Big River is a musical that ran on Broadway in the 80's. A musical adaptation of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, the dialogue for the Broadway play is nearly always taken directly from the book. Roger Miller, writer of the country anthem "King Of The Road", pens all 20 songs that make up the music portion of Big River. With tunes ranging from soothing country guitar ballads to raucous bluegrass ensemble numbers, the dynamic score based on a country theme sets Big River apart from other musicals in the genre.
As the story begins, Huckleberry Finn has come into a large sum of money from Injun Joe. Yet, he still continues his reckless, adventure-loving ways. Soon, his alcoholic and violent father, Pap, demands custody over the boy. Unable to prevent Pap from taking Huck, Judge Thatcher forces Huck to comply. Fearing for his life, Huck takes off on a raft down the Mississippi River. Along the way, he meets up with a runaway slave, Jim, who is trying to find his wife and children up North. Soon, Huck and Jim gain two new compatriots, the Duke and the King, who are really escaped convicts. After a series of adventures and reuniting with his best friend, Tom Sawyer, Huck discovers that Jim's slaveowner died and freed Jim in her will. Thus, Jim is free to find his wife and children on his own and Huck decides to move out West, where no one can civilize him.