interACT Theatre Productions Presents ‘Big River’ Opening May 6

by The Village Green
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From interACT Theatre Productions:

interACT Theatre Productions presents the musical Big River this May at the Baird Center in South Orange, NJ.  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 for three weekends starting this Friday, May 6th.  There will be eight performances total at the Baird Theatre on Three, with closing night being Saturday, May 21st.

Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30pm, and Sunday matinees begin at 4:00pm.  Online tickets are discounted at $18 for adults and $15 for students/seniors at  Prices are higher at the box office, and available an hour before the performance if the performance isn’t sold out.

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.

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.  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 musicals include Leader of the Pack, Into the Woods, and Carrie: The Musical.  The 2016-2017 season will be announced later this summer.


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