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December 27, 2011 > The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Photos By Bennett Barouch

America's irrepressible "bad boy" bursts into musical life when StarStruck Youth Performing Arts presents "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" at the Smith Center at Ohlone College in Fremont, January 6-22.

"Tom Sawyer, the musical, is full of humor, danger and excitement," said Lori Stokes, StarStruck's artistic director. "I believe it is a 'hidden treasure' of a show that deserves its day in the spotlight, and I am thrilled to be able to introduce the stage version of this classic story to a new audience-especially the next generation of young people."

As in Mark Twain's timeless novel, Tom's adventures take place in the 1840s in St. Petersburg, Missouri, a bustling town on the banks of the Mississippi River. True to Twain's tale, the musical introduces us to 14-year-old Tom (played by Jacob Woll) and his world: tricking his friends into white-washing the fence, crossing swords with schoolmarm Ms. Dobbins, getting lost in McDougal's Cave, and taking on the Reverend Sprague in church. He also matches wits with his stern Aunt Polly, falls in love with the feisty Becky Thatcher, outsmarts his bratty half-brother Sid, meets the terrifying villain Injun Joe, and tests the bonds of friendship with that irresistible renegade Huckleberry Finn (played by Tim Sanders).

Filled with foot-stomping, toe-tapping songs by country songwriter Don Schlitz (of "The Gambler" fame) and a warm, funny book by Ken Ludwig (who also wrote "Crazy for You" and "Lend me a Tenor"), the show debuted on Broadway in 2001 and had a brief run before being made available to regional and community theatres.

To produce the southern-style sound-a departure from StarStruck's usual repertoire of traditional musicals-music director Nancy Godfrey conducts a band comprised of such instruments as banjo, mandolin, and fiddle. Choreography is by StarStruck's Jeanne Batacan-Harper. The production features a cast of 55 youth.

The show opens Friday, January 6, continuing every Friday and Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m., through January 22. ASL interpretation provided Friday, January 13. There will be a "Talk Back" audience Q&A with the cast on Friday, January 20. Tickets are $20 - $26 with discount nights January 13 and 20 (tickets $10-20). For tickets call (510) 659-1319, or book online:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Jan 6 - 22
Jackson Theatre, Smith Center
Ohlone College
43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont
(510) 659-1319
Tickets: $20 - $26

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