Setting the tale of Huckleberry Finn to music, the Strauss Theatre's production of "Big River" debuts this weekend. The show marks the beginning of Strauss Theatre's 85th season.
Based on the the classic novel by Mark Twain, this musical follows the story of Huck Finn and his friend, the runaway slave Jim, as they attempt to flee up the Mississippi River to free the rest of Jim's family.
Anita Breen with the Strauss Theatre says that the play has help bring together actors of different races that might not have worked together otherwise.
"We had a tremendous turnout for auditions, both from the African American community, as well as the white community," explains Breen, "Yes it is set in a time when there was a lot of difficulty, and where slavery was a common practice. It was also set in a time when there was tension between the races -- just as unfortunately we have today, but it demonstrates that this can be overcome."
With music by acclaimed songwriter Roger Miller, the play features wonderfully entertaining folk and gospel songs, says Breen, and all of the sets the sets are hand painted scenes from the Mississippi River.
The play premiers on Thursday September 8 with a patron preview night at 7 p.m., continues Friday the 9 and Saturday the 10 with shows at 7 p.m. A matinee showing will be held on Sunday the 11 at 2 p.m.
The showings continue the following weekend with shows Friday September 15 and Saturday the 16 at 7 p.m. and Sunday the 17 at 2 p.m. More information, including ticket prices can be found at the Strauss Theatre Center's website.