UNION — This year’s Friends of Union County Carnegie Library meeting will include visits from “Mark Twain” and “Abraham Lincoln.”
The annual meeting of the Friends of the Union County Carnegie Library will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 27 in the Grace United Methodist Church. Keeping with annual tradition, the group will provide entertainment for the meeting. This year’s entertainment will feature nationally-acclaimed performer Dave Ehlert, of Branson, Mo. He will perform a 90-minute theatrical drama as both Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln.
Ehlert began performing in 1967 as Elvis in what has become the longest running Elvis tribute show in the world. He has been featured on television shows including “Oprah,” “CNN Showbiz” and “CBS Nightwatch,” and he was also the first performer inducted into the Worldwide Elvis Performer’s Hall of Fame. Ehlert has operated the first theater ever built in Branson since 1994, where he created a show – “Elvis and the Superstars” – in which he plays a variety of characters including Tom Jones, Roy Orbison and Neil Diamond. In addition to the Elvis tribute, Ehlert often performs a country tribute to Hank Williams, Sr.
Seven years ago, the seasoned performer began concentrating his efforts on his portrayal of Mark Twain.
“I had done all the marketing for a Mark Twain show, but the scheduled performer had to bow out at the last minute,” Ehlert said. “I was drafted and had to take a crash course on Twain.”
Ehlert had one week to prepare before he would walk on stage in full character with cigar in hand. After that first performance, Ehlert immersed himself in everything Twain, portraying the character six times a week for one year. Then, he took his show on the road, and he has now performed at libraries in 30 different states, learning all along the way.
“Of course there are classics like ‘Tom Sawyer’ and ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,’ but he wrote such a wide variety – from humor to political commentary to a serious biography of Joan of Arc,” Ehlert said.
Ehlert has since perfected his Twain character, and he even performed as Twain in Union in January 2011. Since then, he added a portrayal of Abe Lincoln to his repertoire which is sure to delight and educate audience members.
Ehlert said those who attend the performance during the Friends of the Library meeting can expect an afternoon of historical drama, humor and education to illustrate how a Union President and a Confederate deserter fought against slavery and racism in pre- and post-Civil War days.
For more information about Ehlert, visit www.bransonsuperstars.com.
The Friends of the Union County Carnegie Library are members of the community who support, extend and promote the services of the library while enjoying themselves. Activities are held throughout the year which provide a great way to get to know the library, staff and other people in the community with similar interests.
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.