The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The B Street Family series offers this fresh adaptation by actor/playwright David Pierini. 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.
B Street Theatre, 1 and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, plus 10 a.m. Saturday shows on February 15, March 1 and March 15; $15 children, $22 adults. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300, www.bstreettheatre.org. Through March 15.