A River Ran Through It

Last night Michele and I attended the Theater Albany production of “Big River”. This musical is an adaptation of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I must admit that it has been about 25-30 years since I read either “Tom Sawyer” or “Huckleberry Finn”, so it was really all new to me. Here is how the night went and my opinion of the whole thing. Yes, my opinion.

Michele and I promised each other that we would always have dates no matter how long we are together. Last night was a date night. About a month ago we went to see Sarah in the Deerfield spring musical. They did “Hello Dolly”. There were some issues with sound and a few goofs but we were entertained nonetheless. They did a great job. This experience had me longing  for more sophisticated forms of entertainment. That weekend I went online and purchased tickets to see “9 to 5” at the Fox Theater in Atlanta for next Fall. Since that was a long time to wait I started searching for closer and cheaper options. I found the Theater Albany website and immediately saw the advertisement for Big River. I gathered Michele’s opinion and we were off. I bought the tickets and looked forward to it .

We left the house with Jake in charge of himself and Daphne, the Westie. I always wonder which one to leave in charge in these situations but Jake’s opposable thumbs seem to give him the edge. Jacob, left with pizza, Coke and hopes of hidden candy was happy to see us go. No control for at least four hours. Michele and I struck out to Harvest Moon. Our favorite little spot that provides a great atmosphere and wonderful service. While there, we learned that our favorite waiter, Bill, was no longer employed there. This was a great disappointment to us because Bill had become part of the experience. He was personable, polite and pretty much kissed our ass. We tipped him well for it. He would even go next door to the drug store and get ice cream so we could have our favorite desert. Brownie Bites. The waitress we did have was good and remembered us from the last time we were there. She was diplomatic and didn’t tell us the whole story.  Really it wasn’t any of our business.  Michele had the usual and I had had the Grouper Sandwich and Rohos. YUM.  A couple of adult beverages and we were off to the show.

The is no parking at the theater so we parked on the street. It was a rainy night so we had to scurry into the house pretty quickly. Yes, the house. Theater Albany is an old mansion that was turned into a theater in 1932. They added the auditorium  to the back of the house and use the rest of it as a box office and places to “be” before the show  and during intermission. Once inside I checked my phone to make sure it was on vibrate. This reminded Michele to check her phone. She looks into her clutch and yep, you guessed it, no phone. Now we had to wonder if her phone was in the Jeep or on the table at Harvest Moon. Guess who had to go out in the rain to the Jeep and check…..just guess. You are correct!! I found the phone on the seat where it was forgotten. I came back in to the theater and noticed there was wine for a small donation. Yes, I had a glass of white. I would have had another but it was showtime.

I won’t bore you with the whole show because you would rather read the real book. I can tell you that after a little of a slow start the whole thing got better and better. I was most impressed with the gentlemen who played “Jim”, the runaway slave. That man has a strong, powerful but still beautiful voice. He was the best singer in the show in my opinion. The second best, though not very far behind, was  a lady who sang an old slave song as they were captured and marched back to the plantation. Her voice was also powerful and beautiful. The scenery and music were all wonderful. I saw no bad acting and only noticed one mistake, a mistake I would have made. And I wouldn’t have recovered as well as that actor did.

I am no critic so I will not act like one. The sum of the whole thing is that it was a wonderful show and I was truly entertained, which was the point. I was surprised when Michele told me that all of these players were local Albany area folks. I just assumed that they were professionals from a large city. Michele and I had a great time. We ate good and were pleasantly entertained. Another wonderful date with a wonderful girl.



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