CHICAGO – BoHo Theatre closes out its 2019 season with BIG FISH, the imaginative and moving musical by Andrew Lippa and John August, directed by BoHo Theatre Artistic Director Stephen Schellhardt. BoHo brings its trademark attention to character and relationships to this intimately staged tale of a larger-than-life storyteller and his fraught relationship with his only son.
Music & Lyrics by Andrew Lippa Book by John August
Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the Columbia motion picture written by John August Directed by Stephen Schellhardt
Music Direction by Michael McBride Choreography by Megan Farley September 29 – November 17, 2019
Performing at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago
Previews: Sunday, Sept 29 @ 2:00pm, Thursday, Oct 3 @ 8:00pm, and Friday, Oct 4 @ 8:00pm Press Opening / Opening Night: Saturday, Oct 5, at 8:00 pm **press invitation to follow Performance run: Oct 6 – Nov 17
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm.
General Tickets on sale September 1 at www.BoHoTheatre.com, (773) 975-8150, or the Greenhouse Theater Center box office. Tickets are $25 for previews and $35 for regular performances.
Edward Bloom leads an extraordinary life—at least according to the stories he tells his son, Will. But Will, who is getting married and expecting a child of his own, doesn’t think there’s any truth to the extravagant tales his father tells about meeting witches, kissing mermaids, or joining the circus. He doesn’t even believe the story of how his father proposed to his mother, Sandra, in a field full of daffodils. But when Edward’s health begins to decline, Will must decide whether to accept his father’s wild stories as fact or risk losing him completely. Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, BIG FISH is a heartfelt, powerful, and truly magical musical about fathers, sons, and the stories that we use to define our identities.
“I’ve been a fan of this musical for a long time,” says director Stephen Schellhardt. “While I appreciate the large scale, spectacle-driven way it’s often produced, I see our production as an opportunity to concentrate on the character relationships and to bring the more intimate moments to life. After all, BoHo Theatre is a family, and connection and heart are what we are all about.” This production welcomes back to BoHo’s stage Tommy Thurston (110 IN THE SHADE), Jeff Pierpoint (Jeff Award nominated for BRIGHT STAR), and Matt Frye (DOGFIGHT).
“BIG FISH asks if there is a benefit to being either a realist or an idealist,” Schellhardt says. “What better time is there in America to celebrate being both?”
Tommy Thurston as Edward Bloom
Kyrie Anderson as Sandra Bloom
Jeff Pierpoint as Will Bloom
Nicole Besa as Josephine Bloom
Alli Atkenson as Jenny Hill
Caitlin Dobbins as The Witch
Matt Frye as Don Price
Joshua Bishop as Zacky Price
Robert Quintanilla as Karl the Giant
Sean Michael Barrett as Amos Calloway
Michaela Shapiro as Girl in the Water
and Desmond Murphy & Ian Michael Pinski as Young Will
Produced by Meg Love, Scenic Design by Lauren M. Nichols, Lighting Design by G. Max Maxin, Costume Design by Christina Leinicke, Sound Design by Daniel Hosfield, Properties Design by Emily Boyd, Assistant Direction by Alexandra Kunath, Assistant Choreography by Casiena Raether, Production Managed by Dalton Long
Stephen Schellhardt (Artistic Director/Director) has directed and/or choreographed at Porchlight Music Theatre, Writers Theatre, Northwestern University, Timberlake Playhouse, The Summer Theatre of New Canaan, Ars Nova in New York City, The Casino Club Chicago, The Winnetka Children’s Theatre and BoHo Theatre, where he is Artistic Director. As an actor, Stephen has appeared in numerous Equity productions in Chicago-area and regional theatres, receiving three Equity Jeff Award nominations and a Barrymore Award for acting, as well as a Non-Equity Jeff Award nomination for directing URINETOWN, and choreographing DOGFIGHT for BoHo Theatre. Stephen was a member of the 1st National Tour of ALTAR BOYZ, where he also served as dance captain for Christopher Gatelli. Most recently, Stephen was a lecturer of musical theatre at Northwestern University and the director of their annual WAA-MU SHOW. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. He is a founding member of the Chicago Artists Chorale, a Casting Associate at About Face Theatre, former Associate Producer and Casting Director for Writers Theatre in Glencoe, and a proud member of Actors Equity Association. Stephen is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Drama School.
Dr. Michael McBride (Musical Director) is an internationally-performed composer, music director, performer, and educator. This past summer, he was the resident music director for Timber Lake Playhouse where he worked ON MAN OF LA MANCHA, MAMMA MIA, and THE LITTLE MERMAID. Previous highlights are FOOTLOOSE, VIOLET, CABARET, TINTYPES, SHE LOVES ME, SPRING AWAKENING, HOT MIKADO, URINETOWN, INTO THE WOODS, The Drake Hotel holiday programming, and The Cabaret Project in Chicago, St. Louis, and Lake Geneva. Having earned a DM in composition from Northwestern University, he is on faculty at Loyola University Chicago and North Park University.
Tommy Thurston (Edward Bloom) was mostly recently seen as Robert Kincaid in Theo Ubique’s THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTRY (Jeff Award nomination, principle actor), as well as Starbuck 110 IN THE SHADE (BoHo Theatre), Ash in EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL (Black Button Eyes Productions), and Professor in YANK (Pride Films & Plays). Other Chicago credits include Sergeant Lombardi in a concert reading of PASSION (Writer’s Theatre), Painter in AMOUR (Black Button Eyes Prod), FAR FROM HEAVEN, and William Desmond Taylor in MACK & MABEL (Porchlight Music Theatre). Tommy has also been seen in productions with Broadway in Chicago, Theatre at the Center, Emerald City Theatre, and Circle Theatre.
Jeff Pierpoint (Will Bloom) was most recently seen in Porchlight Music Theatre’s GYPSY. Other recent Chicago credits include NEWSIES, SHE LOVES ME, AND HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS… With Marriott Theatre, and GRAND HOTEL and BONNIE AND CLYDE with Kokandy Productions. Other favorite credits include “Greg Madison” in IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU (Actor’s Theatre of Indiana) and “Frankie” in FOREVER PLAID (Tent Theatre). Jeff is a proud graduate of Ball State University and is represented by Gray Talent.
BoHo Theatre tells stories examining and celebrating human relationships — focusing on the Bohemian pillars of Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love — using bold, intimate theatrical stagings. Our vision is to create a shared community of artists and patrons in which all members are moved through art to make thoughtful, well-examined, caring relationships the highest priority in their lives.
BoHo’s 2019 mainstage season features BRIGHT STAR by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, directed by Ericka Mac; THE RIVER by Jez Butterworth, directed by Jerrell L. Henderson; and BIG FISH by Andrew Lippa and John August, directed by Stephen Schellhardt. BoHo is a resident company at the Greenhouse Theater Center in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.