Writer: Whitney Schulte
“Big River” Takes Stage at the Caine Lyric Theatre
LOGAN – The Lyric Repertory Company brings audiences Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a musical adventure set on the Mississippi River Valley, opening June 23 at the historic Caine Lyric Theatre.
Follow Jim and Huck on this toe-tappin,’ knee-slappin’ misadventure based on Mark Twain’s classic 1884 novel and set to music by the great country singer-songwriter Roger Miller. This musical received twice as many votes as any other production in Lyric Rep history in the 50th anniversary season audience survey.
Directed by Jim Christian, the recently retired director of musical theater studies at Weber State University, Big River will keep audience members engaged throughout the show.
“Mark Twain’s storytelling is incredible,” Richie Call, co-artistic director of the Lyric Rep, said. “Combine that with Roger Miller’s music and it’s hard to beat. Put all of that together with the message of triumph over prejudice and racism and you’ve got a terrific story, music you’ll be singing for weeks and a message that inspires you to be a little kinder, stand a little taller and be a better person.”
In 2012, the Lyric Rep produced Big River for the first time. A young actor named Kristopher Jude King made his Lyric Rep debut that summer.
“In addition to being a talented singer and actor, Kris was an incredible man,” Call said. “He was kind, generous and a complete joy to be around. Shortly after closing the final performance of Big River that summer, Kris had a heart attack that took his life. This summer, the Lyric Rep would like to dedicate this production to Kristopher Jude King. We love you, we miss you and we look forward to singing with you again.”
Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn cast includes: W. Vosco Call (Mark Twain); Cameron Blankenship (Huck Finn); Paul-Jordan Jansen (Jim); Celeste Baillio (Widow Douglas/Ensemble); Kelly McGaw (Miss Watson/Ensemble); Wyn Moreno (Pap Finn/Ensemble); Clarissa Boston (Susan Wilkes/Ensemble); Katie Francis (Mary Jane Wilkes/Ensemble); Michael W.D. Francis (Duke/Ensemble); Chris Klinger (The King/Ensemble); Christian Johnston (Young Fool/Ensemble); Kinsey McCabe (Aunt Sally/Ensemble), Justin Turpin (Tom Sawyer/Ensemble) and Danielle C. Armour, Tristan Berg, Scotty Fletcher, Sydnee Fullmer, Noah Gentry, Brittany Deneen Hines, Cameron Neeley, Christobal Iniguez Perez, Kelvin M. Rhodes II, Jeunee Roberts, Khairo Robinson, Dominic Stewart, Keawe Wilson (Ensemble).
Featured musicians for the show are Richard Kline (bass); Jim Schaub (bass); Luke Shepherd (piano); Katie Francis (fiddle); Clarissa Boston (fiddle); Kelin Gibbons (guitar) and Justin Turpin (guitar).
Opening June 23, Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, runs on select dates through August 5. Also part of the Lyric Rep 50th anniversary season is The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised], Wait Until Dark and The Foreigner. There is also a special 50th Anniversary Celebration on July 21 and 22.
For more information and tickets, call 435-797-8022, go online to lyricrep.org or visit the Caine Lyric Theatre Box Office in downtown Logan at 28 West Center Monday–Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and one hour prior to curtain on show nights.