Shows B

BIG FISH Musical in 2 acts - music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa; book by John August; based on Daniel Wallace’s 1998 novel, Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions, and the 2003 film Big Fish. Chicago’s Oriental Theatre - 2 April - 5 May, 2013 Neil Simon Theatre - 5 September (previews). 6 October - 29 December, 2013 (34 previews, 98 perfs) * Synopsis The story shifts between two timelines. In the present-day real world, sixtyyear-old Edward Bloom faces his mortality while Will prepares to become a father himself. In the storybook past, Edward ages from a teenager, encountering a Witch, a Giant, a Mermaid, and the love of his life, Sandra. The stories meet as Will discovers the secret his father never revealed. STORY Act 1 The curtain rises on present-day Edward Bloom, who is skipping rocks on the river. His son, Will, who is about to get married, comes to ask Edward not to tell any of his crazy stories at the wedding. Edward cannot understand why Will feels this way, entering a flashback to when Will was a child, and Edward told Will many wild and adventurous stories. Once the first story ends, Edward’s wife Sandra tells them it’s time for Will to go to bed, but not before Edward tells him another story of a witch that Edward met as a teenager, who showed Edward how he would die. The story returns to present day, and at the wedding, Edward reveals his correct suspicion that Will’s fiancée, Josephine, is pregnant. As the wedding ends, one of the guests, a doctor, notices that Edward seems to be in pain and suggests that he come in for an examination. At the hospital, Edward and Sandra discover that Edward’s body has been overcome by cancer. At the same time, in another hospital, Will and Josephine discover that their child is a boy. Will sings of the wonder and mystery of his future child, but his joy is interrupted by a phone call from his mother, telling him about Edward’s condition and asking him and Josephine to come home. In Edward and Sandra’s yard, Sandra tells Will that although he and Edward can be a handful, she loves them both. Edward realizes that Josephine has not heard many of his stories and is willing to listen, so he launches into another tale of his high school days when he was the hero of his small town, Ashton, and was the boyfriend of the head cheerleader, Jenny Hill. The town of Ashton was scared because there was a giant living nearby, but Edward volunteered to go talk to him, because he had seen his death from the witch and knew he would not be killed by the giant. He introduced himself to the giant, named Karl, and convinced Karl to join him on a journey away from Ashton. Back in the present, Josephine has found a house mortgage form signed by Jenny Hill and Edward. She thinks this proves that Edward must be telling the truth, but Will denies it. However, Josephine’s interest convinces Will to tell her the story of how his parents met: Edward had taken Karl to try out for a circus. When they got there, three girls were auditioning with their song and dance routine. When Edward saw one of the girls, Sandra, he fell in love at first sight. He convinced the ringmaster, Amos, to hire Karl, and then agreed to work for the circus for free in exchange for one clue about Sandra each month. After three years, Amos finally told him that her name was Sandra, she went to Auburn University, and she loved daffodils. Edward travelled to Auburn University only to discover that Sandra was engaged to be married to Don Price, Edward’s old rival from Ashton. When Don saw Edward talking to Sandra, he started to beat him up. Sandra