Big River, the musical based on Mark Twain's classic 1884 novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, tackles some tough subjects (a violent and abusive alcoholic father, slavery, children's rights and escaped convicts). It's also shaping up to be the most ambitious undertaking for Queensbury Theatre since the venue moved into its new state-of-the-art theater space last fall.
“This is the largest-scale production we’ve done so far,” says Luke Wrobel, interim artistic director. “The set is pretty large, and there are a number of things we’re working on with the set that we have not tried before.”
Eric Domuret directs and Jean Carlos Gonzalez did the scenic design, which includes duplicating the mighty Mississippi River, creating a raft that moves across stage, and rotating sets.
Jordi Viscarri (Into the Woods) is Huck, Mark Frazier is the runaway slave Jim in search of his wife and children up North, and Sam Balest and Kelly Harkins (Man of La Mancha) portray the on-the-lam criminals. It all ends happily enough, with several plot lines tied up in a neat little bow, including a reunion with Huck's friend, Tom Sawyer (played by Brian Chambers).
"We’ll use it as a jumping-off point for the next season," Wrobel says "and hopefully it sets a precedent of quality that we can meet in the future.”
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Performances of Big River are scheduled for March 10 through April 10 at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays at Queensbury Theatre, 12777 Queensbury Lane. 713-467-4497 or visit queensburytheatre.org. $36 to $48.