Big River: Maybe the Mark Taper Forum has rocked and rolled harder than it did at the opening of Deaf West Theatre's production of "Big River," but if so, I missed it. Fueled by the show-stopping voices of Rufus Bonds Jr. as the runaway slave Jim and Gwen Stewart as the captured slave Alice, this revival of the 1985 Tony-winning musical adaptation of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" shook the Taper like a gospel church. Composer Roger Miller's powerful country spirituals address freedom denied and regained in Mark Twain's racially divided America.
-- Sean Mitchell
Ends Sunday at the Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. (213) 628-2772. Deaf community information and charge: TDD, (213) 680-4017.