Most of the time the Berthoud Community Library’s FREE Monday evening movie night shows movies. No surprise. But Monday, July 25, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Dave Ehlert, who impersonates Mark Twain in Branson, Missouri, comes to town with his one-man show depicting the beloved author and raconteur. The program is well suited for families. 236 Welch Ave., Berthoud, 970-532-4372.
Dave Ehlert began performing in 1967 as Elvis in what has become the longest running Elvis Tribute Show in the world. He has performed in 33 states, Mexico and Canada as well as on a cruise ship in international waters. Since 1994 he has operated the first theatre ever built in the tourist mecca Branson, MO. There, he widened his act to include tributes to many other characters including Tom Jones, Neil Diamond, Liberace, Willie Nelson, Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Hank Williams and many more. In 2004, he was “drafted” into the role of Mark Twain when the scheduled performer was unable to make it. He had one week to gather all the Twain background he could find and then walked on stage in full character, cigar in hand. For the first time in over 30 years, Dave felt something different on stage. He felt very nervous! He looked out at the audience and remained silent for two solid minutes. Then, as a Mr. Twain himself said of his own first lecture, “I began to speak. ”
And speak he did. Performing 6 Twain programs a week for the first year in Branson and then taking Twain on the road to theatres and libraries across the country in 30 states. He has become absorbed in everything Twain. This is indicated in comments on Dave’s performance made by Professor Ben Click who teaches Twain studies at St. Mary’s College in Maryland: “What I found most refreshing is that you clearly had absorbed the essence of Twain’s words, and rather than just repeat them you found refreshing contexts in which to put them. It’s obvious that you embrace your subject. One other comment I would make is that your audience were completely engaged in watching and listening to you. ” Everywhere Dave has performed as Mark Twain, the consensus seems to be the same as illustrated by comments from library directors below:
“Most successful program EVER!” Patti – Operations Manager Rosalie – Reference Librarian Lebanon Laclede Public Library 915 S. Jefferson Ave Lebanon, MO 65536 417-532-2148