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'Big Fish' Debuts On Broadway

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The highly-anticipated musical "Big Fish" opened on Broadway on Sunday night. NY1's Frank DiLella was on hand for the star-studded event and filed the following report.

"Big Fish" is officially splashing things up on Broadway.

The musical, which is based on the novel and film of the same name, centers around a traveling salesman who's known for telling tall tales.

Two-time Tony Award-winner Norbert Leo Butz plays the central character of Edward Bloom. Kate Baldwin plays his wife Sandra, and Bobby Steggert plays their son Will.

This production marks a reunion for Butz and the show's director/choreographer, Tony Award-winner Susan Stroman. Stroman and Butz last worked together on Broadway more than a decade ago on the musical "Thou Shalt Not."

"Susan Stroman is, she's almost like a personal trainer,Butz says. "She works you so hard and gets you into such shape."

Stroman spoke to me about crafting her world for "Big Fish."

"'Big Fish,' of course, it takes place in Alabama, so there's a lot of research about what happens down South, and also, what kind of dance styles for me," she says. "There's a lot of rhythmic steps, a lot of clogging. There's something called "Alabama stomp," and there's something called flat footing."

"Big Fish" marks the first show out of a handful of Broadway tuners set to open this season that has roots in Hollywood. Other shows grouped in that genre include "Rocky," "Aladdin" and "Bullets Over Broadway."

In keeping with the theme of film-to-stage transfers, I polled the "Big Fish" company on opening night, asking them what other flicks they'd like to see on Broadway.

"This sounds crazy, but I would love to see a really brilliant version of 'Drop Dead Gorgeous,'" said one person.

"'The Green Mile,'" said another.

"I would say 'Tootsie,'" said a third.

"'Pretty Woman,'" said a fourth.

"'A River Runs Through It,'" said a fifth.

"How about 'The Godfather,'" said a sixth. "Let's do 'The Godfather.'"

"I don't know, 'Dead Poets Society'?" said a seventh. "I don't know, that has always sung to me. Although there's no part for me."

Some good suggestions. As for the outcome, we'll have to wait and see.

Until then, you can catch "Big Fish," now playing at The Neil Simon Theatre on Broadway.

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