BIG FISH 12-Chair is the new, small-cast version (for 12-actors) of the Broadway musical. 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 (“Magic in the Man”). 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. 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 they confront each other (“The River Between Us”). Calmed down by Sandra, Edward falls into an uneasy sleep and 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).
BIG FISH Twelve Chairs Version
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: 6M 5F 1 boy
Karl the Giant
Amos Calloway/Dr. Bennett
Girl in the Water
Piano/Conductor (Keyboard 1)
Guitar (Electric, Acoustic, Tenor Banjo, Mandolin)
Bass (Upright, Electric, Acoustic)
Drums (Drum Set, Glockenspiel, Bongos, Shaker, Triangle, Mark Tree, Slide Whistle, Wood blocks, finger cymbals, timpani, hot rods, cow bell)
Notes to the Musical Director
Watch composer, Andrew Lippa, guide you through the score of BIG FISH:
For the whimsical story of “Big Fish”, BMD’s scenic projections were modeled after Bill Watterson, the American cartoonist using water colors, as well as bright colors. The tale is lighthearted with ties to a more emotional coming-of-age storyline. Our scenic design transforms its boyish, youthful qualities to a more dramatic, sullen look.As the show moves through different time periods, the animation uses a liquid movement to transition from scene to scene. The magic of the show never gets too dark, even in the saddest scenes the projections bring energy and life to the production. The movie version of “Big Fish” is full of special effects. The scenic projections for “Big Fish” can be applied in three distinct ways. Projections can replace an entire set, be used to replace expensive backdrops which change often throughout the storyline, or to enhance scenes throughout the musical that require special effects. Projections for the show were designed to keep pace with the immediate changes required by the plot. In each setting, as time changes or actors move to a different location, our projections smoothly move along, allowing for flexibility and the speed the storyline demands. Click here to learn more about BMD’s scenic projections for Big Fish. View the Big Fish Scenic Projections from Broadway Media Distribution on Vimeo.
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
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 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