Big Fish

20728744_1851620948188260_846815103398378816_oAs Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center comes closer to the end of their 2017-2018 season, their second to last production is Big Fish. This has been a huge moment for the Center as they used the original set and costume as used in Broadway. They even had the author of Big Fish, Daniel Wallace, come in and held a VIP sit-in for the first two nights of the show.

Big Fish is about an Alabama dad who told outlandish stories to his rather factual son. But now that his son, Will, is all grown up, married, and having a son of his own, he wonders how much truth there was to his father’s stories.

As stated above, it was an outstanding sight to see the original Broadway set and costumes. It added an air of professionalism along with the magic a Broadway musical brings about. My favorite design elements were in the swamp scene. When younger Edward Bloom (Mathew Fedorek) and his comrades, Don Price (Brandon Keller) and Zacky Price (Zane Gagliardi), reach the swamp, it’s surrounded by trees. But little did I realize, or see, that those trees were made up of actors wearing foliage-like costumes! It was mesmerizing watching as they twirled and swung around the long cape and gown. Amanda Gross, as the Witch, had a great performance enacting the creepy and slyness a witch would have all while hitting every note she sang!

There were, though, a few sound difficulties. At times there were sound pops that echoed throughout the theater. Thankfully, I suppose, it happened while there was a scene change. There were also times when the music would drown out the actor/actress singing. But all of these technical difficulties are easy fixes.

Jordyn Walker, as Sandra Bloom, played the part almost perfectly! Every note in each song of hers was met and with a sense of determination and strength. She also maintained a spot on southern accent throughout the entire production — even while singing. Walker held such a strong, mother-like quality throughout the entirety of her performance. She also connected well with Mathew Fedorek’s Edward Bloom, as the part of his wife. She continued to show the caring and empathy any significant other would portray to their loved one.

Kyle Coladonato asWill Bloom was well-behaved and disciplined throughout the performance. Despite being one of the youngest performers in the show, he still treated it as what it is — a professional musical that is preparing young minds for the real deal. He recited his lines audibly and clearly, all while hitting all of the important lines that he had to recite. Especially anytime there was a joke, and it had the entire audience in laughter!

Across the board, all of the actors and actresses were very well disciplined throughout this entire show — especially with a majority of them being high school students. They kept their focus on the audience, said their lines clearly and efficiently, and sang with all they had.

This discipline did come in handy, though, when during one of the final scenes a large wooden beam fell from high up, almost crushing two actors. Both actors acted unfazed despite their health being at immediate risk. This truly defined the saying “the show must go on”!

As the production reached the end, as did Edward Bloom’s life, I must admit that I was a teary-eyed mess. The way Daniel Wallace rewrote his book into this musical, and the way the performers enacted it brought me to tears.

You can see Big Fish at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center in Midland, Pennsylvania from April 27-29 and May 4-6. Tickets range from $15, $18, and $20 and can be purchased online at lincolnparkarts.org.



Categories: Archived Reviews

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