Utah Shakespeare Festival
- Book by William Hauptman
- With Music and Lyrics by Roger MIller
For all the beauty in Big River, there is the fact that the story deals with slavery and racial prejudice. Anderson did not flinch at portraying a taste of the ugly racial realities of the time ... Anderson recognized that softening these aspects of the show would dull its power.
For all the beauty in Big River, there is the fact that the story deals with slavery and racial prejudice. Anderson did not flinch at portraying a taste of the ugly racial realities of the time, such as when she created a haunting “The Crossing” (where re-captured runaway slaves are brought back to Missouri). Anderson recognized that softening these aspects of the show would dull its power.
And powerful it is. By having an understated style and a deft touch, Anderson has created a Big River that is direct and meaningful. The cast’s wonderful performances make Big River a success on any metric, and I encourage readers to take their own trip down the Mississippi with Jim and Huck.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about USF’s “Big River” isn’t the cast’s Broadway-level talent — although you’d be hard-pressed to find any better than Rob Riodan’s irascible Huckleberry Finn and Ezekiel Andrew's gentle Jim — but the delightful ease with which essential lessons about humanity and goodness go down.
- Scenic design by Jason Lajka
- Costume design by Kevin Alberts
- Lighting design by William C. Kirkham
- Photos by Karl Hugh
Cast: John Ahlin, Ian Allred, Samantha Allred, Ezekiel Andrew, Colleen Baum, Russ Benton, Landon Tate Boyle, Chaye Lynn Brown, Michael Doherty, Katie Fay Francis, Cailen Fu, A. Bryan Humphrey, Austin Glen Jacobs, Stephanie Lambourn, Keith Livingston, Henry A. McDaniel, Chris Mixon, Veronica Otim, Jim Poulos, Lance Rasmussen, Daria Pilar Redus, Rob Riordan, Andre Spathelf-Sanders