‘Big Fish’ coming to Southern California following Broadway flop


“Big Fish,” the elaborate stage musical based on the 2003 Tim Burton movie, flopped on Broadway last year, running for fewer than four months before closing at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York.

But this fish isn’t dead in the water just yet. The musical -- featuring the original Broadway sets and costumes -- is coming to Southern California in a run scheduled for Oct. 31 to Nov. 16.

Musical Theatre West will produce “Big Fish” at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. Organizers said it will be the first time the musical has been produced since closing in December in New York. No cast has been announced for the run.


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On Broadway, the show’s lead producers were Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen -- the movie-producing duo behind the Burton film. Screenwriter John August, who adapted the Daniel Wallace novel for the screen, has penned the book for the musical. The music and lyrics are by Tony nominee Andrew Lippa.

“Big Fish,” which was originally directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, had a tryout run in Chicago, where it opened in April, before transferring to Broadway. The cost of the New York production was reported to be $14 million. Critical reaction to the musical was muted, with some praising its exuberance but faulting its sentimentality.

The story follows the character of Edward Bloom -- originated in the movie by Ewan McGregor and by Albert Finney in Bloom’s later years -- as he takes a fantastical journey through a mythological version of the American South.


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