When I complained as a kid, my dad--like many fathers--would tell me that he used to
walk to school barefoot (even in the snow) and uphill (both ways). This was
clearly an attempt to get me to quit my whining, but I loved it. Some days the
story would be even more dramatic to put my latest grumble into perspective. And
he always told these tales with a twinkle in his eye.
It's been a long time since I've heard that story--not because I've stopped complaining (please)--but because I grew up. And my parents hope their lessons and tales have made me all the wiser.
It's this relationship between parent and child that makes the new musical Big Fish such a moving experience. Running for only five weeks, this fantasy tale centers on the charismatic father Edward Bloom, who is known for his epic stories. As his final days approach, his son goes on his own journey to discover who his father really is, unraveling the man from the myth.
The set design is spectacular--truly magical. What's even more remarkable is the
emotional journey Edward Bloom, played by Tony Award-winning actor Norbert Leo Butz ("Dirty Rotten Soundrels," "Catch Me If You Can"), takes you on.
There's a pivotal moment in life when you realize you're an adult and that your parents are not invincible. Aging, illness...some reality forces you to recognize this. Peek at it. And for many, push it back under the rug. Big Fish reminds us to open our eyes. These relationships are a gift, and these tall tales are to be cherished and shared with generations to come.
Big Fish has its pre-Broadway world premiere in Chicago at the Oriental Theatre through May 5. For more information about tickets, visit:
Big Fish is based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the 2003 Columbia Pictures.
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