MTHM image no textThe Mark Twain House & Museum Newsletter
June 2010
From the Director's Desk
The Trouble Ended Well
May saw the inauguration of our new summer/fall series of  after-work talks on Twainian subjects, The Trouble Begins at 5:30. They were a great success, with visitors quaffing wine, munching hors d'oeuvres and feeding their minds with what Mark Twain's pal and conversational companion Joe Twichell called "a fine full feast of talk." (Save October Wednesdays for Mark Twain Mysteries.)
Summer is looking good for us! The fun begins with our event-packed, family-oriented Tom Sawyer Day on June 12; drag artist Varla Jean Merman wakes up the place on June 18; our popular ghost tours resume June 25, not long after the airing of the Ghost Hunters Academy episode on June 16; and Tiffany Design Director Emeritus John Loring speaks here at "Breakfast with Tiffany" on June 27.
We continue to look forward to the Sept. 22
appearance of David Baldacci, John Grisham and Jodi Picoult at Foxwoods, a major benefit for the House & Museum. 
Come see us, as the cool breezes waft over the great porch just as they did in Twain's summer days.
 Jeffrey L. Nichols, Executive Director
What's Happening
'Tom Sawyer Day' Provides
Family Fun and Theatrics
Tom Sawyer in billiards 
Saturday, June 12, is Tom Sawyer Day, a day of family fun. We've lined up a smorgasbord of guest artists, including HartBeat Ensemble, Hartford Opera Theater, Hartford City Ballet, Hartford Children's Theater, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and many more musicians, magicians, and buccaneers.
The free activities continue from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tours of the Twain House will be available for a fee.

Tom Sawyer Day is part of Hartford's Magical History Tour, which also involves The Amistad Center for Art & Culture's annual "Juneteenth Family Day" at the Atheneum and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center's "Harriet's Garden Party" to mark the author's 199th birthday.
There will be a free shuttle between the sites all day for maximum free fun for all ages.
June 18: Varla Jean Merman,
'The Lady Behind the Moustache'
Tom Sawyer fence

The Mark Twain House & Museum will feature an evening of "demented genius" (as  Time Out New York would have it) on Friday, June 18, at 8:00 p.m.  
Varla Jean Merman, the loose chanteuse and one of America's funniest drag performers, will perform The Lady Behind the Moustache, a new show filled with saucy songs and naughty humor sure to make Aunt Polly blush. 
Mark Twain himself once donned a dress for a backyard theatrical and the lead character in his comic play Is He Dead? (which recently debuted on Broadway) is a cross-dressing con-artist.
The Lady Behind the Moustache is written by Jeffery Roberson and Jacques Lamarre (who happens to be Director of Communications and Special Projects at the Twain House.
See his blog on the subject here.)  
Tickets can be purchased by calling 860-280-3130.  Tickets are $30 ($25 for Mark Twain House & Museum members).
JUNE 27: Breakfast with our Tiffany
Collection ... and with John Loring 
John Loring
John Loringt
In the iconic first scene of Breakfast at Tiffany's, Audrey Hepburn sips coffee and munches a croissant while gazing longingly at the jewels in the window of Tiffany & Co. 
On Sunday, June 27, at Breakfast with Tiffany, we invite you to don your diamonds, savor a light early-afternoon breakfast and hear a talk by the foremost authority on Tiffany design.
John Loring, Design Director Emeritus of Tiffany & Co., will speak on the museum's Tiffany collection and its relation to the extraordinary tale of the Tiffany style.
Reception and light fare is at 1:00 p.m., lecture at 2:00,. followed by a book signing of Loring's latest work, Tiffany Style.  Tickets are $30 ($25 for Mark Twain House & Museum members) and can be obtained by calling 860-280-3130.  This event is sponsored by Tiffany & Co. Westfarms.

Items from the museum's distinguished Tiffany collection on view will include a portrait of Louis Comfort Tiffany by D. B. Francisco (1926), a Tiffany Studios table lamp featuring a Favrile glass leaf-design shade (c. 1900), and the christening silver collection of the Clemens and Langdon families.

Loring, an accomplished designer, artist and author, has written 21 books on Tiffany & Co. history and entertaining, including Tiffany's 150 Years, The Tiffany Wedding, The Tiffany Gourmet Cookbook; Louis Comfort Tiffany at Tiffany & Co.; Tiffany Diamonds; and Tiffany's Palm Beach.
Dede DeRoas
Mark Twain Said:
"Well, humor is the great thing, the saving thing, after all. The moment it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place." -- "What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us," 1895 
We-e-e-'re back! 

Or is it "We're ba-a-a-ack?" On TV in a ghostly way, that is. On Wednesday, June 16, at 9:00 p.m., The Mark Twain House & Museum will be featured on the Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters Academy. We're hosting a Premiere Party
At Woody's Hot Dog & Fish Tank, 915 Main St. in downtown Hartford
Guests can arrive as early as 7. Invite your friends to this free event! Food and beverage will be available for sale.

Reserve Now for Summer Night
Ghost Tours
And in the same spooky vein, the museum is offering a summer run of its popular Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours. Dates are June 25; July 30; and August 11, 12, 13 and 27.  Times are  7:00 p.m., 7:45 p.m., 8:30 and 9:15 p.m.
Reservations are required! Call 860-280-3130. Adult admission is $18 (members $15); children under 16 pay $13.  Tours are not recommended for children under 10. 
Sept. 22:
David Baldacci,
Jodi Picoult,
John Grisham! 

Tickets are selling rapidly, and way in advance, for our signature fall event, Between the Pages - An Evening with David Baldacci, John Grisham and Jodi Picoult.

Absolutely all proceeds from this major appearance of three admired American authors will support The Mark Twain House & Museum. It's so big we've secured
the MGM Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino for the show.
On Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 8:00 p.m., the three authors will take on the issues of writing, the publishing industry - and yes, their debt to Mark Twain. It's the inspiration they've drawn from this iconic American author that has brought them to Connecticut in this, Twain's Centennial Year. 
Tickets are $50, $75 and $125 and may be purchased online here;  by calling the MGM Grand Box Office at 1-866-646-0609; by calling Ticketmaster; or in person at the MGM Grand Box Office.

We're Giving Away Books! 

We're giving away books -- one specific book, anyway, a gorgeously printed catalogue of a major exhibition at the Mark Twain House & Museum a few years back, Men of Mark. This large-format paperback, with many color illustrations, is simply our thank you for visiting The Mark Twain Store, a premier Hartford gift shop. 
The photographs by Alvin Langdon Coburn, many of which are reproduced in full sepia tones in this work, include as their subjects President Theodore Roosevelt, the
poet W. B. Yeats, the painter Henri Matisse -- and of course, our own Man of Mark, Mark Twain. Stop by and get your copy!

Thanks to our Mark Twain Centennial Celebration Sponsor, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. 
The Mark Twain House & Museum has restored the author's Hartford, Connecticut, home, where the author and his family lived from 1874 to 1891. Twain wrote his most important works there, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.  In addition to providing tours of Twain's restored home, a National Historic Landmark, the institution offers activities and educational programs that illuminate Twain's literary legacy and provide information about his life and times. The house and museum at 351 Farmington Ave. are open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon-5:30 p.m.  For more information, call 860-247-0998 or visit Programs at the Mark Twain House & Museum are supported by the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism and the Greater Hartford Arts Council.

Steve Courtney, Editor