Sunday, October 12, 2003

What's a river event
without 'Tom Sawyer'?

By Jackie Demaline
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Actors from the Children's Theatre star in Tom Sawyer.

On Tall Stacks evenings, the Great American Financial Stage near Yeatman's Cove will host big concert events. But during the day, the Children's Theatre's original, 35-minute musical Tom Sawyer will take the stage, at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 11 a.m., 12:15 and 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The "Reader's Digest version" doesn't miss any of the best-loved episodes in Mark Twain's classic, promises Children's Theatre artistic director Jack Louiso. The show includes the famous fence painting, graveyard and raft scenes, and the visits to the island, the cave and the funeral.

Tom Sawyer is written by Cincinnati's most prolific family musical team, David Kisor and Joseph McDonough. Their collaborations include The Fantastic Toy Shoppe and Noah's Ark for Children's Theatre and The Frog Princess, Around the World in 80 Days and Alice in Wonderland for Ensemble Theatre. (Alice will be revived this year at ETC.)

Tom's adventures may move along at a run, but the cast hasn't been reduced. It will take 20 performers, adults and children to play out his story.

Bill Hartnett plays narrator Mark Twain. Robert Breslin is Tom, Michael Carr and Morgan Martin are his friends Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher.

Children's Theatre regulars Mary Tensing, Spring Starr Pillow, Deondre Means and Chuck Haungs are also featured.