Theater: Deep Nerve the Boys in Autumn

by Bernard Sabath

Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are America's foremost symbols of boyhood optimism, of romantic dreaming at the age when all life's options lie open. Bernard Sabath's The Boys in Autumn imagines those Mark Twain characters as disillusioned middle-aged men. The youths who fantasized becoming outlaws have done just that: Tom has a guilty secret that sent him wandering; Huck has a guilty secret that made him a recluse. On an afternoon in the Roaring Twenties they meet again and, after sputtering mistrust, struggle to renew a feeling of blood brotherhood in boundless adventure.

When the show opened on Broadway last week,...

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