Activities & Resources
Review: Life on the Mississippi552in Kansas City, MO 64108
about Review: Life on the Mississippi:
The story centers on the young Sam Clemens (Price Messick) learning the life of a river boat pilot, first aboard the Paul Jones and then later on The Pennsylvania where he is joined by his younger brother, Henry (KC Comeaux). While on the river, the enthusiastic Sam records the colorful characters he meets and initiates the writing process that will change his life.
The eight-year-old in our group was hooked from the very first song, the catchy and reprised Where I'm Going. Other memorable moments came with the beautiful harmony between Messick (Sam) and Comeaux (Henry) during the title song Life on the Mississippi, the earnest Write It Down by Sam, and the light-hearted Kill Him Again with Sam, Henry, and Adele (Katie Karel).
The set - the Coterie's largest ever - is spectacular. The added height and movement really give the boat the feel of a Mississippi steamer.
Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi is part of the Coterie's preteen/young adult series, and while nothing in the musical is objectionable for younger audiences, the story does involve the tragic death of one of the characters.
The musical clocks in at abut an hour and ten minutes, and the pace is definitely full throttle and feels slightly rushed. The musical gives just enough background about Twain, though, that it may send more than a few readers to the library looking for Tom Sawyer or a biography on America's foremost satirist.