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Newly Reviewed: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer now at the Loretto-Hilton Center 

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Irrepressible Tom, divine Becky Thatcher, carefree Huck Finn — shucks, the entire populace of sleepy St. Petersburg, Missouri — are restored to rambunctious life in this brisk (under two hours) new adaptation of Mark Twain's 1876 novel. Of necessity there's been some pruning, and too often the show's creators feel the need to remind us that the source material is a novel by having the actors read excerpts from the text — an approach that tends to stifle theatricality — but for the most part, the script is admirably faithful to Twain's tale. The eight-member cast is energetic — and versatile: seven of them portray multiple roles. The buoyant production has been geared to appeal to undiscerning younger viewers, which is probably exactly how it should be. Performed by the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis through December 23 at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves. Tickets are $16 to $62. Call 314-968-4925 or visit www.repstl.org. — Dennis Brown

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