9 Times The "Big Fish" Musical Outshined The Movie

A stage filled with pure imagination.

Courtesy of Big Fish Musical

What the show’s about:


Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the motion picture directed by Tim Burton, Big Fish follows the life of Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman with an epic imagination. He lives life to the fullest and thrives on thrilling storytelling, but his attachment to fantasy has resulted in a damaging relationship with his realist son, Will Bloom. Will is determined to find out the truth behind his father’s legendary tales before it’s too late.

Who’s in the cast:

Courtesy of Big Fish Musical

From left to right: Norbert Leo Butz as Edward Bloom, Kate Baldwin as Sandra Bloom, Bobby Steggert as Will Bloom

The best moments from the musical:

1. When Julian Crouch (scenic design) and William Ivey Long (costume design) made fairytale characters and storylines come to life sans CGI.

With the proper resources and money, it’s easy to bring a world of imagination to the big screen, but theater is more difficult. There’s only so much you can do on a stage when working with such an eclectic story, but this production was beautifully designed and it reeled in the audience right from the start.

2. Every time Norbert Leo Butz flawlessly transitions from young to old Edward Bloom.

Although Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney did a great job in the movie, Butz takes on the responsibility of playing the same man at very different times in his life. The audience is captivated by the energetic and feverishly imaginative storyteller (young Bloom), but also by the terminally-ill man stuck in his dramatized past (senior Bloom).

3. The rousing and inventive numbers.

Andrew Lippa’s score is lacking, but Susan Stroman’s choreography and overall direction bring an extra element of magic to this epic tale. Theater-goers can truly just watch and enjoy.

4. The whole production screams Big Broadway Musical. It’s one huge spectacle.

Big musical numbers with big special effects. Everything is tastefully flashy with a healthy amount of entertainment.

5. The son (played by Zachary Unger) is absolutely adorable and he will make your heart melt.

Courtesy of Big Fish Musical

The production often flashes back to Edward Bloom telling his son these crazy tales, and watching it on stage for the first time makes the audience feel like a friend of young Will Bloom. His character is also a reminder of how family-friendly this musical is.

6. When the costumes become a part of the scenery.

The costumes blend in with the enchanted forest and a bonfire, and it is AWESOME. Applause all around.

7. When Kate Baldwin sang her heart out in “I Don’t Need a Roof.”

Courtesy of Big Fish Musical

This song was magnificent and Baldwin’s vocals triggered an emotional reaction complete with chills and tears.

8. The stage is flooded by a wave of color throughout the entire show.

There’s many challenges in theater when designing the set, but the team did an exquisite job bringing the story to life with all the bright props and eccentric sets.

9. Bobby Steggert’s raw emotion.

Courtesy of Big Fish Musical

We won’t give away much, but all we’ll say is bring tissues.

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