April 11, 2005 |
Unlike The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the classic American novel on which it is based, Big River never will be recognized as an American classic. That's not to say, however, that the musical version of Mark Twain's well-known story isn't a tuneful, lively, entertaining show. Built around a spirited scamp of a boy, the novel is filled with the high spirits of its protagonist, and so is the musical. It is an ideal show for energetic university theater students to take on, and Villanova's zesty production doesn't disappoint in that regard.
November 12, 1987 |
Within the last month, the touring company of Big River has played one- night stands in Jackson, Miss; Danville, Ky.; Huntington, W. Va., and Binghamton, N.Y.; two nights in Huntsville, Ala.; three nights in Toledo, Ohio, and South Bend, Ind., and a week in Raleigh, N.C. Could be that the whole crew is a little frazzled. Could be, too, that its Tuesday-night opening at the Playhouse Theater was affected by the difficulty of moving into a strange theater and giving a great performance on the first try. In any case, it seemed that much of the zest had gone out of the musical that I remembered so fondly from its Broadway opening in April 1985.
November 11, 1987 |
Two years, six months and 16 days after its Broadway opening, the musical "Big River" last night lit a stage in the Delaware Valley for the first time. Wilmington is the lucky locale to land this Tom Mallow truck-and-bus production - yet another gala event in the 75th-anniversary season of the Playhouse. "Big River" isn't the first musical inspired by Huck Finn, and Lord knows it won't be the last. To explain what makes this Huckleberry opus stand out in the crowd takes just four syllables: Roger Miller.
November 26, 2004 |
Ask lovers of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to name an episode that hinges on hearing and they will most likely pick the anguished recollection of the fugitive slave Jim. When he thought his 4-year-old daughter was ignoring him, Jim beat the child, only to later discover that she had lost her hearing and voice to scarlet fever. The re-creation of his tormented guilt makes a poignant and emblematic moment in Big River, an extraordinary revival staged by the Deaf West Theatre of Los Angeles that deploys the communicative skills of those who cannot hear to let us see Twain's immortal fable in a different light.
November 29, 1990 |
Big River is the musicalization of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, and there couldn't be a better composer to put the story to music than Roger Miller. Twain's tale takes place when the country was young and optimistic - if not all that innocent - and Miller's rhythmically strong country-and-western music captures the spirit of the land and Twain's vigorous style. Big River opened last night as the Walnut Street Theater's annual holiday season musical, and if the production is not quite as perfect as the marriage of Miller's music to the subject matter, it is a strong, entirely riverworthy vehicle for taking Huck on his adventurous float down the Mississippi.
November 23, 2004 |
Ed Waterstreet, the deaf founder and artistic director of the Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles, had already had success with productions that mixed hearing and deaf actors signing and speaking, so presenting a musical the same way seemed the next logical step in his theater's development. It didn't sound like that great of an idea to Broadway director Jeff Calhoun. In fact, when Deaf West's managing director asked Calhoun to consider creating a similar production of Oliver!, the proposal seemed so bizarre that, Calhoun recalled, "I thought he was drunk.
January 6, 2013 |
A battle is brewing on the banks of the Schuylkill - and the Monongahela, the Lackawanna, the Juniata, the Swatara, and the Kiskiminetas. Those six waterways are vying for the Pennsylvania River of the Year title, to be decided by a public online vote. As of Friday afternoon, with 6,830 votes cast, the Monongahela was in the lead (2,103 votes), with the Schuylkill lapping at its heels (1,762). The contest, funded by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and run by the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, aims to raise awareness and appreciation of the state's waterways.
November 6, 2015 |
Hearing the words of Mark Twain, Frederick Douglass, and Ulysses S. Grant come to life is a privilege and a pleasure. The same goes for interviewing the actors who portray these three American icons onstage. "I hope we do more than entertain people," says longtime Twain actor Rick Bonnette. He's the author of two literate, witty, and affecting plays in which he will appear, separately, with Leon Morgan as Douglass and Richard Gross as Grant. "When you pick three towering figures to write about," Bonnette says, "you've got an opportunity to say something.
November 30, 1990 |
"Big River," the Roger ("King of the Road") Miller musical trip down the Mississippi now playing at the Walnut Street Theatre, turns Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" into a singing, dancing, toe-tapping, knee-slapping good time. Miller, when approached to write the music for Twain's classic novel, reportedly was reluctant. Not only had he never written a musical score before, he'd only seen one musical in his life. But the man who gave us "Chug-a-Lug" and "Dang Me," has created music as varied and flavorful as the life drifting past Huck and the runaway slave Jim as they float downriver.
May 9, 2011 |
MEMPHIS - Tourists gathered along Beale Street and gawkers snapped photos of the rising Mississippi on Sunday, even as more residents were told to flee their homes and the river's crest edged toward the city. Officials went door-to-door warning about 240 people to get out before the river's expected peak Tuesday. Residents in more than 1,300 homes had been told to go, and more than 370 people were in shelters. The Mississippi spared Kentucky and northwest Tennessee any catastrophic flooding and no deaths had been reported there, but some low-lying towns and farmland along the banks of the big river have been inundated.