If you remember Roger Miller, your recollection is probably of mindless but jaunty Country tunes like "King of the Road," "Dang Me" or "Chug-a-Lug." But he had a moment — actually more like a year or two, I suppose — when he turned his attention to musical theater and wrote songs for a show called Big River, based on Mark Twain's novel Huckleberry Finn. It was a Tony Award winner in 1985 and has some deeply heartfelt and melodic tunes, including "River in the Rain" and "Worlds Apart." You can see for yourself how entertaining his music and this show can be starting this weekend when Covington's Carnegie Center produces the show, pretty much kicking off the 2010-2011 theater season.
There are several guarantees that this will be a show worth seeing (I'm going for the opening performance tonight). It's being staged by CEA Hall of Famers Ed Cohen and Dee Ann Bryll and it has some great local performers, including Cappie Award winner Zach Steele as Huck and Deondra Means as Jim, the runaway slave befriended by Huck. Oh, and there's Bill Hartnett as Mark Twain — Hartnett has entertained Cincinnati audiences as Twain several times in one-man shows, so he's certainly up to this role.
It's been a long summer without much great musical theater, but this could end the dry spell. Click here for ticket and further information.