Big River opened on Broadway in the spring of 1895 at the Eugene O’Neill theater. It did extremely well and took home the Tony Award for Best Musical that summer. Before it closed, Big River played over 1,000 performances-- featuring future film and television star John Goodman as Pap Finn, Huck’s drunken and abusive father.
In 2003, Jeff Calhoun directed and choreographed a revival production that featured several deaf actors in leading roles (including that of Huckleberry Finn). It was a partnership between the Roundabout Theatre Company and Deaf West Theatre that combined the efforts of
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