What a fun afternoon of entertainment at the Eventides Arts production of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer- A Play With Music by, of course, Mark Twain. The theatre is located just up 6A, 10 minutes from the Inn at the Gertrude Lawrence Stage in the Dennis Union Church. The first thing noticed was the community feel of the theatre and attending audience. Many entrances and exits of the performing “community” occurred through the house and in the center aisle and stairs to the stage. The cast was responsible for inviting us into their lives and stories. I think we all felt like we had experienced some of Tom and Huck’s adventures with all their families and community members. A great directors’ touch, I felt, was including the character of Mr. Twain himself, as narrator.
The cast and crew presented a seamless show with simple but effective sets and props, just enough for us to know where everything took place. As a whole the acting skills were even and consistent. I especially appreciated the ability of the younger members, from all different locales on the Cape, to focus and work together in creating a small community of that era. The young Wil Moser brought Tom Sawyer to life for all in the audience, Glenn Starner-Tate as Mark Twain and Music Director was perfect, Jane Taylor as Aunt Polly caught us up in her troubles with Tom and Thomas Crutchfield gave us all a hilarious interpretation of an early American Preacher. The audience was invited to sing along in many cases and the songs chosen helped, as they should, to further the story and mood. One in particular stood out for me: “He is Gone”, sung by the women with beautiful harmonies and expression.
To finish I felt that the direction by Kay DeFord was so successful most likely due to research of this beloved time period of American Literature. She captured the slow paced style and vocabulary of the time and allowed us, the audience, to share in the lives of the fictional small town of St. Petersburg, Missouri circa 1842. We all left the theatre singing “Follow the River Down” in celebration of a wonderful production.