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Based on the classic American story The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Big River is a stage musical that follows a boy on his journey along the Mississippi River in the early to mid-1800s. The first productions of the show were at Cambridge Massachusetts' American Repertory Theatre and San Diego, California's La Jolla Playhouse in 1984. It opened at Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre on April 25, 1985 and ran for 1,005 performances through September 20, 1987. The original cast included Daniel H. Jenkins (Billy Elliott) as Huck, Ron Richardson (Dreamgirls) as Jim, and John Goodman (TV's Roseanne) as Pap Finn. A lauded revival produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company and Deaf West Theatre, which featured both deaf and hearing actors and spoken/sung and fully signed performances, played Broadway in 2003, after which a tour made its way across the US. Get your tickets to Big River to see this iconic story told musically live on stage.Plot Synopsis:
Huckleberry Finn is a child living in pre-Civil War era Missouri. His adopted guardians, Widow Douglas and Miss Watson, tell him he needs to become literate and read the Bible if he wants to go to heaven, but Miss Watson's slave, Jim, passes no judgment on him and predicts that he will have an eventful life. When Huck's alcoholic father ("Pap") finds him one night, he takes him back to his cabin in the woods and nearly kills him in a drunken rage. When Pap leaves the next day, Huck fakes his own death with a pig carcass and escapes.
When Huck reaches Jackson Island, he finds Jim and agrees to help him flee to the North on the Mississippi River. As they float along, they encounter a boat carrying escaped slaves back to their masters, a flooded house, and a dead body. When they sail past the mouth of the Ohio, they pick up two grifters who call themselves "The Duke" and "The King" and commandeer their raft to escape a mob that is chasing them. The men also secretly plot to sell Jim back into slavery.
Though Huck makes money with the Duke and the King (however unscrupulously), he eventually learns that they are underhanded when they sell Jim back into slavery. Huck manages to return inheritance money to a young girl, Mary Jane Wilkes, that they have stolen, and though she asks him to stay and become her friend, he resolves to free Jim yet again. Buy Big River tickets to trace Huck's journey from a naive and selfish boy to an independent, upstanding man.Awards: 1985 Tony Awards: 10 nominations, 7 wins 1985 Drama Desk Awards: 14 nominations, 9 wins 2004 Tony Awards: 3 nominations, 1 win 2004 Drama Desk Awards: 4 nominations Creative Team: Music & Lyrics Roger Miller Book William Hauptman Based On The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain Big River News: September 26, 2008 Big River opens at Connecticut's Goodspeed Opera House, set to run through November 29!