Big Fish School Edition is a slightly reworked version of the original Broadway script. The School Edition has been carefully edited, with additional director’s notes throughout, to make the show more producible for high school groups. In some cases problematic language has been changed, while in others an alternate choice is offered at the discretion of the director.
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.
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).
Book by JOHN AUGUST Music and Lyrics by ANDREW LIPPA Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the Columbia Motion Picture written by John August
CAST: 10M 8F 1 boy and a chorus
Karl the Giant
Girl in the Water
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
Piano/Conductor (Keyboard 1)
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)
Trumpet (Bb Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Optional Piccolo Trumpet)
Guitar 1 (Steel String Acoustic, Nylon Acoustic, Electric, Dobro, Mandolin, Banjo & Tenor Banjo)
Guitar 2 (Steel String Acoustic, Nylon Acoustic, Archtop, & Electric)
Bass (Electric, Acoustic)
Drums (Drum set, Mark Tree, Bongos, Triangle, Djembe, Tambourine, Shaker, Temple Blocks, Bell Tree, Pad, Woodblock, Cowbell, Rattle)
Percussion (Mark Tree, Bongos, Triangle, Tambourine, Shaker, Bell Tree, Pad, Woodblock, Cowbell, Rattle )
Notes to the Musical Director
Watch composer, Andrew Lippa, guide you through the score of BIG FISH:
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 Bucket Towels Edward’s Baseball Bat An “A+” Ribbon or Sticker Football Crown and Sash Scene 9 Don’s Baseball Bat Scene 10 – Scene 11 Pitchforks Rifles Giant Key Cat Juggler’s Balls Clipboard Dream Sandra’s Blue Scarf Dream Sandra’s Barbecue Food Dream Sandra’s Text Book Edward’s Box Ball in Box Helmet File Box Red File Bouquet of Yellow Daffodils Diamond Engagement Ring Act 2: Scene 1 Young Will’s Book Folded Slip Stool Blowgun Blow dart Campfire Scene 2 Baseball Mitt 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 Chains Banners and Signs Don’s Deed Blindfold 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
Rehearsal & Performance Tracks Available!
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. http://www.trwmusicals.com/showlready 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! rightoncueservices.com
For pricing information and to order Show|Ready™ or Stage|Tracks™ please call: 646-736-3232 or email: email@example.com
For the Show|Ready™ & Stage|Tracks™ apps, visit the iTunes Store here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/right-on-cue-services-llc/id543773969 **A valid license of Show|Ready™ and Stage|Tracks™ must be purchased first before you can use the mobile apps.**
Set and Prop Rental
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 516-459-0106 2180 Pond Road Ronkonkoma, NY 11779 Contact Chris Stockton at firstname.lastname@example.org for BIG FISH costumes and set pieces in CANADA.
Broadway Motion Design has created a projections package for BIG FISH, http://broadwaymotiondesign.com/site/portfolio/big-fish/.