Paul Salfen talked to Val Kilmer when he brought his one man show “Citizen Twain” to the Wyly Theatre in Dallas. “Citizen Twain” is currently playing at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, until July 28 for a limited five-week engagement, followed by this fall by performances in London’s West End.
SYNOPSIS: By Walter Kirn
In Citizen Twain, Val Kilmer presents the legend as we’ve never encountered him, with all his glorious contradictions intact, all his strengths and weaknesses in play. Poised on the shadowy border of life and death and in a realm outside of time, Twain is part stand-up comic and part philosopher, an immortal intelligence in a mortal body, both wildly hilarious and deeply somber. With eternity on his mind and whiskey and cigar smoke on his breath, Twain threatens to upstage God himself as he ponders existence’s great issues, from man’s capacity for cruelty to the idiocy of politicians. Twain’s reach as a thinker and conversationalist is shown to be virtually boundless in Kilmer’s play, 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.” Period.
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 inTombstone.