Now I may be a bit biased because there are a few reasons why I love this musical in the first place. Growing up, Mark Twain's novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was one of the books I reread over and over as a child. When I saw my first professional musical in Washington DC during a Junior High class trip, imagine how ecstatic I was that part of our itinerary included a dinner theatre production of Big River! I fell in love with how the story, which was already so familiar to me, was brought to life on stage with music. It was also one of those defining moments when I suddenly realized just how utterly amazing, and what a work of art, theatre can be.
Several years ago, I saw Deaf West Theatre's version of Big River. What made this production spectacular was that the actors were deaf. They hired additional non-hearing impaired actors to speak the lines and sing. The hearing impaired actors portrayed the action of the story and signed. The "actor teams" would create an incredible movement piece with sign language that complimented one another during the musical numbers. It was SO BEAUTIFUL that I had tears in my eyes almost the entire time. And looking out into the audience during intermission it was incredible to watch the majority of the audience communicating with their hands. It was a sight to see. I convinced all my friends and family to accompany me to a second performance.
Yes, I may be a bit biased, but I am also a harsh critic when it comes to theatre productions, especially in Los Angeles. And I say with confidence that this is a musical worth seeing.
And I was able to find half off tickets through Goldstar! They are also great for cheap entertainment tickets in general.