“Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” opened at Heartwood last weekend, to full and exuberant houses. The big musical numbers leave the audience near breathless, with abundant laughter and not a few poignant moments. It’s just plain fun, and audiences are loving it.
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.
This jaunty journey, rollicking with country and folk, blues, gospels and spirituals, provides a brilliantly theatrical celebration of pure Americana.
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.
Remaining performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on July 17- 20 in the Poe Theater on the Lincoln Academy campus. Tickets, $30/adults and $5/students (thanks to Peapod Jewelry and HM Payson) are selling quickly, and shows will likely sell out Reservations strongly suggested. Email email@example.com or call 563-1373.