Heartwood Theater takes on 'Huckleberry'

Jul 08, 2019
Heartwood Theater's cast for the upcoming Broadway musical, "Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," are, front from left, Jenny Baxter, May Halm, Kelcey Steele, Jonah Daiute, Brennan Cruz and Kayla Leacock; second row from left, Kayleigh Tolley, Taylor Briggs, Rachael Schuster, Christian McQueen, John Henry Eddblouin, Saige Bryan and Emmie Ferrell; and back from left, Jenny Brown, Alex Pineiro, Stephen Shore, Joe Lugosch, Nick Miaoulis, Marcus Russano, Jim Stewart, John Strong and Laurie Brown.

DAMARISCOTTA — Heartwood Theater presents the Broadway musical, "Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," running July 12 through 20 in the Poe Theater at Lincoln Academy.

"Big River" is great summertime family fare, heartwarming and humorous, and the powerful assembly of voices in this cast does great justice to the score of country and folk, blues, gospels and spirituals.

One hundred years after Twain’s book was published, this musical opened on Broadway in 1985, winning 7 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical. Book by William Hauptman, music and lyrics by Roger Miller.

Adapted from Mark Twain’s classic novel, the story is ultimately one of friendship, which defies the boundaries of race – the tale of Huck’s Mississippi River adventures with his friend, Jim, an escaping slave, bound to be reunited with his family.

Told by the teenage Huck, this tale winds through outrageous stories, near escapes, and strange encounters with Tom Sawyer, The King and The Duke, two vaudeville criminals, a lovely lady who falls for Huck at her father's funeral, and a host of characters and personalities from along the mighty Mississippi. The award-winning musical score reflects their river trip and strong moments of discovery and bonding between the naive young Huck and Jim, whom Huck comes to love and respect.

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.

Six evening performances and one matinee are scheduled in the Poe Theater at Lincoln Academy.  Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on July 12,13,17,18,19 and 20, with a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday, July 14. Tickets are already on sale and going quickly.  Reservations can be made by emailing info@heartwoodtheater.org or phoning 563-1373.  Student tickets are $5, subsidized by Peapod Jewelry & HM Payson; all adult tickets are $30.

"Big River" is sponsored by the Newcastle Publick House and season sponsors Bath Savings Institution and Granite Hill Estates.

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