'Big Fish' is the newest musical written by John August, to grace the Broadway stage as today (Oct 6th) is its official opening.
The Broadway show is based on the 1998 novel 'Big Fish: A Novel Of Mythic Proportions' by David Wallace and the 2003 film adaptation titled 'Big Fish' that was written by John August and directed by Tim Burton.
The live stage performance focuses on two timelines.
The present day, where old timer Edward Bloom is in his dying days whilst his son, Will, who is about to become a father himself, tries to learn more about his absent parent.
Bloom reflects on the past and tells him of the myths and stories he has experienced including meeting a witch, giant and mermaid as well as the women he loves, Sandra.
The musical make a few adjustments from the film and book version, the mythical town of 'Spectre', in which Bloom attempts to save from destruction has been transformed into his hometown of 'Ashton'.
The character of 'Norther Windslow' as well as the conjoined twins are completely cut out, and the witch isn't the same character as Jenny Hill, they are two completely separate characters in the musical.
The production has an all-star team with director and choreographer Susan Stroman (The Producers) and actor Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) taking the lead man position as 'Edward Bloom', who is the recipient of 2 Tony awards for 'Best Leading Actor In A Musical'. Bobby Steggert, who has also been nominated for a Tony Award, also joins the cast.
Adding a big orchestra to the musical is a recipe for success but how did the critics find it?
The Hollywood Reporter commented on the lead man's performance, "Butz is an exceptional musical-theater talent; he skillfully mitigates Edward's vast potential to irritate, and the actor tempers his trademark mischievous ebullience with genuine feeling".
The New York Daily News said "[Susan Stroman] wraps the show up in a splashy production that glides from circus to enchanted forest to war zone to a brilliant field of daffodils. Nice work by set designer Julian Crouch and projection designer Benjamin Pearcy. Stroman's dances - tap, waltz, hoedowns - are polished but a bit pedestrian. She's famous for wild imagination, but she serves her "Big Fish" without a showstopper".
Broardway World added "Big Fish, the new musical that tattoos its heart on its arm, displays no fear in plopping its unabashed wholesomeness right in your lap. Its spirit is steeped in Rodgers and Hammerstein decency that propels an evening that's adventurous, romantic and, yeah, kinda hip."
'Big Fish' plays on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre, 250 W. 52nd St., New York.
Norbert Leo Butz plays the leading role in the musical
Susan Stroman is the director of 'Big Fish'