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From novel to film to musical, 'Big Fish' has a date with Broadway

January 15, 2013|By Deborah Vankin
  • Norbert Leo Butz at the "Dead Accounts" Broadway opening night after-party at New York's Gotham Hall on Nov. 29, 2012.
Norbert Leo Butz at the "Dead Accounts" Broadway opening night… (Andrew H. Walker/Getty…)

The new musical “Big Fish” has itself reeled in a big catch: the Neil Simon Theatre.  

Based on Daniel Wallace’s 1998 novel and the 2003 film directed by Tim Burton, the in-development production has had its eye on Broadway for several years; with a theater now secured, it’s set to open Oct. 6 in New York.

Directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, who has five Tony wins under her belt, “Big Fish” will star two-time Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz (“Catch Me If You Can,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”). Others in the 27-member cast will include Tony nominees Bobby Steggert and Kate Baldwin, as well as Krystal Joy Brown,  Zachary Unger and Tony nominee Brad Oscar, the show’s producers announced on Monday.  

The movie version of "Big Fish" starred Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney. It’s a father-son story in which a young man must wade through the legends about his charismatic father in order to parse myth and fantasy from reality. Screenwriter John August, who penned the film, wrote the book for the staged musical. Tony and Grammy nominee Andrew Lippa (“The Addams Family”) wrote the music and lyrics.

Butz most recently appeared in the Broadway comedy “Dead Accounts,” opposite Katie Holmes, which  wrapped up its run on Jan. 6 at the Music Box Theatre.

“Big Fish” will get its sea legs during a short run in Chicago this April and May. It begins previews at the Neil Simon Theatre on Sept. 5.


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