba and Washboard. Mark Twain might not have approved of them, after all he once wrote: “A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo and doesn’t.”, so who knows what he would made of SIX BANJOS!? But we do know that we love them!
Featuring: Jeanne Ragonese, Derrick Jenkins and the Stäffeles Banjo Rutscher.
Show time: Monday, March 6 at 8 PM at Kulturcafé Merlin