BIG FISH fills every inch of the intimate Keegan Theatre and leaves more than a little magic in its wake. Based on the 1998 David Wallace novel and the 2003 Tim Burton film, BIG FISH revolves around traveling salesman Edward Bloom and the big stories he tells to his realist son Will. When Will finds out he’s going to be father and must, at the same time, confront his father’s mortality, he sets out to separate fact from fiction and find the man inside the myth.
The story is patently touching, and under the direction of Mark A. Rhea and Colin Smith the tale is well told. The magic unfolds in a pleasantly minimalist space, courtesy of scenic designer Matthew Keenan. If the audience on the night of August 8th is any indication you will laugh, cry, cheer, and leave in high spirits. This is a wholesome, feel good musical you can really escape into.
… The ensemble brings Bloom’s stories to life with infectious joy, and there isn’t a weak link among them. Katie McManus brings down the house with one song as The Witch, Eitan Mazia in his Keegan debut is hilarious as Bloom’s high school nemesis Don Price, and Grant Saunders is unforgettable as Karl the giant. Keegan is a small theatre, and Patrick Lord’s use of projection is some of the best use of multimedia I’ve seen in a theatrical production. Allan Weeks’ magical lighting design helps maintain the fantastic illusion that is BIG FISH, while conductor/Pianist Jake Null and his musicians are the definition of professional.