BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Big River opened to rave reviews on Broadway in 1985, and even took home a Tony Award.
Based on Mark Twain's classic 1884 novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the production opens at the Sanger Theater in Biloxi on Feb. 26.
With the addition of beautiful music, the pages of the literary classic come to life on stage. Eighteen-year-old Aubry Benefield plays the lead character, Huck Finn.
Benefield says it's a role of a lifetime.
"It's exciting to be a part of this. My character is Tom Sawyer's best friend, and he's all about looking for that next adventure," said Benefield.
Much of that adventure centers around the friendship that develops between Huck and Jim, a slave in search of freedom, played by Gary Conley, Jr.
Conley says the music and message are powerful.
"Really, it just shows how friendship can be color blind. It doesn't matter how you look, or how I look. I can be your friend and help you reach your goals, and you can help me reach mine," noted Conley. "That's what a good friendship is about."
In addition to a poignant story line of an unlikely friendship, Huck and Jim encounter lively adventures and colorful characters along their way.
Musician and performer Roger Miller wrote the music for Big River. Cliff Thompson directs the cast of 30 in a show that he says he's proud to be a part of.
"Because of the literary value of the piece, and the fact that the message is still as important today as it was back then," said Miller.
Big River will be at the Saenger Theater in Biloxi through March 5. For tickets visit entertainmentcartel.net.