Edward Bloom, a teller of tall tales (“big fish” stories), tries to reconcile with his skeptical son from his deathbed: It may not sound like a promising premise for a Broadway musical. But with a little stage magic and a lot of dancing, director and choreographer Susan Stroman is able to bring Edward’s stories to vibrant life onstage in Big Fish. The Broadway adaptation of the 2003 film opens October 6 at the Neil Simon Theatre in NYC. Stroman talked to DS about what makes Big Fish worth seeing.
Big Fish on Broadway (by Paul Kolnik)
It’s a story full of great stories.
“All of us ended up in theater because someone told us big-fish stories when we were growing up,” Stroman says. “Those stories inspired us to tell our own stories. But this musical isn’t just about the fantastical elements—it also has a lot of heart.”
The special effects are awesome.
“It’s this great combination of old-world stagecraft and new technology,” Stroman says. “There are solid props made out of wood—and then a digital projection will transform that wood into something else. It’s almost a metaphor for the larger story: Something real becomes something fantastical.”
Pretty much every kind of dance imaginable is involved…
“Each of Edward’s stories has a different type of dance that goes with it,” Stroman says. “There’s a big USO number with tap dance, and then there’s a ballet piece where the dancers represent fire and air, and then there’s a good old Alabama stomp, because the show takes place in Alabama. Usually a musical just uses one dance form—it’s all tap or all jazz. But this particular story opens up ways to incorporate many styles.”
…and the dancers are top-notch.
“I have some of the best dancers on Broadway,” Stroman says. “Sarrah Strimel, Lara Seibert, Bryn Dowling, Angie Schworer—these people are very accomplished and well respected. There’s always joy when they’re onstage. I think dance fans will have fun seeing them take on different roles and styles. There are a lot of lovely surprises in store.”
Dancer Yesenia Ayala first caught our eye in the off-Broadway production of Sweet Charity with Sutton Foster earlier this year. So, we were super excited when we found out she was making her Broadway debut in this spring's sweetest new show Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (Both productions were choreographed by Joshua Bergasse.)
Since the NYC premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream at American Ballet Theatre's spring gala Monday night, the DS editors haven't stopped talking about its creepy-cute sets and costumes, created by artist Mark Ryden. Well, the obsession is about to get even crazier, because we just heard that Ryden's artwork for the ballet is now on display in not one, but TWO locations in NYC.
Yes, yes, we know: Dancers are athletes as well as artists. But we haven't seen anything hammer home just HOW athletic dancers are quite as well as this video from Self magazine, which features American Ballet Theatre principal/fairy princess Isabella Boylston trying to teach top-level CrossFit enthusiasts ballet.
There's a reason Mia Michaels' nickname is "Mama Mia." The legendary choreographer invests deeply in her dancers, whether they're competitors on "So You Think You Can Dance," members of the Radio City Rockettes, or part of her own elite assistant squad. And now, Michaels is launching a project that aims to give more dancers access to her gifts as a teacher and mentor.
And that's a wrap on "Dancing with the Stars" Season 24, ladies and gents! It's certainly been one for the books. From injuries to shocking eliminations, let's just say Season 24 has had its emotional ups and downs. But despite all that, the season made for some seriously phenom dancing and some killer performances. And as usual, we've loved watching every second of those cha chas, foxtrots, and waltzes.
Let's get right to the exciting stuff, though: Last night's winning couple of "Dancing with the Stars" is...
Nearly 80,000 dance-loving Instagram followers can't be wrong: Quinn Starner is one to watch. And what's just as impressive as the 15-year-old's rabid online following is her ever-growing list of competition accolades. Quinn, who trains at Indiana Ballet Conservatory and Stars Dance Company, been named first runner-up at The Dance Awards for two years in a row (as a junior and a teen); was the 2016 West Coast Dance Explosion Teen National Champion; earned first place in contemporary and third place in the classical division at Youth America Grand Prix Regionals in Pittsburgh last year; has won the Grand Prix Award at ADC|IBC; and was a gold medalist at World Ballet Art Competition Grand Prix. Plus, she made it to the Academy round on last year's "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation," and has performed as Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Here's what Quinn has to say about her favorite songs, teachers, and career highlights.