Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

September 20, 2012

'Big River' returns to CCP Mainstage Sept. 27


CROSSVILLE — The Cumberland County Playhouse brings one of the most popular – and most requested – titles in its history back to the Mainstage beginning Sept. 27, with an exciting new production of Big River.

Mark Twain's timeless classic sweeps us down the mighty Mississippi, where the irrepressible Huck Finn, escaping from his drunken father, meets up with Jim, a runaway slave. The story of their journey downstream is an American classic that captures the idyllic pleasures and unacknowledged injustices of life on the big river in the 1840s. Propelled by an award-winning score from country music legend Roger Miller, Big River's journey provides a theatrical celebration of pure Americana.

This new production of the timeless musical stars Austin Price (All Shook Up, Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge) as Huck and Horace Smith (Five Guys Named Moe) as Jim. Co-starring with Price and Smith are Douglas Waterbury-Tieman as Tom Sawyer, Weslie Webster as Widow Douglas, Daniel Black as Pap Finn and Tommy Hancock as Mark Twain. Britt Hancock and Jason Ross will reprise their roles as The King and The Duke. Also appearing in this resident company production are Carly Amburn, Porter Anderson, Anna Baker, Colin Cahill, Quinn Cason, John Dobbratz, Donald Frison, Dee Hill, Patty Payne, Lauren Marshall, Greg Pendzick, Lindy Pendzick, Michael Ruff, Chaz Sanders and Emily Woods.

Britt Hancock directs the production, with musical direction by Ron Murphy and choreography by Leila Nelson. Big River is rated G and sponsored by TAP Publishing Company.

Currently running at the Playhouse: the biographical Ginger Rogers musical Backwards in High Heels (rated PG, sponsored by Uplands Village) through Nov. 2; the bluegrass musical comedy Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge (rated PG) through Oct. 26; and the high energy party of song and dance Five Guys Named Moe (rated PG) through Oct. 27. Upcoming events: Playhouse favorites Brenda Frye and Weslie Webster will appear on the Mainstage Sept. 29 in a concert that’s filled with great music, comedy and special guest stars; A Sanders Family Christmas (rated G, sponsored by Stonehaus Winery) opens Nov 1; and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (rated G, sponsored by M. Stewart Galloway, MD/Cumberland Eye Center) opens on November 16.

Tickets and information are also available for Southern Symphonic Brass and other events at or by calling 484-5000. All CCP productions are made possible through sponsor support, with additional support provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.