Jean-Francois Millet, a young painter of genius, is in love with Marie Leroux but in debt to a villainous picture-dealer, Bastien Andre. Andre forecloses on Millet, threatening debtor's prison unless Marie marries him. Millet realizes that the only way he can pay his debts and keep Marie from marrying Andre is to die, as it is only dead painters who achieve fame and fortune. Millet fakes his death and prospers, all while passing himself off as his own sister,
the Widow Tillou. Now a rich "widow," he must find a way to get out of a dress, return to life, and marry Marie. As the riotous scheme unfolds and crazy complications ensue, Twain poses daring questions about fame, greed and the value of art, poking his signature, mischievous fun at everyone involved.
The talented cast includes Charles Bäck, Michael Bartlo, Robert Blade, Al Emerick, Sommer Farhat, Sara Beth Gerard, David Gile, Kenny Logsdon, Miles Para, Harolyn Sharpe, Matt Tompkins, and Josh Waller under the direction of Laura Rippel in her Theatre Jacksonville debut.
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MARK TWAIN'S "IS HE DEAD?" -- THEATRE JACKSONVILLE REVIEW
Say the name Mark Twain to almost anyone and two of his most famous works come to mind: "Huckleberry Finn" and "Tom Sawyer" are still very popular and widely read. Far fewer people know that in 1898, Twain wrote a play based on one of his short stories. Twain was hopeful that Bram Stoker would stage it in his London theatre, but it never happened, and Twain just put the play away and forgot it. Fast forward to 2000, when Twain scholar Shelley Fisher Fishkin found the archived play and Twain's Foundation commissioned playwright David Ives to update it for modern audiences. Twain's version has three acts and 35 characters, Ives adaptation has two acts and far fewer characters. The play opened on Broadway in 2007, ran for 105 performances and was well received..