Last night a bunch of the staff went to see Tom Sawyer at the Hartford Stage. I heard that it was great from others who had been during preview week. We had great seats and watched for two hours as a handful of twenty-somethings brought us back to our pre-teen years. The characters were enthusiastic and energetic and ran around the stage like we used to do as kids. They brought back the feelings we had as kids; shy around the boy/girl we liked, mischievous, thinking the best thing ever was to run around screaming our heads off.
The novel was adapted really well for the play and hit on all of the major scenes of the novel. As someone talks about Twain and Tom Sawyer I didn't feel as though anything had been left out. Throughout the play there are these little narration scenes where one of the characters will leave character and tell the audience something about what is going on. This really helps keep everyone up to speed with what is going on, seeing as they are performing an entire novel in two hours. The stage was used in some really creative ways to create more space than was naturally available. This was especially so in the cave scenes.
Personally, I was entranced by the Becky character. I imagine it must be really hard to have to act like a little girl for two hours but she was really wonderful. I imagine it probably isn't too tough for the boys to act like little boys for two hours, but what do I know?
I tweeted throughout the whole (before, intermission and after), if you'd like to read what I was saying you can see it here: http://www.twitter.com/twainhouse. Funny enough, "Becky's" parents came to visit the museum today. They picked up the Tom Sawyer flier and I commented how wonderful the play was. The laughed a little and said thanks, that their daughter was Becky Thatcher. Later, before their tour started, I saw her mom putting in her face in the Becky Thatcher cutout in the museum center. I'm sure their daughter will love seeing that!
If you're in the Hartford area, I highly recommend going to see the play! If you've seen it already, feel free to share your comments on how you think it was below.
"In writing "Tom Sawyer" I had no idea of laying down rules for the bringing up of small families, but merely to throw out hints as to how they might bring themselves up, and the boys seemed to have caught the idea nicely." -Mark Twain