August 08, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
We gave it an A-

A revival of the Huck Finn musical starring actors from L.A.’s Deaf West Theatre may seem like a put-on. But director Jeff Calhoun’s use of American Sign Language is not only seamless, it reinforces his vibrant choreography as well as the duality of Mark Twain’s characters. For instance, Huck is played movingly by Chris Kattan look-alike Tyrone Giordano, but his voice is provided by Twain (onstage narrator Daniel Jenkins, the original Huck in 1985). A reprise of ”Waitin’ for the Light to Shine,” with the entire cast signing the chorus in utter silence, could be the most stirring musical moment heard on Broadway all year. Big River deserves a deaf-style standing ovation, hands waving instead of clapping. (212-719-1300)

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