Continuing with my blog series reviewing Actors Theatre of Louisville’s 2011-12 series of plays, Mom and I recently saw the second play in our seven-play season subscription, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, adapted by Laura Eason from the novel by Mark Twain. Jeremy B. Cohen provided the direction.
Again, I’m not an avid theater-goer and I don't pretend to know the intricacies of the theater, but I know what I like, so I will simply relate what Mom and I thought of the performance.
Most people know Mark Twain’s classic tale of Tom Sawyer, which was based upon Twain’s own childhood. The story describes the adventures of a young boy, about 12 or 13 years old, growing up near the Mississippi River in the late 19th Century. The details from the story are all played out in Actors Theatre’s latest production of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, from Sawyer tricking his friends into white-washing the picket fence to Sawyer and his sweetheart, Becky Thatcher, losing their way in McDougal’s Cave. The story has plenty of humor, a little romance, a scandalous murder, and plenty of adventure.
Unlike the first play Mom and I saw in our season package, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was entertaining and intriguing from start to finish. The actors, Tim McKiernan as Tom Sawyer, Robbie Tann as Huckleberry Finn, and Hayley Treider as Becky Thatcher, were believable, endearing, and funny. I never felt like I was unsure what the actors said or what they were trying to portray. I was never distracted from the story by my own perception that an actor was “over-acting” or seemed too old or young for the role.
Although the performance is suggested for children ages 10 and up, I surprisingly saw few children at this performance. Whether or not your children know the story of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, I think they would enjoy Actors Theatre’s production. There is only one part in the play that may be frightening to some children. Tom Sawyer’s dream sequence includes loud, scary music combined with an eerie light show as the main characters act out their own murders. However, I don’t think this scene would have scared my children as much as Jacob Marley’s entrance did in Actors Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol.
Mom and I agreed that we both really enjoyed this performance. The reaction from the audience around us showed that they also enjoyed it.
The performance runs through October 29, 2011. A trailer of the play can be seen in the video below. Ticketing information can be found on Actors Theatre’s website.
Photo: Courtesy Actors Theatre of Louisville