With an A-list Broadway team, including actor Norbert Leo Butz and director-choreographer Susan Stroman, the production is aiming high as the first big musical of the Broadway season.
Among the show's lead producers are
Butz takes on the character of Edward Bloom, originated in the movie by Ewan McGregor (and by Albert Finney in Bloom's later years). The character's son, played by Billy Crudup in the film, is played on stage by Bobby Steggert.
"Big Fish" had a tryout run in Chicago, where it opened in April. At the time,
The story follows the elder Bloom as he spins fantastical stories of dubious veracity, taking viewers on a ride through the backwoods of the American South.
Ben Brantley of the
Bloomberg's Jeremy Gerard described the production as "enchanting," though mostly in the second act. Butz, Gerard writes, hasn't had "such a meaty role since 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,' " and possesses that "indefinable charismatic spark that defines a star."
Linda Winer of Newsday called the show "ambitious but disappointing." Butz, she writes, has "an exuberance that never feels even slightly dishonest and an intelligence that refuses to condescend to his most outrageous characters."