TheatreWorks, the nationally acclaimed theatre of Silicon Valley, presents a family treat for the holidays, the Tony Award-winning musical BIG RIVER. Hilarious and heartwarming, Mark Twain’s story The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn comes alive in this enchanting musical adaptation. In this joyously tuneful journey, runaways Huck and Jim sweep down the mighty Mississippi, discovering a friendship that defies convention and defines the American dream. Propelled by an infectious, award-winning score by Country Music Hall of Fame’s Roger Miller (“King of the Road”), and a wondrous script that won William Hauptman a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, this uproarious tale chronicles our heritage in a buoyant and unforgettable journey.
Helmed by TheatreWorks Founding Artistic Director Robert Kelley, BIG RIVER plays tonight, November 28-December 30, 2012 (press opening December 1) at TheatreWorks at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto. For tickets ($23-$73) and information the public may call (650) 463-1960 or visit www.theatreworks.org. Note: Contains occasional mature period language.
Set along the Mississippi River Valley in the late 1840s, BIG RIVER weaves adventure and a playful score into the quest of two friends to gain their freedom. Though trying to be “respectable,” Huckleberry Finn runs into trouble when his father, Pap, returns to town. Huck fakes his own death to escape and joins up with Jim, a runaway slave determined to reach the North and buy his family’s freedom. The two friends set off down the river, dodging slave hunters and tangling with scam artists The King and The Duke, eventually meeting mischievous Tom Sawyer just in time for their final big adventure. Told with Mark Twain’s signature wit and candor, BIG RIVER is a tale of friendship, sacrifice, and hope, revisiting some of the best moments in American history.
Mark Twain (1835-1910), born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, is perhaps the most iconic writer and humorist in American literature. Known for his sharp wit, lovable characters, and stirring social commentary on class relations and civil rights, Twain’s enduring works include The Prince and the Pauper, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
TheatreWorks has assembled a stellar cast for this heartwarming holiday show, including several Broadway stars, as well as TheatreWorks favorites. Alex Goley, who makes his TheatreWorks debut as “Huckleberry Finn,” has appeared in regional productions of Big River (Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre), Sweeney Todd (NYU/Playwrights Horizons), and Footloose (Theatre Matthews). He is joined by Broadway actor and TheatreWorks veteran James Monroe Iglehart as “Jim.” Iglehart starred in TheatreWorks’ world premiere of Memphis and continued with that show through its recently completed three-year Broadway run. His credits include Into the Woods (as “The Wolf”) and It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues at TheatreWorks, and Disney Theatrical’s Aladdin (as “The Genie”) at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. Sharing the stage will be TheatreWorks newcomer Scott Reardon (“Tom Sawyer”), who has played roles at Fresno Grand Opera, Cabrillo Music Theatre, and Utah Shakespearean Festival; Lucinda Hitchcock Cone (“Widow Douglas”) seen in the national tour of Big River, at TheatreWorks in Ragtime, Cabaret, and The Clean House, and in productions at Lincoln Center Institute, Marin Theater Company, American Conservatory Theater, 42nd Street Moon, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, among others; and Alison Ewing (“Miss Watson”) seen on Broadway in Cabaret and in the North American Broadway Tour of Mamma Mia!, and in TheatreWorks Productions including Emma, Into the Woods, It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, and Harold & Maude The Musical.