It’s show time again at Heartwood, with the award-winning Broadway musical, “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” running July 12-20 in the Poe Theater on the Lincoln Academy campus at 81 Academy Hill Rd.
This jaunty journey, rollicking with country and folk, blues, gospels and spirituals, provides a brilliantly theatrical celebration of pure Americana. “Big River” opened on Broadway in 1985, winning 7 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score (music and lyrics by Roger Miller, the king of country music) and Best Book of a Musical (William Hauptman).
Twain's timeless classic sweeps us down the mighty Mississippi as the irrepressible Huck Finn helps his friend Jim, a slave, escape to freedom at the mouth of the Ohio River. Their adventures along the way are hilarious, suspenseful and heartwarming, bringing to life some favorite characters from the novel: the Widow Douglas and her stern sister; Miss Watson; the uproarious King and Duke, who may or may not be as harmless as they seem; Huck's partner in crime, Tom Sawyer, and their rowdy gang of pals; Huck's drunken father, the sinister Pap Finn; the lovely Mary Jane Wilkes and her trusting family.
“Big River” takes on the issue of race in a variety of ways and does not veer away from the difficulties of the times. Some language has been excised by the author of the 1985 script, but audiences should expect to experience Twain's original word usage, which may be found offensive.
Cast members are Mark Twain & Others - Jim Stewart, Huck - Kelcey Steele, Jim - Christian McQeen, Pap Finn - John Strong, King - Stephen Shore, Duke - Joe Lugosch, Tom Sawyer - Jonah Daiute. Ensemble players: Nick Miaoulis, John Henry Eddyblouin, Alex Pineiro, Rachael Schuster, Laurie Brown, Jenny Brown, Saige Bryan, Kayla Leacock, Kayleigh Tolley, May Halm, Jenny Baxter, Emmie Ferrell, Taylor Briggs, Marcus Russano and Brennan Cruz.
This is summertime family fare, at its finest — kids, guests, bring them all! Reserve soon; tickets are selling quickly, and musicals often sell out in the Poe Theater.
The six evening performances begin at 7:30 and are on July 12, 13, 17, 18, 19 and 20, with a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday, July 14. Reservations strongly suggested, by emailing email@example.com or phoning 563-1373. Adult tickets are $30. Student tickets are $5, subsidized by Peapod Jewelry & HM Payson.
“Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is sponsored by the Newcastle Publick House, Orchestra Sponsor First National Wealth Management and Season Sponsors, Bath Savings Institution and Granite Hill Estates.Presented by special arrangement, with R&H Theatricals.