87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.
Sierra Madre, CA 91024
Category: Music Venues
Region: Foothill Cities
This polished and entertaining adaptation of Mark Twain's coming-of-age classic The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a rare case of family entertainment done well. Skillfully directed by Aaron Lyons from a streamlined narrative by Laura Eason, the story tracks the transformation of title character Tom (Mike Rosenbaum) from mischievous kid to thoughtful youth, a metamorphosis that takes place after he confronts the villainous Injun Joe (Brandon Karrer) and saves an innocent man from hanging. Infused with a wistful (but not weepy) ambience brought on by effective music and sound (music coordinators Jeff Doba and Jennifer Zahlit), the production benefits from a versatile ensemble, adept at communicating the human truth within their characters despite the piece's larger-than-life style of storytelling. Among these are Sierra Campbell-Unsoeld as a tender, temperamental Becky; Jason Thomas as Tom's seasoned buddy, Huck Finn; and Karrer, who does triple duty as strict schoolmaster, sanctimonious preacher and dastardly bad guy. Katie Hotchkiss as a schoolmarmish Aunt Polly and Cameron Miller as Tom's more decorous brother wield nuance nicely. As Tom, however, Rosenbaum needs to rein in some of his goofy mannerisms, which don't always ring true.
Fridays, 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 5 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. Starts: Aug. 9. Continues through Sept. 7, 2013