Jim Post does Mark Twain at the Brewery
October 22, 2002
Jim Post brought his impressions of writer Mark Twain’s writings and life to the Brewery Arts Center’s Performance Hall Friday in a show quite different from the usual Twain recitals.
“I don’t impersonate, I offer my impression,” said Post as he donned his white suit backstage. “Mark Twain did his shows before there were public address systems, so he had to let it out. No time for modulation.”
And that pretty well sums up the very entertaining performance that Post offers, staged in conjunction with the Carson City Ghost Walk Friday afternoon.
Post is joined in his presentation by his wife Janet, who plays piano and cello. And that is where Post’s performance differs from the more traditional Mark Twain impressionists: He sings, he plays the guitar and as a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he belts out the songs, the old timey lyrics all about life on the Mississippi and Twain’s childhood in Hannibal., Missouri.
His first song was “Rhythm of Life,” about the pulse of the mighty riverand it sets the tone of the show. He notes that he doesn’t want to let “the facts get in the way of a good story” and then tells of the story of a lawyer so crooked “he had hand in his own pocket. The truth will be economized tonight,” he said.
While Post’s presentation included many zingers from Twain’s writing, what really mattered is that he is able to create through his words and music the feeling of a bygone era, where kids could go swimming naked in the Mississippi and float down the river on a raft, and then recount the guilt feelings of a youth who had killed a man needlessly.
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Post tells his stories with verve and he sings his songs with the punch of a rocker. He doesn’t go for the one-liner but instead builds a story with a long intro that pays off in the end. His songs are loaded with memories and of a life long gone. But they are comforting just the same.
Those who like something different from the usual Mark Twain show would do well to head for the Brewery tongiht night for Post’s repeat show. It’s a polished but homespun affair with a master storyteller with help from his talented wife. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss it.
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