Shows B

BIG, THE MUSICAL A musical in 2 acts, 14 scenes; Book by John Weidman. Music by David Shire. Lyrics by Richard Maltby: Based on the Twentieth Century Fox film of the same name. Sam S. Shubert Theatre, New York 28 April, 1996 (193 perfs) BIG premiered at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit on February 13, 1996, prior to its Broadway opening at the Shubert Theatre on April 28, 1996. The revised version played its first performance at the Playhouse Theatre in Wilmington, Delaware, on September 26, 1997. The 1987 hit movie bursts on-stage in this vibrant, tuneful, funny and touching musical by three of Broadway’s modern masters. When frustrated adolescent Josh Baskin wishes he were “big” and wakes up the next morning a 30 year-old man, he discovers there’s much more to being an adult than he’d bargained for - and learns we must all grow up at our own pace, in our own time. A witty, moving, insightful book and a dazzling, energetic, heartfelt, contemporary score make this already-classic motion picture fantasy into an unforgettable theatrical experience. STORY Act I Josh Baskin, a 12-year-old New Jersey boy, finds that whenever he sees pretty 13-year-old Cynthia Benson, he is unaccountably speechless. He doesn’t understand his new feelings, but every family on the street knows what has occurred. For Josh, childhood has ended; adolescence has occurred, and the long complex process of growing up has begun. Then Josh receives amazing news from his best friend, Billy Kopecki: Cynthia Benson thinks Josh is “cute.” All Josh has to do is make a move tonight at the carnival. But making his move does not turn out as planned. Meeting Cynthia in line for a ride called Wild Thunder, Josh musters enough courage to “talk to her”, only to find that she has a date who is 16. Worse, Josh is not big enough to be allowed on the ride. Humiliated, Josh skateboards away-and finds himself in a secluded byway of the carnival with fun house mirrors and a mysterious arcade game, Zoltar Speaks. The mysterious figure in the arcade box instructs him to “Make a Wish!” Impulsively, Josh makes the only wish on his mind: “I wish I was big!” The machine produces a card: “Your wish is granted.” A clap of thunder, sudden rain-Josh runs home. The next morning, Josh wakes up-and sees in his mirror the face of a man in his thirties. Still a 12 year old boy, he now inhabits the body of a grown-up. His mother thinks he is an intruder and drives him from the house. Only Billy, his best friend, understands. Billy decides they must go to New York City, find an arcade with a Zoltar, and let Josh wish himself back to his old self. Arcades in New York, however, don’t have any Zoltar Speaks, and locating carnivals will take six to eight weeks. Josh despairs at the prospect of remaining a grownup for that long, and worries that he will have to find a job. Billy tries to calm Josh, telling him that he’ll be fine, because “You’re A Big Boy Now”. Billy returns to New Jersey, leaving Josh to spend his first night as a grown-up alone in the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The next day, waiting for Billy under the clock of FAO Schwartz Josh meets MacMillan, the head of a toy company whose sales have suddenly plummeted. Josh, the 12-year-old that he is, tells MacMillan what his toys lack. What MacMillan sees, however, is a 30-something-year-old man with an amazing insight into toys, children and (when they discover a piano keyboard they can dance on) having fun. MacMillan offers Josh a great job. Josh enters the grown-up world of business. His innocence causes chaos. MacMillan cancels the company’s Christmas toy, which his employees say “can’t miss”. The company executives panic. Paul Seymour, Vice Presidemt in charge of product development, wants revenge for the cancellation of his toy. Susan Lawrence, Vice President in charge of marketing, whose affair with Paul is just ending, finds herself attracted to Josh. As a perk of his job, Josh is given a loft apartment. He furnishes it with toys. Susan arrives to make a pass