Published by The Journal Record – Read original article here.

Originally published on July 22, 2015

Around Town: Lyrics BIG FISH makes waves

Lyric Theatre’s newest production, Big Fish, will be remembered because it’s such a perfect detailing of family relations.

Basically, Big Fish is about a father who’s a traveling salesman. He comes home and tells his young son about his adventures, how he ran across a witch, a carnival worker, a giant, a mermaid and other escapades. His teenage son doesn’t believe him, even as an adult.

David Elder, in the role of Edward Bloom, the father, is perfect as he tells and acts out his stories for the young son, Will, portrayed by the talented George Schroeder. The grown Will is the equally talented Russell McCook. The stories are fanciful because the father wants his son to react positively to adventure. Yet he is unsuccessful with both the young Will and the grown Will. Their relationship suffers, but turns out both sweetly and sadly.

Elder, with Broadway experience, drew sympathy from the audience as well as laughs, as he acted out his meetings with unique characters. His young son may not have believed the adventures but the audience in the Civic Center Music Hall did.

Greg White, director of musical theater at the University of Central Oklahoma, is both fearful and funny as the giant. Eleasha Gamble, as the witch, is intimidating as she tells the father his future. Emily Skinner, as Sandra Bloom, his wife, and Jennifer Teel, as Jenny Hill, his high school love, sang and performed so well. As a matter of fact, the entire cast deserves applause for their expertise.

Big Fish benefits from the intricate choreography created by Lyn Cramer, Weitzenhoffer-endowed professor at the University of Oklahoma. Cramer so cleverly adapted choreography for each adventure of Edward Bloom. Lyric Theatre’s Artistic Director Michael Baron continues to select great musicals and direct with distinction. This is evident in Big Fish.

Adam Koch, credited as set designer, has created an imaginative wonderland for the father’s adventures and a normal home atmosphere when needed. While introducing the show, Baron said the colorful curtain – created with what must have been thousands of satin ties – was sewn by volunteers, who spent many hours putting it together.

Big Fish will continue at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and a matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are available.

 

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