The emcees, orchestra and actors in Phoenix Theatre for Children's production of Huck Finn's American Song will seem to audiences remarkably similar to each other.

The emcees, orchestra and actors in Phoenix Theatre for Children's production of Huck Finn's American Song will seem to audiences remarkably similar to each other.

In fact, they'll seem like the same people.

You've guessed by now that each of the show's five cast members does, in fact, serve each of those functions in the show. Phoenix artistic director Steven C. Anderson modeled his adaptation of the classic Mark Twain tale after performances of the 19th-century troupe The Hutchinson Family Singers, who toured the eastern United States performing original songs and sketches.

"The concept is that we have a group of actors who are also musicians who will be sharing 19th-century American folk songs and the story of Huck Finn," Anderson explained.

So the musicians - playing guitar, mandolin, banjo and string bass - will introduce the story and then play the characters, one each as Huck and Jim and the remaining three as the rest of the characters.

Anderson said he doesn't expect the children in the audiences to have difficulty following the story.

"(Our) mission is to stretch audiences," he told The Beat. "The opportunities for kids to hear acoustic instruments and a cappella singing are pretty slim.

"There are way too many opportunities to underestimate the intelligence of kids."

For more on Phoenix Theatre for Children's Huck Finn's American Song, read the BeatBlog.