Big Fish

(0)

Shopping Cart


BIG FISH is a new Broadway musical featuring music and lyrics by Tony nominee Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family, The Wild Party) and a new book by esteemed screenwriter John August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, BIG FISH centers on Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman who lives life to its fullest… and then some! Edward's incredible, larger-than-life stories thrill everyone around him – most of all, his devoted wife Sandra. But their son Will, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father’s epic tales.

Overflowing with heart, humor and spectacular stagecraft, BIG FISH is an extraordinary new Broadway musical that reminds us why we love going to the theatre – for an experience that's richer, funnier and BIGGER than life itself.

"A rollicking fantasy set in the American South, Big Fish centers on the charismatic Edward Bloom, whose impossible stories of his epic adventures frustrate his son Will. As Edward's final chapter approaches, Will embarks on his own journey to find out who his father really is, revealing the man behind the myth, the truth from the tall tales."



"SPECTACULAR. BIG FISH has BIG talents, a BIG cast, a BIG orchestra, BIG production numbers and really BIG special effects..." - The New York Times

"REMARKABLE! A show for everyone who loves musicals. DON’T DARE MISS THIS!" - Variety




The Original Broadway Cast Recording is available on iTunes.


Act 1

The curtain rises on present-day EDWARD BLOOM (50s) at the banks of a river, skipping rocks. His son WILL (20s) is getting married the next day. Will asks Edward not to tell any of his crazy stories at the wedding. Edward reluctantly agrees. As Will thinks back, he trades places with YOUNG WILL (8). Edward doesn’t want to read his son a bedtime story from a book, but rather tell a story about life (“Be the Hero”), which introduces many characters from Edward’s impossible stories. Edward’s wife SANDRA reminds them that it’s time for bed, but Young Will wants to know more about THE WITCH who showed Edward how he would die (“The Witch”).

 The story returns to present day. Preparing for the wedding, Edward reveals his suspicion that Will’s fiancée, JOSEPHINE, is pregnant. Will confirms the hunch and swears Edward to secrecy. But Edward can’t help himself, revealing the news in a toast to the crowd.

In parallel scenes at doctors’ offices, Will and Josephine learn they’re going to have a son, while Edward and Sandra learn that Edward’s cancer has progressed. In New York’s Central Park, Will sings of the wonder and mystery of his future child (“Stranger”), but his joy is interrupted by a phone call from his mother, telling him about Edward’s condition. Will says he’s coming home. 

In the backyard, Sandra tells Will that although he and Edward can be a handful, she loves them both (“Two Men”). Josephine is eager to hear more of Edward’s stories, so he launches into a tale of his high school days (“Ashton’s Favorite Son”), including his small-town girlfriend (JENNY HILL) and his arch-rival (DON PRICE). Edward journeys to a cave to confront a giant that is frightening the town. But rather than fight KARL THE GIANT, he befriends him and convinces him to join him on an adventure to see the world.  (“Out There on the Road”). 

Back in the present, Josephine gets Will to tell her the story of how his parents met, which brings them to the Calloway Circus. Sandra and two friends audition for ringmaster AMOS CALLOWAY (“Little Lamb from Alabama”), during which Edward falls in love with her at first sight (“Time Stops”). Amos hires Karl The Giant, while Edward agrees to work for the circus for free in exchange for one monthly clue about Sandra (“Closer to Her”). After three years of toil, Amos (secretly a werewolf) finally reveals that her name is Sandra, she goes to Auburn University, and she loves daffodils.

In the present, Josephine discovers a mortgage signed by Edward and Jenny Hill.  Will wonders why his father would buy a house with a woman other than his mother. 

Edward travels to Auburn, only to discover that Sandra is engaged to be married to Don Price from Ashton. Don beats up Edward, but that convinces Sandra to break up with Don. Edward promises to love Sandra forever (“Daffodils”). They kiss.

Act 2

Reeling from the discovery of the mortgage, Will wonders if his dad had a second life. A second family.

At a campfire, Edward tells Young Will and other scouts about his adventures during The War (“Red, White, and True”), in which he defeats the poison assassin Red Fang. Young Will confronts his father on the impossible historical details.

Later, Edward tells Sandra and Young Will he’ll be traveling more for work. Edward tells Young Will he’ll be the man of the house. He needs to be brave and “Fight the Dragons.” 

In the present, Will attempts to ask his father about the mortgage, but Edward keeps derailing the conversation with jokes and talk of wooly mammoths. When Will brings up Ashton, Edward grows angry and throws him out. Calmed down by Sandra, Edward falls into an uneasy sleep and dreams of a Western-style duel over the issue (“Showdown”). He wakes up yelling and confused in the middle of a thunderstorm. Sandra comforts him, telling him “I Don’t Need a Roof” to feel at home. She only needs Edward. 

Will travels to Ashton, where he meets Jenny Hill. She tells him the story of what happened when Edward returned to Ashton. The valley is about to be flooded by a new reservoir, yet the townsfolk refuse to leave, chaining themselves to a statue in protest. Edward convinces them to build a new Ashton (“Start Over”). He gets land from Amos and money from Karl, both of whom have become successful because of Edward. Only Jenny Hill refuses to leave. She’d been waiting in Ashton all these years for Edward to return. To save her life, Edward reconnects with her, and co-signs the mortgage on a new house. They kiss -- but Edward breaks it off. From the moment he saw her until the moment he dies, Sandra is the only woman he’ll love.

As Jenny Hill finishes the story, Will gets a phone call. Edward’s condition has worsened.

 Alone in the hospital with the unconscious Edward, Will tells him that he went to Ashton, and that he now understands the reason for his stories. Edward stirs, in pain, and asks Will to tell him how he dies. Will has to make up the story on the spot (“What’s Next”) of how Edward escapes the hospital and travels to the river, where everyone from his stories is waiting for him.

At the river, Edward sings about his life and what it meant (“How it Ends”). Back in reality, Edward dies in the hospital bed.

 The funeral takes place at the river’s edge. As the guests shake Will’s hand, he sees that each is the real-world equivalent of the characters from Edward’s stories. A few years later, Will teaches his own son to fish, and the secret his father taught him (“Be the Hero” reprise).

Author's Notes

Author notes from John August
February 2014


BIG FISH centers on two men — Edward and Will Bloom — and two thematic questions:

1. Mortality, or How Does a Hero Live On?

2. Fatherhood, or What Makes a Good Dad?

Every scene involves one or both characters, and one or both questions. The arc of the play is these
two men and these two questions coming together. Whether you’re reading the play or performing
it, I’d recommend you walk through the play scene-by-scene and song-by-song to discuss how each
moment addresses one or both themes.

Why is Edward telling stories about his past? On the surface, it’s to escape the present. On a deeper
level, it’s to connect to the heroic vision he has of his life as he confronts his death. (Mortality)

Why is Will trying to get details about Edward? On the surface, it’s so he can understand his father.
On a deeper level, it’s to answer the question of what makes a good dad as he takes that role himself.

Edward Bloom is a man who claims to be unafraid of death because of what the Witch showed him.
The truth is, he is afraid, as any rational person would be. Edward is afraid he’s going to disappear.
As a storyteller, he’s cast himself at the center of an epic tale that exists only as spoken words. If he
dies, who is going to keep his stories – his life’s work, his essence – alive? The natural choice would
be his son, but his relationship with Will becomes more and more fractured as the play unfolds.

Will Bloom is not just a witness to Edward's tales; he is ultimately the point of them. But having
heard these stories a thousand times, Will sees them as an act — a disguise behind which his “real”
father is hiding. With a baby of his own on the way, Will is desperately trying to figure out who his
father is. Will is never trying to prove his father wrong. He is never looking for the truth; he is
looking for a man.

Edward can come off like a blow-hard. Remember his fear.

Will can seem too critical. Remember his hope.

You won’t really understand BIG FISH until you look at the story from the female point of view. What
do Sandra and Josephine want? Why does the Witch insist on showing Edward his future? How
does Jenny Hill change the story for Edward and Will? Never forget that each of these characters
has her own life and objectives.

Finally, don’t think of Edward’s tales as flashbacks. These are stories being told in the here-and-now
for the benefit of Will or Young Will. If you get too caught up in the back-and-forth of time, you’ll
confuse yourself and the audience. Always let it be simple.


BIG FISH is set in Alabama. More importantly, it’s not set in New Orleans, or Mississippi, or the
backwoods of Kentucky. Accents in BIG FISH need to be simple and specific and musical. Clarity is
always the key. Words don’t count if the audience can’t understand them.

We pronounce final Rs. Edward fights a war, not a wah. Edward’s wife is Sandra, not Saundra. His
high-school girlfriend is Jenny, not Ginny. (An exception to the usual shift of short e to short i.)
Edward pronounces route as rowt, not rute.

Living in New York, Will Bloom has deliberately minimized his accent. As the play progresses, it’s
fine if it sneaks back in as Will spends more time at home.


BIG FISH can be performed with elaborate sets and magical staging to emphasize Edward’s largerthan-
life stories, or on a dark stage with several chairs to focus on Will’s journey. Regardless of scale,
every production needs to strive for emotional honesty, insight and beauty.

The role of Edward Bloom is played by one actor, spanning ages from 15 to 65. The role of Will is
played by two actors, a boy (Young Will) and a grown man (Will). Because so much of the story is
from Will’s perspective, it’s crucial that the audience always connect that the two Wills are the same
character. Look for ways to physicalize the narrative hand-off between them.

BIG FISH is not a time capsule. The past in Edward’s stories is deliberately impossible (“When did
that all happen?”), so the present day can always be the present day. Technically, that means the
final scene with Will’s young son is several years in the future, but one strongly suspects the future
will have riverbanks and fishing poles just like we have now.

Edward Bloom’s best friends are a giant, a witch and a werewolf. He has a big, accepting heart. It
seems natural that the people in his life might come from a range of ethnic backgrounds. Although
our story is set in the American South, casting should never feel constrained by cultural

Finally, Andrew Lippa has prepared a video offering guidance on the music for BIG FISH. The video can be found if you click on the green "Resources" button on this page. Watch it, because it's a remarkable resource.

Author Info

Andrew Lippa(Music and Lyrics)

In addition to the Tony-nominated music and lyrics for the Broadway musical The Addams Family, Andrew wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical, BIG FISH, the words and music to the original theatrical oratorio I AM HARVEY MILK that received its world premiere in San Francisco in June, 2013 with the San Francisco Gay Mens’ Chorus, starring Laura Benanti and Mr. Lippa as Harvey Milk. He also wrote the music for the Broadway production of Aaron Sorkin’s play The Farnsworth Invention. Other musicals include the Drama Desk award winning musical The Wild Party (book/music/lyrics), A Little Princess (music), jon & jen (music/co-wrote book), Asphalt Beach (music/lyrics) and You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (additional music/lyrics and arrangements). Mr. Lippa was music director for Kristin Chenoweth's sold-out shows at the Metropolitan Opera House, Carnegie Hall and others. Accolades include a Tony and Grammy nomination, the Gilman/Gonzalez-Falla Theater Foundation Award, ASCAP’s Richard Rodgers/New Horizons Award, The Drama Desk and The Outer Critics Circle Award. Andrew Lippa serves on the council of The Dramatists Guild and is a graduate of The University of Michigan School of Music.

John August(Book)

John received a 2004 BAFTA nomination for his screenplay for Big Fish. His other credits include Go, Titan A.E., Charlie's Angels, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Corpse Bride, The Nines and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, for which he received a 2006 Grammy nomination for lyrics. His most recent film is the Oscar-nominated Frankenweenie, for which he wrote the screenplay and lyrics. He is a graduate of Drake University and USC's School of Cinematic Arts. On Twitter and Instagram @johnaugust.

Billing Credits


Music and Lyrics by ANDREW LIPPA

Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace
and the Columbia Motion Picture
written by John August

Casting Information

CAST: 10M 8F 1 boy and a chorus

Edward Bloom    
Will Bloom    
Sandra Bloom
Young Will    
Josephine Bloom    
Karl the Giant  
Amos Calloway    
Don Price    
The Witch
Jenny Hill
Girl in the Water
Dr. Bennett
Zacky Price
Dancing Fire
The Alabama Lambs
Wedding Guests. New Yorkers, Citizens of Ashton, Circus Performers

Ensemble Songs:
"Be the Hero" – Edward Bloom and Company
"I Know What You Want" – The Witch, Edward Bloom and Company
"Wedding Scene" – Company (wedding guests)
"Ashton's Favorite Son" – Ashton townspeople
"Out There On The Road"– Edward Bloom, Karl, Jenny Hill and Company
"Closer to Her" - Amos Calloway, Edward Bloom and Company
Before "Daffodils" - college students
"Red, White, and True" – Edward Bloom, Sandra Bloom and Company
"Showdown" – Will Bloom, Edward Bloom and Company
"Start Over" – Edward Bloom, Don Price, Amos Calloway, Karl and Company
"What’s Next" – Will Bloom, Edward Bloom and Company
"The Procession" - Company

Orchestral Info


Reed 1 (Piccolo, Flute, Alto Flute, Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet, Soprano Sax, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax)
Reed 2 (Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax, Bassoon)
French Horn
Keyboard 1
Keyboard 2
Guitar 1
Guitar 2


Two - running time 2:30


Watch composer, Andrew Lippa, guide you through the score of BIG FISH:

Prop List

Act 1:
Scene 1
2 Skipping Stones

Scene 2
“The Iliad” (Book)
Jumping Fish
Fisherman’s Bucket

Scene 3
3 Flashlights
A Bug
2 One Dollar Bills
Crystal Ball
Skipping Stone

Scene 4
2 Skipping Stones
Violin Case

Scene 5
Tray of Champagne Glasses
Dr. Bennett’s Stethoscope

Scene 6

Scene 7

Scene 8
Edward’s Baseball Bat
An “A+” Ribbon or Sticker
Crown and Sash

Scene 9
Don’s Baseball Bat

Scene 10

Scene 11
Giant Key
Juggler’s Balls
Dream Sandra’s Blue Scarf
Dream Sandra’s Barbecue Food
Dream Sandra’s Text Book
Edward’s Box
Ball in Box
File Box
Red File
Bouquet of Yellow Daffodils
Diamond Engagement Ring

Act 2:

Scene 1
Young Will’s Book
Folded Slip
Blow dart

Scene 2
Bouquet of Flowers
Laundry Basket
Red Folder

Scene 3
Glass of Water
Edward’s Medicine (Pills)
Red Folder

Scene 4
Watering Can
Red Folder

Scene 5
Banners and Signs
Don’s Deed
Red Folder
Jenny’s Deed
Will’s Cell Phone

Scene 6
Edward’s Chart
Will’s Notebook
Pitcher of Water
Glass of Water
Key To The City
Water Bottle
Crystal Ball

Scene 7
Multiple Daffodils
Picnic Basket
Fishing Pole

Show|Ready™ and Stage|Tracks™ provided by ROCS (Right on Cue Services) are now available for BIG FISH.  

With Show|Ready™, you can virtually send your Musical Director home with each and every member of your cast!  Show|Ready allows you to play a customizable rehearsal track of your show, complete with individual vocal parts and all dance breaks on a Mac, PC, and soon on your iOS device. Your Musical Director simply uploads any edits made at that day’s rehearsal and your cast can access and download the newest version with all of the new changes. This enables your entire cast to rehearse correctly from the beginning, saving you valuable time and effort. 

With an intuitive interface, Show|Ready gives you complete control over which parts you hear, and lets you modify the key or tempo and cut, vamp, or repeat measures as you please. All shows include the piano, bass, drum, all vocal parts, and click track as well as a sheet music viewer that automatically displays the piano/conductor score and changes the page as you listen and navigate throughout the show.

Stage|Tracks™ provides quality performance tracks, edited to integrate your individual changes from Show|Ready. With the best sounding tracks at an affordable price, Stage|Tracks will greatly enhance your production if you do not have live musicians to accompany the show. However, you should be advised that while Stage|Tracks provides quality performance tracks of the full orchestration, it is not recommended to be used alongside live musicians.  Stage|Tracks is only for performance and is sent approximately 3-4 weeks prior to the opening date of your production.  Stage|Tracks is currently only available on an iOS device, with Mac and PC coming soon.

Listen to a StageTracks demos here!

For pricing information and to order Show|Ready™ or Stage|Tracks™ please call: 646-736-3232 or email:

For the Show|Ready™ & Stage|Tracks™ apps, visit the iTunes Store here:  

**A valid license of Show|Ready™ and Stage|Tracks™ must be purchased first before you can use the mobile apps.**

Contact Musical Theatre West for the BIG FISH Broadway set and props rental information.
Mary Ritenhour, Production Manager, (562) 856-1999 x223 


BIG FISH Props for rent from Prop Rentals NY

Prop Rentals NY
2180 Pond Road
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779

Broadway Motion Design has created a projections package for BIG FISH,

The Aurora Fox Arts Center, Aurora CO has the following items for sale:

1. The Cannon Awith Wagon Wheels and Casters

2. Spinning Knife Wheel (a replica of a knife throwing act spinning wheel)

3. Daffodils (approximately 4000 loose daffodils and a Daffodils Drop, approx. 27'W and 16'T)

Click the following link to see the items and pricing, 

Contact: Jordon Brockman,
Prooduction Coordinator
Aurora Fox Arts Center, Aurora CO, 80010

Upcoming Shows

May 2 - June 20, 2015
Hale Center Foundation
Orem, UT 84057 

May 7 - June 7, 2015
Theatre At The Center
Munster, IN 46321 

May 29 - June 14, 2015
Savannah Children's Theatre
Savannah, GA 31404 

June 10 - 27, 2015
Super Summer Theatre
Las Vegas, NV 89135 

June 12 - 22, 2015
CharACTers Inc.
Gadsden, AL 35903

June 19 - 27, 2015
Ever After Productions
Ringgold, GA 30736

June 22 - July 1, 2015
Actor's Youth Theatre
Gilbert, AZ 85234

June 26 - July 5, 2015
Savannah Summer Theatre Institute
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

July 3 - 4, 2015
Stagedoor Manor
Loch Sheldrake, NY 12759 

July 3 - 18, 2015
Encore Theatre Company
Tulare, CA 93274 

July 8 - 11, 2015
Gainesville Parks and Recreation Department
Gainesville, GA 30501 

July 9 - 11, 2015
Omaha Public Schools
Omaha, NE 68107 

July 9 - 12, 2015
Young People's Theater
Portland, OR 97225 

July 10 - 19, 2015
Countryside Community Theatre
Eldridge, IA 52748

July 10 - August 1, 2015
Alpine Theatre Project
Whitefish, MT 59937

July 10 - August 8, 2015
Actors Cabaret of Eugene
Eugene, OR 97405 

July 17 - 26, 2015
Croswell Opera House
Adrian, MI 49221 

July 21 - 25, 2015
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, OK 73116

July 22 - 26, 2015
Music Theatre of Wichita
Wichita, KS 67202 

July 24 - 26, 2015
Casa Manana Theatre
Fort Worth, TX 76102 

July 24 - August 1, 2015
Shots In The Dark Independent Theatre Company
Westerville, OH 43081 

July 30 - August 1, 2015
Blue Water Theatre Company
Minneapolis, MN 55447 

July 30 - August 9, 2015
Timber Lake Playhouse
Mount Carroll, IL 61053

July 31 - August 8, 2015
Eastlight Theatre
East Peoria, IL 61611 

July 31 - August 9, 2015
Oak Lawn Park District Theatre
Oak Lawn, IL 60453 

August 6 - 9, 2015
Port Summer Show
Port Washington, NY 11050

August 7 - 16, 2015
Theatrix Productions, Inc.
Virginia Beach, VA 23462 

August 9, 2015
Ryukyu University
Ginowan-shi, Okinawa 901-2701, Japan 

August 26 - 28, 2015
French Woods Festival
Hancock, NY 13783 

September 9 - 26, 2015
City of Vista-Moonlight Stage Productions
Vista, CA 92084 

September 17 - October 2, 2015
Red House Arts Center
Syracuse, NY 13202 

October 14 - November 28, 2015
Hale Centre Theatre
Salt Lake City, UT 84119 

October 16 - November 1, 2015
Lorain County Metro Parks
Sheffield Lake, OH 44054 

October 22 - November 8, 2015
Slow Burn Theatre Co
Boca Raton, FL 33498

October 24 - November 1, 2015
Coppell High School
Coppell, TX 75019 

November 4 - 8, 2015
University of New Hampsire - Theatre Department
Durham, NH 03824 

November 6 - 8, 2015
StageCoach Productions
Nashua, NH 03060 

November 13 - 21, 2015
Fremont High School
Ogden, UT 84404 

November 17 - 21, 2015
Arts Educational Schools, London
Chiswick, London W4 1LY, UK 

November 19 - 21, 2015
Free State High School
Lawrence, KS 66049 

November 25 - 28, 2015
Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School
Okotoks, AB T1S 1A2, Canada 

November 30 - December 5, 2015
College Sturgeon Heights Collegiate
Winnipeg, MB R3J 1A5, Canada 

December 3, 2015 - June 30, 2016
Texas State Thespians
Denison, TX 75020 

January 8 - February 7, 2016
SoLuna Studio
Hauppauge, NY 11788 

January 13 - 16, 2016
Holiday Actors Inc.
Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia 

February 5 - 14, 2016
Riverside City College - Riverside Community College
Riverside, CA 92506 

March 4 - 5, 2016
Central Hardin High School
Cecilia, KY 42724 

March 4 - 6, 2016
Moravain Academy
Bethlehem, PA 18020

March 17 - 19, 2016
Islip High School
Islip, NY 11751 

April 7 - 9, 2016
Dighton Rehoboth High School
North Dighton, MA 02764 

April 7 - 9, 2016
Westwood High School
Mesa, AZ 85201 

April 8 - 16, 2016
Huntingtown High School
Huntingtown, MD 20639 

April 15 - 16, 2016
Milford High School
Milford, NE 68405

April 15 - 23, 2016
Maine South High School
Park Ridge, IL 60068 

April 22 - May 23, 2016
Fenton High School
Bensenville, IL 60106

May 6 - 14, 2016
Cincinnati Music Theatre
Cincinnati, OH 45202 

May 6 - 22, 2016
Playhouse Merced
Merced, CA 95340 

May 13 - 29, 2016
Henegar Center for the Arts
Melbourne, FL 32901