Monday, May 2, 2016

interACT’S “BIG RIVER” OPENS THIS WEEKEND IN SOUTH ORANGE

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Big River 

WHEN: three weekends starting this Friday, May 6th, closing Saturday, May 21st. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 pm, and Sunday matinees begin at 4:00 pm.
WHERE:
The Baird Theatre on 3, 5 Mead St., South Orange
TICKETS: Online tickets are discounted at $18 for adults and $15 for students/seniors at interactproductions.tix.comPrices are higher at the box office, and available an hour before the performance if the performance isn't sold out.

The cast and crew, led by director and set designer Nicholas J. Clarey, are thrilled to perform the musical version of Mark Twain's timeless classic story about Huckleberry Finn. 

Big River was written by William Hauptman, with music and lyrics by Roger Miller, the king of country music.  It takes us on a journey of pure Americana down the mighty Mississippi as the irrepressible Huck Finn help 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.  The original 1985 Broadway production ran for over 1,000 performances, and won multiple Tonys, including Best Musical.

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The cast consists of a whopping 32 actors, and is a mix of familiar and new interACT faces.  Teenager Will Ehren, a student at NYC's LaGuardia High School, plays Huck, while J. Marshall Evans, also from NYC, plays Jim (top image).  Chris Learn co-stars as Tom Sawyer, Trevor Jones as King, Whitney Pillsbury as Duke, Kathryn Stathakis as Mary Jane Wilkes, David Wren-Hardin as Pap Finn, and Dean Nielsen as Mark Twain.  Joining director Clarey on the crew are musical director Holland Jancaitis, stage manager Melissa Milne, producers Sabrina Santoro and Meara Franowicz, lighting designer Zach Pizza, and costumer Lisa Black.

Big River is the final production for the company's current 2015-2016 season.  Founded in 2009, interACT Theatre Productions has been bringing theater to the community for seven seasons.  Past musical productions include Leader of the Pack, Into the Woods, and Carrie: The Musical.  The 2016-2017 season will be announced later this summer.