'Big Fish' Musical Splashes Down for Pre-Broadway Tryout in Chicago

Big Fish Poster Art - P 2012

Big Fish Poster Art - P 2012

Directed and choreographed by five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman, the stage adaptation of the 2003 Tim Burton film will premiere in the Windy City in April.

NEW YORK -- The stage musical Big Fish, adapted from the Daniel Wallace novel and the 2003 Tim Burton movie, has announced a Broadway tryout run at Chicago's Oriental Theatre in the spring.

Directed and choreographed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman (The Producers), the show will play a five-week limited engagement, starting previews April 2 for an April 21 opening and running through May 5.

While there had been speculation that Big Fish might be one of the late-entry musicals for the current Broadway season, the Chicago dates rule out a transfer before the eligibility cutoff for Tony Awards consideration at the end of April. That now puts the show on track for Broadway during the 2013-14 season.

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Music and lyrics are by Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family), with a book by John August, who also penned the screenplay for Burton's film. The project marks the first Broadway-bound musical project for the frequent Burton collaborator. August's most recent screenwriting credit was on Frankenweenie.

Currently appearing on Broadway opposite Katie Holmes in Dead Accounts, Norbert Leo Butz will star in Big Fish as Edward Bloom, the role played onscreen as a young man by Ewan McGregor and in later life by Albert Finney. Butz has twice won the Tony for lead actor in a musical, for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Catch Me If You Can.

Big Fish is a fantasy set in the American South about a charismatic storyteller and the efforts of his son to get to know the man behind his string of tall tales. The Columbia Pictures film version also starred Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange and Helena Bonham Carter.

The stage production has assembled a deluxe design team, with sets by Julian Crouch (The Addams Family), costumes by William Ivey Long (Hairspray) and lighting by Donald Holder (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark).

The show is produced by Dan Jinks, Bruce Cohen (Silver Linings Playbook) and Stage Entertainment, with Roy Furman, The Nederlander Organization, John Domo and Broadway Across America.

Chicago has become a popular city for pre-Broadway tryouts in the past decade, launching initial runs of The Producers, Monty Python's Spamalot and The Addams Family, among others, including this season's upcoming Kinky Boots.