Big Fish, based on the 1998 Daniel Wallace novel and 2003 Tim Burton film of the same name, is one of Broadway’s newest and, yes, biggest musicals. But after the show received mixed reviews, producers announced that they will be closing the doors at the Neil Simon Theatre on Dec. 29, less than 3 months after officially opening.
I have seen the show not once, but twice, and will be sad to see it go. Here are the top three reasons to see the show before it’s too late:
1. The Cast: Two-time Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz leads the cast as Edward Bloom in an energetic, charismatic, physically demanding and captivating performance that ought to earn him another Tony nomination. Also starring is Tony nominee Kate Baldwin as Sandra, the love of Bloom’s life. Baldwin delivers one of the musical’s most emotional songs, “I Don’t Need a Roof,” with such heart and beauty that consistently brings audiences to tears. Rounding out the principal cast as the couple’s adult son is Bobby Steggert, a genuine talent who has “rising star” written in his stars.
2. Student Rush: The show offers student rush tickets for day of performances at only $27 each (with a limit of two per person), a deal students would be crazy not to take advantage of. With a price so low, there really is no excuse not to see it.
3. The Story: In adapting this story from screen to stage, several changes were made, but fortunately the big heart of the tale remains. The book manages to be funny, sincere, inspiring, heartfelt and moving as it tells the story of tall-tale-spinning Alabaman Edward Bloom and his estranged son Will, and their attempt to reconcile when Edward is diagnosed with cancer. It’s a show for anyone who loves a good story, appropriate for families, dates or outings with friends.
Also poised to close are the Zachary Levi and Krysta Rodriguez musical “First Date” and the John Grisham play adaptation “A Time to Kill.”