Theater Review: Big River

Big River – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn –

May 19 – 22, 2016
@Tokyo International Players

13262288_1742347065985402_2115869968_oPhoto by Teruaki Ito

Tokyo International Players production of “Big River” has finally arrived!

After what can only be described as a long ride down a slow and meticulous river, through an arduous production and musical rehearsal process, the long awaited opening weekend is finally upon us. Rest assured, the wait was well with it! This production is sure to please audiences beyond their expectations, with eye stunning set designs, vibrant stage lighting and a stellar cast of deeply talented actors all lead under the stern eye of their director, Hannah Grace.

Rafting on the Mississippi River

The lead actors are very talented and professional, especially Martin Leroux (Huck) and Ra Weir (Jim),who showcase their extraordinary talents in both acting and singing. When they first set off in their raft down the Big River, I was overwhelmed with anticipation and felt a wave of goosebumps come over me as I eagerly took the journey with them. I could see a splendid view of the sky above the water, feel the breeze from the raft and hear the murmur of a stream under my feet.

Tom Sawyer, played by comic actor Jon Sabay, interjected the funny side to every scene he appeared in, entertained the audiences with his comical play acting and physical humor, filling every aisle of the theater with warm laughter. Other noteworthy mentions should go to veteran actors, Michael Hale and Tim Harris, who play an array of widely diverse characters throughout the play, which takes a considerable amount of acting skills on their parts.

Very Talented Ensemble

Without a doubt, the director must be very proud of the talented ensemble she has assembled for this show. Diverse in talent and rich with energy the ensemble sings each Gospel song with heart and soul. Karen Pauley (Miss Watson) and Russell Nakagome (Young Fool) to name only a few, stood out with their pleasant voices and delivery. One of the most memorable moments in the play was when the Gospel ensemble, lead by Jim sang “Free At Last” to the audience in an outpouring of passion and joy.

Translation Revolution

Big River is performed in an authentic American Southern accent, but the use of Japanese subtitles on stage helps Japanese audiences follow along. The innovative real-time translations helped overcome the language barrier.

As entertainment editor of MET, this is the show I highly recommend you all to see. Get on the raft with Huck and Jim and enjoy the ride!

“Big River – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”

Date: May 19 – 22, 2016
Location: Theater Sun Mall
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Shinjuku 1-19-10 Sun Mall Crest B1 (Nearest station: Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line Shinjuku Gyoen-mae Station) *Click here for map
Ticket handling: Tokyo International Players
Entrance fee: adult 4,500 yen, student 2,500 yen
※ Performances are in English, Japanese subtitles available.

Related Links

Tokyo International

*Proofread by Rodger Sono

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s