The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Rated 3.0

Capitalizing on Mark Twain’s Sacramento associations, the B Street Theatre Family Series has a fresh in-house adaptation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by actor/playwright David Pierini, who previously did a funny (if unfaithful) version of The Prince and the Pauper.

This time, Pierini sticks closer to the original set in rural Missouri in 1876. The characters and plot are largely Twain’s, though the ending’s jiggered to ante up confrontation and resolution.

The best scenes depict everyday life, like the temptation of mama’s boy Sid (a great cameo by John Lamb), or puppy love between Tom (Travis Beaty) and spunky Becky Thatcher (cute, pigtailed Lindsay Carter).

Art Ward, returning to the stage after seven years, puts cool iron into scary Injun Joe. But the main story plays like melodrama, without Twain’s witty asides, limiting the show’s appeal for grown-ups.