IU Theatre continues the Bicentennial 2019–2020 season with the delightful hit musical, Big Fish. Adapted from the celebrated 1998 novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, Big Fish the musical celebrates the extraordinary in everyday life.
Big Fish tells the larger-than-life tale of Edward Bloom, a man who leads an extraordinary life—according to the stories he tells his son, Will. But Will, who is getting married and expecting a child of his own, doesn’t think there’s any truth to the extravagant tales his father tells about meeting witches, kissing mermaids or joining the circus. He doesn’t even believe the story of how his father proposed to his mother, Sandra, in a field full of daffodils. When Edward’s health begins to decline, Will visits his father and tries one last time to find out the truth behind the tall tales. The stories told by Edward begin to blend with the stories lived by Edward, and Will must decide whether to accept his father’s wild stories as fact or risk losing him completely.
Tim Burton, the director of the 2003 film, said that Big Fish “…is about what’s real and what’s fantastic, what’s true and what’s not true, what’s partially true, and how, in the end, it’s all true.” Overflowing with heart and humor, Big Fish the musical reminds us why we love going to the theatre—for an experience that’s richer, funnier and bigger than life itself. John August, who wrote the screenplay for the 2003 film, reprised his role as book writer for the musical. Andrew Lippa, Tony-nominated composer and lyricist for The Addams Family and creator of The Wild Party, wrote the music and lyrics.
Richard Roland, Head of the Musical Theatre program, directs IU’s production which opens on Wednesday, October 23. Joining Roland on the creative team are faculty members Ray Fellman (Music Director), DJ Gray (Choreographer), Reuben Lucas (Scenic and Projection Designer), and M.F.A students Carrie Hurst (Technical Director), Elizabeth Grace Davis (Costume Designer), Meaghan E. Carlo (Cutter/Draper), and Naomi S. Gold (Lighting Designer). The work of these four M.F.A students is in partial fulfillment of their M.F.A theses.