Drama. By Bernard Sabath.
Cast: 2m. On an afternoon in the 1920s, after a long life of ups and downs as a seedy vaudevillian, Tom Sawyer—who has performed under the name Thomas Gray—returns to the hill that was his boyhood playground outside the village of Hannibal, Mo., on the Mississippi River. At the end of his rope, Tom is desperate to locate—or at least find out about—his childhood pal Huck Finn, the fun-loving, ragtag son of the town drunk. Instead, he encounters a reclusive old gentleman named Henry Finnegan who greets him with suspicion and a shotgun. As the two banter with—and sputter at—each other, recognition dawns. The men find that they are the boys who cavorted on the river and made plans to run off to Brazil, but they have changed. "You didn't use to dance and I didn't use to wash," says Henry. Both, in fact, have dark and troubling secrets that have kept them on separate paths in life. Slowly, with humor and wisdom, they attempt to recapture the spirit of more carefree times and regain their lost innocence. Plotting audacious new adventures, they realize that, like the Mississippi, their friendship goes on forever. Performed under the auspices of the Kennedy Center and at Circle in the Square in New York, this is a play of wit and charm—a bittersweet revelation of paradise lost and regained. One ext. set.