‘Big Fish’ Gets Pre-Broadway Open at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre

The musical adaptation of “Big Fish” will open in Chicago for a pre-Broadway tryout next year. The production will open at the Windy City’s Oriental Theater on April 2, where it is scheduled to run for five weeks through May 5.

Though producers had previously discussed a possible Broadway opening this season, the Chicago tryout will push back that plan, and the New York Times reports that producers don’t expect the musical to come to Broadway until the 2013-14 season.

“Big Fish” is based on the 2003 film of the same name that was directed by Tim Burton. The film itself was based on the novel by Daniel Wallace.

Both feature the story of a Edward Bloom, a Southern traveling salesman that tells his life through a string of larger-than-life stories. In the movie, Bloom is played as a young man by Ewan McGregor and in later life by Albert Finney. The story focuses on Bloom’s son Will attempting to find the real story of his father in the sometimes outlandish stories.

Previous mentions of the musical mentioned that actor Michael C. Hall – of Dexter fame – was considering taking on the Bloom role on Broadway, but it was announced that Norbert Leo Butz will star in the role for the Chicago production. Butz has won two Tony Awards for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. The first was for “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” in 2005, and the second came last year for his work in “Catch Me if You Can.”

“Big Fish” has music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, best known for “The Addams Family.” John August wrote the book, and also was the screenwriter for the film. Susan Stroman is set direct and choreograph the production.

Chicago also played tryout city for Cyndi Lauper’s production, “Kinky Boots.”