The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (musical)

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Musical Logo.png
Music Don Schlitz
Lyrics Don Schlitz
Book Ken Ludwig
Basis The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, novel by Mark Twain
Productions 2001 Broadway

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a musical comedy based on the novel by Mark Twain with the book by Ken Ludwig and music and lyrics by Don Schlitz. The musical is the story of a fourteen-year-old boy growing up in the heartland of America. This Broadway musical version of Mark Twain's novel is set in 1840 in St. Petersburg, Missouri, a bustling town on the banks of the Mississippi River. In the course of the story, Tom matches wits with his stern Aunt Polly, falls in love with the beautiful, feisty Becky Thatcher, and goes on the adventure of his life with Becky and Huckleberry Finn. Along the way he meets a terrifying villain named Injun Joe, Tom's bratty half-brother Sid, and all the other boys and girls in the village.

Productions[edit]

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer opened on Broadway at the Minskoff Theater on April 26, 2001 and closed on May 13, 2001, after 21 performances and 34 previews. The musical was directed by Scott Ellis with choreography by David Marques, and featured Joshua Park as Tom Sawyer, Kristen Bell as Becky Thatcher, Jim Poulos as Huckleberry Finn, with Tom Aldredge (Muff Potter), Stephen Lee Anderson (Doc Robinson/Pap), Jane Connell (Widow Douglas), John Dossett (Judge Thatcher) and Kevin Serge Durand (Injun Joe).

Synopsis[edit]

Act One

In 1840, Tom Sawyer is fishing outside St. Petersburg, Missouri as his friends arrive, and the children play a game of Robin Hood ("Hey, Tom Sawyer"). Tom’s Aunt Polly sends him to school, where he tricks the schoolmaster, Mr. Dobbins, into letting the class have the day off. Aunt Polly, Mr. Dobbins and the preacher, Reverend Sprague lament that they "Can’t Do A Thing About the Boy".

Aunt Polly orders Tom to whitewash a fence in front of their house, and Tom’s half-brother, Sid, is happy. Frustrated, Tom plans to run away (Here’s My Plan).

As Tom procrastinates, he meets a beautiful newcomer, Becky Thatcher and they are mutually attracted. The town's outcast and Tom's best friend Huckleberry Finn says that painting the fence looks like fun. Tom then tricks his friends into painting the fence for him, and paying ("Smart Like That").

At night, Tom and Huck visit the local graveyard and see Injun Joe, a troublemaker, fighting with Doc Robinson ("Hand All Clean"). Joe murders Doc Robinson and the boys run away and swear in blood to keep quiet forever about what they saw ("The Vow"). Injun Joe has a vagrant, Muff Potter, blamed for the murder.

On the way to church, Aunt Polly and Judge Thatcher, single parents, lament about "Raising A Child By Yourself". In church, Tom tries to impress Becky by fooling Reverend Sprague into giving him the "Bible Prize" ("It’s In The Bible").

Tom tries to convince a fearful Huck to learn to read. When Huck saves old Widow Douglas from the advances of the town drunk, she offers to teach him to read and to live in her home. However, Huck declines ("It Just Ain’t Me").

Tom and Becky proclaim their undying love for each other ("To Hear You Say My Name").

Muff Potter is arrested for murder, and he pleads with Injun Joe to save him from hanging. Joe agrees to help, but wants a map that Muff has found: a map leading to a treasure, Murrell’s Gold.

At Muff Potter’s trial, Tom tells the truth and swears that Injun Joe committed the murder. Injun Joe yells "You are dead, boy!", throws a knife at Tom, and runs from the courtroom ("The Testimony").

Act Two

As school ends for the summer the children and their parents celebrate ("Ain’t Life Fine"). After weeks of secret tutoring by Widow Douglas, Huck finally learns how to read and they celebrate ("I Can Read!").

At the annual town picnic the festivities start with the exploration of McDougal’s Cave. As the town people go to the cave, Injun Joe arrives in town. He is also going into the cave to find Murrell’s Gold ("Reprise"). But Tom and Becky get lost in the cave; Aunt Polly and Judge Thatcher, with the rest of the town people, frantically search for them ("Angels Lost").

Underground, as Tom and Becky seek a way out of the cave, Tom comforts Becky ("Light"). Although Injun Joe grabs Becky, Tom jumps out from behind a rock and Huck arrives. The three friends win in their fight against Injun Joe. The shaken children find Murrell’s Gold and see daylight shining through a crack in the wall. They escape from the cave, finally safe.

As people of St. Petersburg hold a funeral service for the lost children ("Reprise of Light") Tom, Huck and Becky limp into town. They realize that they’re watching their own funeral. The children are discovered and the town people are wild with happiness (Reprise of "Ain’t Life Fine"). Huck tells Tom that he can read, and the two friends join the celebration ("Finale").

Character list[edit]

  • Tom Sawyer - 10-year old, in love with Becky
  • Huckleberry Finn - A Charming Renegade, son of the town drunk
  • Aunt Polly - Tom's kind but stern aunt
  • Becky Thatcher - Tom's girlfriend
  • Amy Lawrence - In love with Tom, Tom's former girlfriend
  • Injun Joe - The villain
  • Miss Dobbins - The school teacher
  • Muff Potter - A local vagrant
  • Pap - The town drunk, and Huck's father
  • Reverend Sprague
  • Sid Sawyer - Tom's half-brother. An insufferable goody-goody tattletale
  • Widow Douglas - A kind, old woman who teaches Huck how to read
  • Alfred Temple- friend of Tom's
  • Benjamin Rogers - Joe Harper's best friend
  • Doc Robinson- The man murdered by Injun Joe
  • George Bellamy
  • Gideon Wain- Muff Potters's lawyer
  • Joe Harper - Tom's second best friend, and best friend of Benjamin Rogers
  • Judge Thatcher - Becky Thatcher's father, an old judge who just moved to Missouri
  • Mayor Lanyard Bellamy
  • Suzie Rogers
  • Lucy Harper
  • Jim Hollis
  • Lyle Peters

Songs[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Theatre World Award Winner
  • Outstanding New Performer (Joshua Park)
Tony Award Nominees
  • Lighting Designer (Kenneth Posner)
  • Scenic Designer (Heidi Ettinger)
Drama Desk Award nominees
  • Outstanding Orchestrations (Michael Starobin)
  • Outstanding Set Design of a Musical (Heidi Ettinger)
  • Outstanding Costume Design (Anthony Powell)
  • Outstanding Lighting Design (Kenneth Posner)

External links[edit]