BIG FISH presented by the Northern Kentucky University through Oct. 7. Click here for a synopsis and more information on the production. I attended the opening Sunday matinee.
Northern Kentucky University kicks off its 2018-19 season with the musical BIG FISH, based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and John August’s Columbia Motion Picture screenplay which was directed by Tim Burton.
The show, directed by Jamey Strawn, was well-paced with strong stage pictures and some nicely handled intimate moments. Also well staged was the choreography by Tracey Bonner.
Adria Whitfill impresses as wife and mother Sandra Bloom. The actress found a great balance in dealing with the two headstrong men in her life. Also up to the challenge of their leading roles were Collin Newton as Edward Bloom and Matthew Nassida as son Will. I did feel that Will came off a bit too harsh in the first scene with his father. The performance also included solid work by Sara Cox, Charlie Lindeman, Chloe Price, Sam Johnson, and Ben Cohen in their supporting roles and across the board by the remainder of the cast.
Under the music direction of Damon Stevens, the show sounded great in both its orchestration and vocal performances. Jeremiah Kearns’ sound design was balanced throughout the performance.
Ronald A. Shaw’s simple set design, complemented by several set pieces, was effective for this production. The way the field of daffodils was portrayed was clever, but I wish there had been some way to “flow them forward” or surround the characters on stage to display the sheer volume of flowers.
The costumes, designed by Elizabeth Joos with assistance from Lizzzie Lotterer and Rachel Alford, worked well in bringing the myriad of characters to life that inhabit Edward Bloom’s stories. That being said, I was a bit unclear about the intent of the costumes for the witch and her “minions.” For me, the design and color choices didn’t seem to define the characters or their environment.
Overall, a strong production of this charming and heartfelt musical.
My rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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