Musical Big Fish Will Swim Onto Broadway in 2013; NYC Reading Is Imminent

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03 Nov 2011

Director/choreographer Susan Stroman
Director/choreographer Susan Stroman
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Big Fish, the new musical with songs by Andrew Lippa, book by John August and direction and choreography by Susan Stroman, is planning to make a splash in Broadway's pond in spring 2013 rather than the previously announced spring 2012.

The New York Times first reported the change on Nov. 3, citing anonymous production sources who said the new time frame accommodates the schedules of the creative team and the show's intended star, Michael C. Hall, of TV's "Dexter." Without additional comment, the producers later confirmed to Playbill.com that the show would indeed open in spring 2013. No official casting has been announced for Big Fish.

The musical will get a private developmental reading in Manhattan the week of Nov. 7, Playbill.com has learned.

The fanciful new musical from Oscar-winning producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen is based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the 2003 Columbia Pictures film written by John August.

Stroman, a 2011 Tony Award nominee for her direction and choreography of The Scottsboro Boys, is the creative force of nature behind the Tony Award-winning Contact, The Producers and Crazy for You.



Composer-lyricist Andrew Lippa was a 2010 Tony Award nominee for his score to The Addams Family, which was recently revised for its national tour. He also wrote the scores for the musicals A Little Princess, The Wild Party and jon & jen.

Librettist August received a 2004 BAFTA nomination for his screenplay for "Big Fish." His other credits include "Go," "Titan A.E.," "Charlie's Angels," "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," "Corpse Bride," "The Nines" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," for which he received a 2006 Grammy nomination for lyrics. He is a graduate of Drake University and USC's School of Cinematic Arts.

Here's how Big Fish is being characterized by producers: "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 an earlier reading of Big Fish; participants in readings do not necessarily always 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 an earlier 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.