Show History



<p><em>The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer</em> is a musicalized version of the classic novel by Mark Twain, set in Missouri in the 1840's.&nbsp;The seeds for the musical were planted in the early 1990's at a Nashville songwriters' retreat, which was held in the attempt to draw some country artists to write for Broadway.&nbsp; Don Schlitz, a Grammy-winning songwriter who has written country hits for everyone from Kenny Rogers to Randy Travis and Mary-Chapin Carpenter, had been invited to attend the day long seminar and was impressed with what he heard.&nbsp; The late director Mike Ockrent connected him with book writer Ken Ludwig (Lend Me A Tenor, Crazy for You) to start working on the show.&nbsp; Over the course of six or so years, Schlitz claims he wrote between 75 to 80 songs for the musical.</p>

<p>In adapting the novel to the stage, Ludwig kept many of the major facets of the story intact.&nbsp; Most notably missing is the rather dark ending from the book of Injun Joe being accidentally sealed inside McDougal's Cave, later discovered to have starved to death.&nbsp; Instead, the musical ends with Tom, Huck, and Becky observing their own funerals, and the friends celebrating with the rest of the town.</p>


<p><em>The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer</em> premiere at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, Connecticut on February 28, 2001.&nbsp; The cast featured Joshua Bell as the title character, in addition to performances from Kristen Bell, Tom Aldredge, Jane Connell, and John Dossett.&nbsp; The production then moved to Broadway, opening at the Minskoff Theater on April 26, 2001.&nbsp; However, in a Broadway season dominated by The Producers, the musical was short-lived, and it closed on May 13 after 21 performances and 34 previews.&nbsp;However, it has gained new legs in regional houses, and has become a popular choice among community theaters across America.</p>


    <li>The Broadway production of <em>The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer</em> was nominated for two Tony&nbsp;Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and two Outer Critics Circle Awards.&nbsp; It was also nominated for a Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Musical.</li>