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Review | ‘Big River’

Rubicon Presents Huck Finn Musical

Celeste Argueta, County Public Works Department intern, at Kellogg Elementary School after setting up a food share cart in October | Credit: Courtesy County Public Works Department

This fine new production of the 1985 Broadway hit musical packs the Rubicon’s intimate space with enough music and action to fill a theater many times the size. Based on Mark Twain’s novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the show stars David Aron Damane as Jim and Josey Montana McCoy as Huck. A dazzling cast and a full band led by Abdul Hamid Royal ensure that there’s always something exciting happening as Huck and Jim drift down the Mississippi towards adventure.

Kirby Ward has done an extraordinary job of directing and choreographing this giant of a show so that it works as a near-immersive experience. The Rubicon’s casting reach really shines here, with stars like Teri Bibb, Renn Woods, and Larry Cedar turning in outstanding performances. As for the material, it’s both hard to beat Huckleberry Finn, and hard to bear the way that his dream of an America that’s not racially divided remains, more than a century later, tantalizingly out of reach. 

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