By Michael Gioia
20 Mar 2013
The world premiere of Big Fish at Chicago's Oriental Theatre will officially open April 19 and continue through May 5. The musical will swim into Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre Sept. 5, prior to an official opening Oct. 6.
Directed and choreographed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman, with music and lyrics by Grammy and Tony nominee Lippa (The Addams Family) and a book by Grammy and BAFTA Award nominee John August, the production will star two-time Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Catch Me If You Can) as Edward Bloom and Tony Award nominee Kate Baldwin (Finian's Rainbow) as Sandra Bloom.
Take a listen to "Time Stops," performed by Butz and Baldwin:
Also in the cast are Tony Award nominee Bobby Steggert as Will Bloom, Krystal Joy Brown as Josephine Bloom and Zachary Unger and Anthony Pierni alternating the role of Young Will with Ryan Andes, Ben Crawford, J. C. Montgomery, Tony Award nominee Brad Oscar, Kirsten Scott, Sarrah Strimel and Katie Thompson. The company will also include Preston Truman Boyd, Alex Brightman, Bree Branker, Joshua Buscher, Robin Campbell, Bryn Dowling, Jason Lee Garrett, Leah Hoffman, Synthia Link, Angie Schworer, Lara Seibert, Tally Sessions, Cary Tedder and Ashley Yeater.
"A rollicking fantasy set in the American South," Big Fish, according to press notes, "centers on the charismatic Edward Bloom (Butz), whose impossible stories of his epic adventures frustrate his son Will (Steggert). As Edward's final chapter approaches, Will embarks on his own journey to find out who his father really is, revealing the man behind the myth, the truth from the tall tales."
Listen to "Fight the Dragons," performed by Butz:
|"Fight the Dragons"|
The new musical will have scenic design by Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award winner Julian Crouch, costume design by five-time Tony Award winner William Ivey Long, lighting design by two-time Tony Award winner Donald Holder, sound design by Los Angeles Drama Critics Award winner Jon Weston, projection design by Drama Desk Award winner Benjamin Pearcy for 59 Productions, musical direction by Mary-Mitchell Campbell, orchestrations by Larry Hochman and dance arrangements by Sam Davis.
"Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions" was first printed in 1998. In December 2003 an acclaimed film of "Big Fish" was released by Columbia Pictures directed by Tim Burton, starring Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange and Helena Bonham Carter. The film was nominated for an Academy Award, Grammy Award, four Golden Globe Awards and seven BAFTA Awards. Big Fish is produced by Dan Jinks, Bruce Cohen and Stage Entertainment with Roy Furman, The Nederlander Organization, John Domo and Broadway Across America.