Coming up this weekend is the first (I believe) local production of the musical Big Fish, which is based on the excellent film about the wild, imaginative life of one man - and the attempts by his son to sort out fact from fiction.
We have some interviews with the cast, starting with the talented Michael Gore, who plays the part of the man who never runs out of tall tales: Edward Bloom.
Q: Tell us the story of Big Fish.
Michael: It's a wonderful tale about an over-the-top dad who tells "Big Fish" stories to his son, who he loves more than life. During the tales the audience discovers a true love story of epic proportions. However, it's an emotional ride as the son tries to uncover the real story and events behind the tales before his dad loses his battle with cancer.
Q: Tell us about the character you play.
Michael: I have the pleasure of playing the role of Edward Bloom, the dad. From the first moment I heard the Broadway soundtrack, I wanted to play this character. His love of life and his love for his family is like no other character I know.
Q: Why did you want to be in this musical?
Michael: This is one of my favorite new musicals. The music and the story are both fantastic. It's Broadway at its best with numerous show stopping moments.
Q: What's your background in theatre?
Michael: I have been in shows since I was a teenager. In recent years, I have had the opportunity to play some great characters like Billy Flynn in Chicago and Frank Abagnale, Sr. in Catch Me If You Can.
Q: What's your favorite song in the show?
Michael: I love my last scene and song in the show. “How It Ends” is my character's swan song and is a beautifully written. The first few times I sang it, I caught myself crying, imagining people at the end of their lives saying goodbye. Every character in the show is part of the number and you just feel the love coming from that stage.
Q: Tell us about the cast - there's a lot of talent on display there.
Michael: The cast is amazing. I am so excited to be doing a show in my hometown for the first time in nearly 15 years. I love that I get to work alongside Huntington theatre friends like Shayne Gue and Danny Ray and life-long friends I grew up with in Logan like Rachel Noe, Holly Maynard, Rebecca Adams and Josh Butcher. I am working with many new faces, the average age of the cast is much lower than most shows I've done but these "kids" are amazing. I love their eagerness to learn and try new stuff.
Q: Why would you recommend this show to our readers?
Michael: Obviously because the show is fabulous but also to see theatre in a town that has not always been known as a theatre town. The ARTS company has worked very hard in a very short time to build a wonderful program and their shows are top notch. This show is Big and Wonderful, it fits right into the company. Come join us for a journey that you will not soon forget.
Big Fish: The Musical will be presented by the Southern Coalition for the Arts on Fri. and Sat., May 29, 30 and June 5 and 6 at 7 p.m., and on Sun., June 7 at 2 p.m. at the Coalfield Jamboree Theatre at 308 Main Street in Logan, W.Va. Tickets are $12. For more information, call 304-785-0547.