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Big River

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Music & lyrics by Roger Miller
Book by William Hauptman
Directed by Peter Marston Sullivan

Sept 10 – Oct 10, 2010

presented at Theater Wit

July 27 – 31, 2011

Remounted at Theatre On The Lake

Twain's timeless classic sweeps us down the mighty Mississippi as the irrepressible Huck Finn helps his friend Jim, a slave, escape to freedom at the mouth of the Ohio River. Their adventures along the way are hilarious, suspenseful and heartwarming, bringing to life your favorite characters and all the fun and danger from the novel.

Propelled by an award winning score from country music legend Roger Miller, Big River's jaunty journey provides a theatrical celebration of pure Americana. Drawn from an eclectic collection of musical styles, including Cajun, gospel, blues and country, director Peter Marston Sullivan and musical director Nicholas Davio have stripped the original score down to a simple string orchestra, uncovering the honest core to Miller's tunes and bringing to life the human connections between Huck and the multifaceted characters who cross his path.

CastCrew
*Theater Wit production only. **Theatre on the Lake production only
  • Huck Finn: Andrew Mueller
  • Jim: Brian-Alwyn Newland
  • Tom Sawyer: Courtney Crouse*
  • Ensemble:
  • Bear Bellinger**
  • Christa Buck
  • Nicholas Davio
  • Jim DeSelm**
  • Rashada Dawan*
  • Anna Hammonds
  • Benjamin Kirkberger**
  • Hilary Holbrook
  • John Leen
  • Cam McIntyre
  • Krystal Metcalfe**
  • Mike Tepeli*
  • Sean Thomas
  • James Williams*
  • Music Direction: Nicholas Davio
  • Choreography: Ericka Mac
  • Scenic Design: Judy Radovsky & Anders Jacobson
  • Lighting Design: Samantha Treible
  • Costume Design: Sarah Putnam
  • Prop Design: Steve Genovese
  • Stage Manager: David Solotke
  • Producer (Theater Wit) Peter Blair
  • Producer (Theater on the Lake): David Solotke & Tom Samorian

Nominated for FIVE Jeff Awards!

  • Outstanding Production (Musical)
  • Outstanding Direction (Musical): Peter Marston Sullivan
  • Outstanding Musical Direction: Nicholas Davio
  • Principle Actor (Musical): Andrew Mueller — WINNER!
  • Supporting Actor (Musical): Courtney Crouse — WINNER!

Big River Production Photos:

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Rave reviews for Big River:

"Every bit as exuberant as [Twain's novel] and twice as likely to make you bawl your eyes out... The production also boasts some fine, sincere and beautifully sung performances." (4 Stars)
Zac Thompson, TimeOut Chicago

Andrew Mueller, who plays Huck Finn, not only sings the heck out of the score and gives his man heart, but he also deftly captures that more elusive quality of the gawky, awkward rural adolescent.... It's a superb piece of work — as good as I've seen — and it carries the show.... Here you could introduce a young person to Twain, and Miller, without emptying all your pockets. "
Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

"One of great evocations of the American spirit in all its confoundedness... In director P. Marston Sullivan's invariably zesty but understated production, the young performers at BoHo... have tuned themselves to the sound, frequently picking up a guitar, fiddle, squeezebox or washboard to accompany themselves, while moving in and out of the onstage band." (Recommended)
Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

"In its stripped-down, acoustic, story theatre approach, Bohemian Theatre Ensemble comes up with an intimate, funny, moving and sometimes dark creation that simply soars."
Jeff Rossen, Gay Chicago Magazine

"Strikingly successful in preserving both the sweet soul and stinging satire." (Recommended)
Bill Williams, Chicago Reader

"The simplified musical arrangements and accompaniment... prove to be a portal to a fresh and personal look at Twain's ageless story. The incomparable BoHo cast are first-class musicians and storytellers... Big River once again confirms BoHo as one of Chicago's finest non-Equity companies, whose vision and talents should serve as a model to others." (Highly Recommended)
Stead Style Chicago

"...Director P. Marston Sullivan’s deceptively simple staging and Anders Jacobson and Judy Radovsky’s stylized set put the talented cast and Twain’s potent story foremost. (Highly Recommended)"
Chicago Theatre Blog

"A solid version of a truly down home musical with a message."
Alan Bresloff, Around the Town Chicago

"Boho's Big River is a gritty, folksy and unpretentious romp. With heart to boot... Let me just say this: I'm broke, and I would pay to go see this show again."
Off Broadway in Chicago