The Newman University Music and Theater Departments will bring “Big Fish – Small Cast Edition” to life on stage Feb. 4-6 in the De Mattias Performance Hall.
About the musical
“Big Fish” is based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the film directed by Tim Burton. It follows the story of Edward Bloom, played by Elijah Klein, a traveling salesman who is described as living “life to its fullest, and then some.”
Edward’s larger-than-life stories thrill those around him, including his wife, Sandra, played by junior biology major Talia Powers. Their son, Will — played by sophomore cross country runner Austin Fullerton — is about to have a child of his own and is determined to discover the truth behind his father’s epic tales.
“’Big Fish’ is an emotional roller coaster, but in the most beautiful and joy-filled way,” Zogleman said. “The story is so real and has something everyone can relate to, even with these big, beautiful stories that come out of Edward’s tales.”
She added, “This is magic we’re creating, and I can’t wait for our audiences to experience it.”
Getting into character
Zogleman and Graves started rehearsals for “Big Fish” before the campus closed for Christmas break. The cast of 12 students returned with their scripts and songs completely memorized.
“I truly believe they love this show just as much as Paul and I do,” Zogleman said. “They’re prepared and their work ethic is off the charts. It has been such a joy to go to rehearsal and tell this beautiful story.”
Klein, a senior chemistry student, played the lead in musicals including Horton the Elephant in “Seussical” with Christian Youth Theatre and Tevye in“Fiddler on the Roof” with Sunrise Christian Academy. Klein believes the best aspect of Edward’s character is “the way he experiences the world through his knack for storytelling.”
“By instilling mystery and excitement into every moment, Edward elevates the mundane life that everyone lives into one where dragons fly, mermaids teach young boys to swim and giants walk among us,” Klein explained. “He transforms the world into a story worth telling, even if he has to fudge the details here or there to do it.
“I can’t wait for everyone to come and see ‘Big Fish,’” he added. “Deanne put together a wonderful group, and it’s going to be amazing.”
“Big Fish” will run 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4 and Saturday, Feb. 5, with two showings on Sunday, Feb. 6 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The show’s running time is approximately two hours with a 15-minute intermission.
Tickets for “Big Fish” can be purchased online or at the door for $15 for the general public; $10 for seniors and military; and $5 for Newman faculty, staff and non-Newman students. Newman students get in free with their student I.D.
Purchase your tickets for “Big Fish – Small Cast Edition”
Get ready to dive into the Newman University musical “where dragons fly, mermaids teach young boys to swim and giants walk among us.”