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Twain's Domain in Full Swing at Chappaqua Library

CHAPPAQUA, NY-- Nearly two weeks into its month-long celebration of Mark Twain, Chappaqua Library Director Pamela Thornton believes "Twain's Domain" is accomplishing exactly what she hoped it would.

“People are actually reading Twain,” she said. "It's going pretty well."

Despite being a literary buff, Thornton said even she is learning more about the 19th Century author with every event. While Twain is most remembered for “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” she has started to read his more obscure works, such as “The War Prayer” and “The Mysterious Stranger.”

“You learn about his life and how he was really a satirist, and satire was his main tool to write,” said Thornton, who said that at a recent lecture in the library, speakers called him the “Jon Stewart of his time.”

The celebration runs until Nov. 18, when the library will finish with a viewing of the 1939 film adaptation of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” though there will be many more events before then.

Thornton said she is most excited about the Twain-inspired dinner at Crabtree’s Kittle House on Nov. 1 and the “Music and the River Concert” featuring the Chappaqua Orchestra on Nov. 5.

“Everybody has their own thing they’re praising,” said Thornton.

Remaining list of events:

Book LoversThursday, 10/27, 1 p.m.          Discussing “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” with Barbara Bernstein. Books available at the Information Desk. Teen Cool Candy HousesFriday, 10/28, 3 p.m.   Create a home inspired by Twain’s literature to devour, take home or display in the Teen Zone. Bring two bags of candy to share. Co-sponsor: NC Teen Alliance. Menus in the Movies with Carol DurstFriday, 10/28, 7 p.m.Ken Burns’s documentary Mark Twain (part 1) Friday 11/4, 7 p.m.Ken Burns’s documentary, Mark Twain (part 2) Teen Scavenger Hunt & FilmSaturday 10/29, 5 p.m.           Dress in your Halloween best and “scavenge” the library to find clues that lead to a “surprising Twist with Twain” ending. Register. Pizza and snacks.  Co-sponsor: NC Teen Alliance Mark Twain and the MinisterSunday, 10/30, 4 p.m.  It might come as a surprise that Mark Twain’s closest friend was a New England Congregationalist minister, the Rev. Twichell, Civil War Chaplain. Steve Courtney, Publication Editor at the Mark Twain House is the author of an award-winning biography of Rev. Twichell.  Co-sponsor: Chappaqua Interfaith Council Dining, Stories and MusicTuesday, 11/1, 6 p.m.  Twain-inspired dinner at Crabtree’s Kittle House. Join conductor Michael Shapiro as he plays music and tells stories and anecdotes from Twain’s life. $54. Make a reservation at Crabtree’s Kittle House. Stowe and Twain: Effecting Social ChangeWednesday, 11/2, 7 p.m.         Craig Hotchkiss, Mark Twain House and Sonya Green, Harriet Beecher Stowe House, will place Uncle Tom’s Cabin & the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in proper historical context to enhance understanding the profound influence these books had on race relations in the U.S. and why they continue to have relevance to our cross-cultural dialog even today. Concert: Music and The RiverSaturday, 11/5, 8 p.m. A multi-media tribute to Mark Twain.  A showing of the Depression-era film The River accompanied by the Orchestra’s performance of Virgin Thomson’s epic score.  They will also perform Charles Ives’s gorgeous tone poem, The Housatonic at Stockbridge, and beloved vocal excerpts from Jerome Kerns and Oscar Hammerstein’s Show Boat.  Cosponsor: The Chappaqua Orchestra Mark Twain’s WomenWednesday, 11/8, 7 p.m.         Patti Philippon, Curator at the Mark Twain House, discusses the most important ladies in Twain’s life: his witty, powerful and sometimes disapproving wife Livy; and his daughters: the amazingly creative Suzy, Clara who kept an iron grip on his legacy for decades and Jean, the sheltered one who came into her own in her later years. Baseball as Mark Twain Knew ItWednesday, 11/16, 7 p.m.       As an owner of Hartford’s own minor-league baseball club, Twain was aware of how the “national game” mirrored the best and worst traits of our national character. Craig Hotchkiss, Mark Twain House, will discuss how these themes were developed into A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Twain ReadingsFriday, 11/18, 2 p.m.   North of Broadway Players, a theatre company of senior actors, will present a selection from The Apple Tree (a stage adaptation of The Diary of Adam and Eve) and other Twain stage adaptations. Cosponsor: NC Recreation and Parks Film: The Adventures of Huck FinnFriday, 11/18, 7 p.m.   Join us for the classic 1939 version of this Twain masterpiece starring Mickey Rooney, with commentary by Cathy Paulsen and Chris Trzcinski.

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