EDITORS NOTE: The Pacer has learned of errors in our “Big River” story (published April 23, “Big River big hit”), and has launched a full investigation into both its writing and publication. We will publish a full report both online and in this week’s issue.
Mark Twain himself could not have been more proud of the UTM department of music this past weekend. Their reenactment of ‘Big River’ had everything from action to romance to mystery. This play was directed, choreographed and produced by Margaret Olson.
The actors really brought their characters to life by singing and dancing the night away.
The play consisted of two acts in which there were several musical numbers. The three main characters Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer and Jim sang their way into the hearts of the audience.
Sean Campbell played the character of Huck Finn like no one else. His comical sayings and juvenile actions left the audience near tears. Campbell really brought life into this character by showing that even if you’re young, life can still be fun.
The character of Tom Sawyer was played by Eric Brewer. He showed that in order to be a true thespian, you have to get into the minds of the audience. Tom Sawyer was a mischievous, bad-mouthed and comical character. Even though all he wanted to do was rob and murder people, he still had a soft spot in his heart for his best friend, Huck Finn.
What good would any play be without a little controversy?
In this play, slavery was a tough, but important topic for them to tackle. Nathan Harrison portrayed Jim, an uneducated runaway slave. All Jim wanted to do was sail along the Mississippi River to the north so that he could save up money to buy back his wife and children from their slave owners.
Harrison sang, danced and breathed this character.
The audience could almost feel all of the pain that Jim felt.
In this play, Jim’s friendship with Huck shows that we do not live in a black and white world, and sometimes your best friend might be staring right in the face.
The music in this play was outstanding.
The stage was set to make the audience feel as if they were actually sailing along the Mississippi River with Huck and Jim.
Some other subjects in this play include true friendship, revenge, family relationships and adolescent life. The characters in this play each had to overcome whatever strongholds that society, their families or their religion had over them.
Relationships between family and friends were really brought out during this play. If the audience learned only one thing from these actors it was to never give up even when you feel like there is no hope for the future.
Other characters also brought out the importance of certain topics in the play by dancing, singing, fighting or laughing.
Laughter overflowed throughout the auditorium during the entire play. Even during serious scenes, it was hard to keep a straight face just knowing that something exciting or mysterious was about to happen.
Overall, this play was outstanding. The characters got their point across without being offensive or derogatory. At the end of the play, the audience rose to their feet and applauded the cast for a long period of time.