A Parent's Review: 'Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'
(Editor's note: See also our Q&A with Village Theatre artistic director Steve Tomkins about the production and tips for parents.)
Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of our country’s great novels. It’s also one of the most challenged books in the U.S., due to its anachronistic attitudes and language about race.
Adapted by William Hauptman from Twain’s book, the musical Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, currently playing at Issaquah’s Village Theatre, reflects the book's context and language.
But if parents take the time to prepare kids with information about the book’s history and context, the show’s fine performances, soaring bluegrass-infused score and truly beautiful musical and dance numbers make the production worth seeking out. It also makes a good starting point for conversations with kids about the origins of our country’s relation to race. (See resources listed below.)
As Huck and Jim, Randy Scholz and Rodney Hicks provide some of the show’s best moments. Their duets – “Muddy Water,” “River in the Rain” and “Worlds Apart” – are gorgeous, Scholz’s light tenor blending beautifully with Hicks’ powerful voice.