Producers Reel in a Whopper for Broadway's Big Fish Musical Susan Stroman

By Kenneth Jones
08 Jun 2011

Susan Stroman
Susan Stroman
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Susan Stroman, a 2011 Tony Award nominee for her direction and choreography of The Scottsboro Boys, has signed to stage the new Broadway-bound musical Big Fish, producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen announced on June 8.

The fanciful new musical based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the 2003 Columbia Pictures film written by John August, will be directed and choreographed by Stroman (Contact, Crazy for You, The Producers), with music and lyrics by Tony nominee Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party, The Addams Family) and a libretto by August.

Big Fish's Oscar-winning producers are hoping to land a Broadway theatre for a spring 2012 launch. Casting and a design will be announced shortly.

Here's how Big Fish is being characterized: "A rollicking fantasy set in the American South, Big Fish centers on the charismatic Edward Bloom, whose impossible stories of his life's epic adventures frustrate his son Will. Now, with Edward on his deathbed, Will must embark on his own journey to find out who his father really is, unraveling the man from the myth, the truth from the tall tales."



Jinks and Cohen are Academy Award-winning producers of "American Beauty" and "Milk." Tony Award winner Hugh Jackman participated in a reading of Big Fish earlier this year, but participants in readings do not necessarily move on to future productions.

 

Andrew Lippa
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

"John August and Andrew Lippa have taken inspiration from Daniel Wallace's book and Tim Burton's movie and completely re-imagined this ambitious story for the stage," producer Jinks said in a statement. "They have created a musical that is enormously entertaining, hilariously funny and spectacularly moving."

"We are ecstatic to be working with this generation's pre-eminent director/choreographer, launching Big Fish on the eve of her double Tony nominations for The Scottsboro Boys," producer Cohen said in a statement. "Susan Stroman has the artistic vision and talent to bring this tale of reconciliation between a father and son to the stage."

"Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions" by Daniel Wallace was first printed in 1998. In December 2003, the Tim Burton-directed film of Big Fish was released. It starred Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lang and Helena Bonham Carter. The film was nominated for an Academy Award, Grammy Award, four Golden Globe Awards and seven BAFTA Awards.

Lippa received a 2010 Tony nomination for Best Original Score and 2010 Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics for The Addams Family. New York theatre credits include The Wild Party (Manhattan Theatre Club); the score for Aaron Sorkin's The Farnsworth Invention (Broadway); new songs for You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Broadway); john & jen (co-written with Tom Greenwald).

After "American Beauty," the Jinks/Cohen Company's second film was the sex comedy "Down With Love" starring Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor. Next up was "Big Fish," which was nominated as Best Picture for both the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs. Other films include "The Forgotten," starring Julianne Moore, and John August's directing debut, "The Nines," starring Ryan Reynolds and Hope Davis. In television, Jinks and Cohen executive produced the acclaimed ABC series "Pushing Daisies," which won eight Emmy Awards and was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Television Comedy.