Big River
Closed 2h 30m
Big River

Big River NYC Reviews and Tickets

(115 Ratings)
Members say
Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful, Great acting, Dated

About the Show

Encores! presents a concert version of the 1985 Tony Award-winning musical based on 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.'

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Show-Score Member Reviews (115)

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70 Reviews | 1 Follower
Amazing, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful, Absorbing

See it if Timeless classic tale. extraordinary songs.

Don't see it if Mark Twain classic

509 Reviews | 338 Followers
Delightful, Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Thought-provoking

See it if You are a fan of the show or have never seen it. The music is wonderful. Incredible singers.

Don't see it if You don't like musicals.

161 Reviews | 35 Followers
Must see, Great score, Great staging, Great singing, Resonant

See it if want to hear a uniquely wonderful score by Roger Miller, a loving adaptation, and the kind of production that gives Encores its reputation.

Don't see it if you don't like soulful country music or are not interested in a portrait of one of America's darkest periods made engaging by a great writer

272 Reviews | 57 Followers
Great singing, Relevant, Must see, Lyrical

See it if superb voices, a range of lyrical musical genres, excellent performers and wonderfully under-amplified music by cast and orchestra appeal

Don't see it if the Huck Finn story seems to simplistic to you as the basis for a meaningful musical Read more

52 Reviews | 15 Followers
Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Great acting, Refreshing

See it if You like energetic musicals with great singing and score played by a fantastic orchestra conducted deftly.

Don't see it if You don't like revivals which are beautifully directed & staged.

118 Reviews | 26 Followers
Delightful, Great singing, Relevant, Charming

See it if You possibly can....only a few more performances.

Don't see it if You like elaborate scenery and huge production numbers.

198 Reviews | 224 Followers
Must see, Resonant, Touching, Funny, Enchanting

See it if you want to enjoy one the most underrated American musicals! An impeccable story and delightful score makes it an Adventure worth taking!

Don't see it if you don't like "country" music. (I don't but I LOVE this Americana score.) Poignant/relevant so if you only want fluff, it's not for you

132 Reviews | 44 Followers
Entertaining, Great singing, Intelligent, Resonant, Must see

See it if Lover of amazing music and fun and beautiful story

Don't see it if If you are expecting a big set. It is just a stage mostly with a band. I will say I didn't miss the lack of scenery at all though

Critic Reviews (20)

The New York Times
February 9th, 2017

"If you are looking for a Huckleberry of irresistible sweetness and rambunctious naïveté, then Lear deBessonet’s buoyant Encores! production is the place to find him...Yet it can’t mask the feeling of anachronism that dogs this show...'Big River' feels like an awkward fit for this moment...It is hard to watch a story that’s framed as the tale of Huck and Jim without being bothered by how sidelined Jim is, and how very white and male anyone who has a substantial role is."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
February 9th, 2017

"You will not be able to watch 'Big River' without squirming...Other than Jim...the black characters are entirely undifferentiated and unattached to the plot...The authors treat Jim exactly as Huck and the others do: That is, they mostly ignore him...I’m not saying that a story about white people’s awakening to the immorality of slavery doesn’t deserve to be told. But in 2017 you can’t use a chorus line of slaves just to decorate that story with unmoored testifying and gospel thrills."
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February 9th, 2017

"The Encores! production of 'Big River' is, in a word, perfect. And, in a few other words, moving, powerful and exhilarating...This superb staged by Lear deBessonet, who has done miraculous work at the Public Theatre. It’s spirited and lively and the cast couldn’t be better: up-and-comer Nicholas Barasch as the game but sometimes conflicted Huck; Kyle Scatliffe resonant and powerful as Jim; and a supporting cast of veterans that makes meals of every role."
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The Hollywood Reporter
February 10th, 2017

"An all-too-limited engagement justifies its existence with its winning exuberance, terrific performances, and the top-flight musicianship...Landesman has provided a streamlined concert adaptation of Hauptman’s book that keeps the episodic story line flowing as smoothly as the Mississippi River. But the show’s strength has always been the terrific score by the late Roger Miller...Director Lear deBessonet provides a lively staging...This is a 'Big River' which deserves to flow on much longer."
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AM New York
February 10th, 2017

"The relevance and appropriateness of 'Big River' and its source material are open to question in the current political and cultural environment...In my opinion, both works take on extended relevance today..."The Encores! production proves to be unusually polished, dramatically compelling and often fun and joyful...A score based on the sounds of bluegrass, Americana and gospel is no longer a rarity, but 'Big River' sounds as fresh and flavorful as ever here."
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February 9th, 2017

"It sounds better than ever...Scatliffe gives the standout performance of the evening: His delivery is vocally spectacular and he seems to sweat urgency from his pores...Lear deBessonet's production captures the matter-of-fact cruelty of the world according to Twain: Lines that make a modern audience blush are delivered without so much as a second thought...Everything comes together for Miller's distinctive country and bluegrass sound, which keeps our toes tapping throughout the evening."
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February 12th, 2017

"'Big River' turns out to be more pleasant than polished. Though Miller wrote a very attractive collection of songs, few of them are specific to the characters and plot...Despite the significantly smaller cast and modest production values, deBessonet and her terrific company smoothly navigate the ever-changing landscape of the musical's episodic journey."
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Talkin' Broadway
February 10th, 2017

"Emphasizing Miller's score only exacerbates the issues that already exist...It doesn't matter how good Rob Berman's orchestra sounds...if it all comes across as literature night at a condemned honky-tonk...This approach ends up transforming everyone outside the central foursome into extras rather than integral participants in the narrative...The problem with 'Big River' in general, and this version in particular, is that you don't really care about much."
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