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ENTERTAINMENT
August 27, 1987 | NANCY CHURNIN
Huckleberry Finn may have been born in Missouri, but as far as the San Diego audience was concerned, they were welcoming home a native son when "Big River" opened at the Civic Theatre on Tuesday for a six-day run. They had reason to be proud.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 1999 | MICHAEL PHILLIPS, TIMES THEATER CRITIC
Your assignment: Write a musical about Floyd Collins, the caver who died in a cavern in Barren County, Ky., in early 1925. Most writers would go for the back-story up front. We'd meet Floyd above ground, as the show lays out the family dynamics, hopes and dreams, the usual drill, and then--probably at or near the close of Act 1--sends him down into the previously unexplored cave that proved to be his last adventure.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 3, 2000 | MICHAEL PHILLIPS, TIMES THEATER CRITIC
There's a moon over Buffalo tonight. Six moons, in fact, and they're full. They're the heart, soul, backside and raison d'etre of "The Full Monty: The Musical." The hugely popular 1997 film about unemployed steel mill workers stripping for cash in Sheffield, under the gray skies of England's decrepit northern industrial region, has been relocated to a candy-colored vision of Upstate New York.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 10, 1987 | SYLVIE DRAKE, Times Theater Writer
"Big River" is a biiiiig show. It sprawls. It meanders. It winds. Just like the Mississippi. You'd think that would be just exactly right for a show based on Mark Twain's witty and wise "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." It's not. Its emphasis, or that of this production, is misplaced. The national company of "Big River" sailed into Costa Mesa's Segerstrom Hall Tuesday like Jim and Huck's raft: with smooth, unruffled, unsinkable predictability.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 30, 2003 | Linda Winer, Newsday
Here is a complaint I'm not sure I want to file. Let's call it an observation instead. Or, wimping out entirely on the issue, we'll call it a query. What gives suddenly with Hollywood stars and musicals? Inside every movie and TV actor is there an inner Merman screaming to get out? Has every screen star who played in "Peter Pan" in grade school remembered that long ago in drama school there were three audition songs and a pair of tap shoes in the closet?
ENTERTAINMENT
July 7, 2000 | MICHAEL PHILLIPS, TIMES THEATER CRITIC
In this context it'd be a shame to use a verb such as "whack." But shame is a merrily relative concept, and the makers of the musical version of "The Full Monty" have in fact whacked about seven minutes off the show's running time since the June 1 opening at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre. Trims and revisions made to this tale of six unemployed steelworkers stripping for cash went in last weekend.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 25, 1987 | HILLIARD HARPER, San Diego County Arts Writer
When "Big River," the musical account of Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," closed at the La Jolla Playhouse in 1984, it was little more than a play with a lot of music. The "Big River" that opens a six-day run at the Civic Theatre tonight has metamorphosed into a full-blown Broadway musical. It's a different show than the one San Diegans saw at the La Jolla Playhouse three years ago.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 28, 2000 | SUSAN FREUDENHEIM, Susan Freudenheim is The Times' arts writer
It's nail-biting time in the basement rehearsal hall of the Old Globe Theatre, where the hit movie "The Full Monty" is being revamped for the stage as a musical comedy. Two days to final dress rehearsal, four before the first audience preview and just two weeks until opening night, the 12-member orchestra has played the 16-song, all-new score together only once. And this is the first time the 22-member cast, which has been working for months with just a piano, is hearing the full orchestration.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 1999 | JAN BRESLAUER, Jan Breslauer is a regular contributor to Calendar
In the winter of 1925, a Kentucky spelunker named Floyd Collins went searching for a hidden cave to turn into a tourist attraction--but what he really wanted to find was a ticket out of his hardscrabble and dreary farmer's life. While making his way through the dank passageways beneath the earth, he got stuck in a narrow tunnel and, until his death 15 days later, remained trapped more than 150 feet underground. Rescuers from the National Guard and the Red Cross, among others, were summoned.
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