Just two more days until the premiere of the musical Big Fish in Logan - so here’s our third interview with the cast!
Today let’s hear from the talented Joshua Butcher, who plays circus owner Amos Calloway.
Q: Tell us the story of Big Fish.
Joshua: Big Fish is the story of a Edward, a traveling salesman who told exaggerated stories of his own experiences to make his mundane life appear grandiose. The plot focuses on the tension this created between Edward and his son Will who feels that has never known seen his “real” father through all the stories. Throughout the show, Will is attempting to know the facts about his father’s past as he prepares to bring a son of his own into the world while watching his own father battle a terminal illness.
Q: Tell us about the character you play.
Joshua: I play Amos, the leader of the Calloway Circus where Edward worked for three years in his youth. In Edward’s version of events, Amos turns into a werewolf and forced him to work for free until finally revealing to Edward the name of a girl with whom Edward fell in love at first sight. I enjoy playing the “mean” guy. There is something fun about being a circus ring master. He is such an interesting character with one of the most energetic songs. I was able to discover an area of my voice, I didn’t know I could use. Plus, I love the costume.
Q: Why did you want to be in this musical?
Joshua: I want to be in whatever show Southern Coalition for the ARTS brings to the stage because I strongly support them in creating high quality live theatre to the culturally deprived coalfields of southern West Virginia. Theatre is important and has the ability to expand your horizons – it changed me as a teenager. It helped me overcome my anxieties and helped build confidence. It needs to exist – especially in areas like ours.
Q: What's your background in theatre?
Joshua: I have no professional training and cannot even read music. At 19, in between college semesters, I began doing community theatre because I liked a girl. I would not even dance at auditions. I suppose the need for men was so desperate that the director cast me in the chorus of Grease. Needless to say, I was bit by the theatre bug and discovered a deep passion that will last a lifetime. I also met my future wife that summer. Ironically, it was not the girl who talked me into auditioning. Years later, we fell in love and I now have two beautiful daughters – both who love theatre. They are only 3 and 1 (years old), but they know every dance and every song.
Q: What's your favorite song?
Joshua: My favorite song from the show is “I Don’t Need a Roof” sung by Edward’s wife, Sandra Bloom (played by Rachel Noe). The song is so touching and beautifully sung by Rachel. If you can’t feel the raw emotion of this song - sung from wife to husband, as he lies in her arms slowly dying from a tumor, about how she does not need material provisions after his death to know she was loved – then you have no soul.
Q: Tell us about the cast - there's a lot of talent on display there.
Joshua: The cast is amazing and made up of over 35 people that all love theatre. We are pleased to welcome several actors from the Huntington area who have joined us traveling all that way for so many rehearsals. The cast is very close having worked together on so many shows in the past. I am actually not shocked at the talent from the cast, as I have worked with them over the years – but it is time that world see the talent that is down here in Logan. Believe me, you will be more than pleasantly surprised.
Q: Why would you recommend this show to our readers?
Joshua: This show presents patrons with an opportunity to see a new musical, with fantastic music, and one of the best stories to ever be told. The rights to Big Fish were just recently released for amateur theatres as the show just left Broadway last year. In addition to being new, it is rather obscure in that it is based on a novel/movie that have a small dedicated following, but not well known to the masses. It is an emotionally moving show with beautiful music – I really think people are in for a treat. But more than that, come see what is going on in Logan, W.Va. We have fantastic restaurants and even better live theatre. You will never see a show if this caliber for just $12 - it is worth the drive.
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.