Big Fish Will Make a Musical Splash in Chicago; William Ivey Long Among Designers

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18 Dec 2012

Norbert Leo Butz
Norbert Leo Butz

Big Fish, the new musical with songs by Tony Award nominee Andrew Lippa and starring two-time Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz, will play its world-premiere pre-Broadway tryout April 2-May 5, 2013, at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago, the producers announced on Dec. 18, when they also revealed the production team.

The musical inspired by the novel and film of the same name has a book by screenwriter John August and direction and choreography by five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman (The Producers, Contact, Young Frankenstein, Crazy for You). Newly announced are Drama Desk Award-winning scenic designer Julian Crouch (The Addams Family, Shockheaded Peter), five-time Tony-winning costume designer William Ivey Long (The Producers, Chicago, Grey Gardens), two-time Tony-winning lighting designer Donald Holder (The Lion King), sound designer Jon Weston (Death Takes a Holiday, The Color Purple) and projection designer Benjamin Pearcy (War Horse) for 59 Productions.

Opening night in Chicago will be April 21. Previews there begin April 2. Dates for a Broadway engagement have not been announced. Additional casting will be announced.

Big Fish is produced by Dan Jinks, Bruce Cohen and Stage Entertainment with Roy Furman, The Nederlander Organization, John Domo and Broadway Across America.

Tickets for the Chicago run go on sale Feb. 4, 2013. Visit BroadwayinChicago.com.



According to producers, "A rollicking fantasy set in the American South, Big Fish centers on the charismatic Edward Bloom [played by Butz], whose impossible stories of his epic adventures frustrate his son Will. 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. Overflowing with heart, humor and inventive stagecraft, Big Fish is an inspirational tribute to the power of family, dreaming big and the unpredictable adventure of life itself."

"Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions" by Daniel Wallace was first published in 1998. In December 2003, the film "Big Fish," directed by Tim Burton, was released by Columbia Pictures. It starred 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.

Composer-lyricist Lippa is known for the musicals The Wild Party (Off-Broadway); You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (additional songs on Broadway); The Addams Family (Broadway, for which he was Tony-nominated for Best Score); jon & jen (Off-Broadway); A Little Princess and Asphalt Beach (regionally); and music for Aaron Sorkin's Broadway play The Farnsworth Invention