For the first time in Music Theatre Kansas City’s history, the Shawnee-based organization is partnering with The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City to put on a musical production of “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”
The musical, which debuts March 16 and runs through March 24, features a cast of 45, including 25 youth performers and 20 adult actors from the Kansas City area. This live performance also features a live orchestra.
Leading the cast and crew for this production are: Damon Russell Armstrong, executive artistic director of The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City; Andy Penn, MTKC assistant director; and Julie Danielson, MTKC artistic director who is directing music.
“It’s been an interesting experience working with a very diverse cast, not just in ethnicity but also in age differences,” said Cary Danielson Pandzik, founder of Music Theatre Kansas City. “Our normal program is a training program for young people interested in musical theatre, but this time we have a combination of youth and adults. In this performance, the youngest is 12 and the oldest is 72. It’s a neat group to work with. Everyone is learning from everybody else.”
A musical adaptation of Mark Twain’s literary classic, “Big River” follows the adventures of Huckleberry Finn and his friend Jim, a runaway slave, who are searching for freedom.
Five performances of “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” will be presented at B&B Live!, located inside the B&B Shawnee Movie Theatre Complex, 16301 Midland Drive in Shawnee:
- 7 p.m. Saturday, March 16
- 7 p.m. Friday, March 22
- 2 p.m. Sunday, March
- 7 p.m. Saturday, March 23
- 2 p.m. Sunday, March 24
Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for adults and may be purchased online at mtkc.org/tickets or in person at the B&B Shawnee Box Office.
The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City is a nonprofit organization that utilizes theatre productions to showcase “the contributions made by minorities in our neighborhoods and communities,” according to the organization’s website.
Music Theatre Kansas City is a nonprofit program designed to train youth in musical theatre and produces shows featuring youth as well as adults.