CenterStage’s Big Fish is a Whopper of a Tale

From January 28-February 14, mermaids, giants and witches will enchant the audience in Centerstage and Platinum Travel’s production of Big Fish: The Musical.

If you don’t snap up your tickets now, you might miss all the magic.

The fantasy creatures of Big Fish are part of the epic stories traveling salesman Edward Bloom spins for his cynical son Will, his devoted wife Sandra and the denizens of Edward’s small Alabama hometown who hang on his every word.

As Edward nears the end of his life, and the birth of Will’s first child quickly approaches, Will, who felt like he never really knew his father, sets out to learn what real-life people and situations inspired his dad’s tall tales.

The show, which premiered on Broadway in 2013, is based on the 1998 Daniel Wallace novel Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions and the 2003 Tim Burton-directed and Academy Award-nominated film adaptation.

Big Fish is CenterStage Artistic Director John Leffert’s passion project of the season. He saw the show in New York and fell in love with it.

“Having recently lost my father, I was moved beyond belief when I saw this musical on Broadway. It is storytelling at its best. Each character is complex. Each word is perfect and carefully chosen. Each note and melody strike the perfect emotional chord,” Leffert said. “I knew I had to direct this piece and couldn’t wait to bring it to our CenterStage audiences.”

The sweet and funny show for the whole family has been compared to such legendary works as The Wizard of Oz, The Odyssey and James Joyce’s Ulysses.

There are some not-so-veiled references to these works in Big Fish. For instance, Edward, Will and Sandra share the same last name as Ulysses’ protagonist Leopold Bloom. Plus, Edward meets a mermaid in Big Fish, and Odysseus encounters mermaids known as Sirens in The Odyssey. But the Big Fish mermaid is far more magnanimous than the dangerously seductive Sirens.

Tony nominee Andrew Lippa, (The Wild Party, Addams Family) composed the show’s music and lyrics, and the book is by John August, who also wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation.

The unconventional story about unconditional love is filled with gorgeous love songs- “Daffodils,” “Closer to Her”- soaring anthems- “Be the Hero,” “Fight The Dragons”- and surreal storybook sequences- “I Know What You Want,” “Red, White and True.”

CenterStage’s production stars Pete Lay as Edward, Mitch Donahue as Will, Melissa Shepherd as Edward’s wife, Sandra, Margo Wooldridge as Will’s fiancée, Josephine, Frank Goodloe III and Jason Cooper as Edward’s pals, Karl and Amos, Jessica Adamson as The Witch, and Jennifer Poliskie as Edward’s childhood girlfriend, Jenny Hill.

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