"Is He Dead?" at the Barksdake Theatre 

Through May 23

Besides being responsible for one of the greatest American novels, author Mark Twain probably was best known for his razor-sharp wit, regularly using humor to satirize all kinds of uncomfortable truths. Joining Twain's more comically aimed works is the play “Is He Dead?” an unpublished farce that only recently came into print when it was rediscovered in an archive at the University of California at Berkeley in 2001. Written in 1898, it follows the antics of an unsuccessful French painter who fakes his death and disguises himself as his long-lost sister, all to reap the increased monetary worth of his work. With plenty of pratfalls and potshots at artistic pretentiousness, “Is He Dead?” runs through May 23 at the Barksdale Theatre. $20-$39.


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