Perrysburg Musical Theatre brings stage version of “Big Fish” to Northwest Ohio


Perrysburg Musical Theatre will be the first theatre company in Northwest Ohio to debut the funny, fanciful and heartwarming new musical “Big Fish” this summer.

“Big Fish” will be staged  June 23, 24, & 25 at 7 p.m. and 26 at 2 p.m. at Perrysburg High School.

“Big Fish” is based on Daniel Wallace’s 1998 novel, “Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions.” The story which features flashbacks and tall tales that come to life, quickly caught the attention of American Screenwriter John August who adapted the novel for the 2003 film “Big Fish.” In 2013, John August brought the story to Broadway with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Variety called it “(A) wholly satisfying show: meaningful, emotional, tasteful, theatrically imaginative and engaging.”
PMT’s Big Fish is cast with gifted and talented actors. D. Ward Ensign stars as the charming, charismatic storyteller and father, Edward Bloom. Ensign has been a part of numerous theatrical and musical productions, both on and off stage since being in his first musical, Godspell in 1988. Elizabeth Cottle plays Sandra Bloom, who is patient, calm – the perfect balance to Edward’s enthusiasm. Elizabeth is no stranger to the stage, but this is her 1st production with PMT.
“When we had callbacks for the roles of Sandra and Edward, we paired Ward and Elizabeth together to duet the song, “Daffodils”. It was instant chemistry, they became Sandra and Edward,” said Julie Bermudez, Artistic Director for PMT.
Also making his 1st time appearance with PMT is Garrett Leininger as Will Bloom.

Garrett is the Choir Director for Perrysburg High School. His character, Will is a critical part of the story. He is an earnest, serious, thoughtful young man wanting to reconnect with his storytelling father, but unable to appreciate Edward’s romantic view of life. He has to able to take us on the journey of understanding and make us believe the complex relationship and final heartfelt embrace of his father’s legacy.

Playing Will’s wife, Josephine is Esther Swain. Esther is back with PMT (Witch, Shrek the Musical) and recently starred in 3B’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar as Mary Magdalene. Her character, Josephine acts as the bridge between Edward and Will, explaining the deeper meaning of the stories.

Not to be ignored is the circus ring leader, Amos played by Chris Stack, also making his 1st time debut with PMT. Amos is the rather eccentric, quirky owner of the circus that employs young Edward that will keep the audience laughing with his outgoing personality.

Chuck Kiskadden will portray Karl, the Giant. Edward’s best friend, Karl is shy, exceptionally intelligent, hermit- like, and has a quiet charisma. Jenny Hill played by Emma Hayward, who transforms as Edward’s devoted, first girlfriend to an older, tired disillusioned version of Jenny.

The youngest member of the supporting cast, 9-year-old and third grader at Frank Elementary, Isaac Bermudez, portrays Young Will, his 5th production with PMT.

The ensemble roles include a group of Witches, led by the powerful voice of Amanda Reisner, who convinces Edward to pursue a “Big Life” without fear. As we follow the “big fish tales” of Edward we encounter a circus troupe, a fantastical group of westerners, USO dancers and soldiers and the brave citizens of Ashton. “The music Andrew Lippa created for Big Fish will make you weep, laugh, and want to jump out of your seat and dance,” Bermudez adds. “The ensemble roles are a huge part of the show and allows for a lot of creativity with many genres of dance and staging.”

The ensemble cast is ages 8 and up.
The Artistic Team includes Nicole Spadafore, C.Jordan Benavente, Julie Bermudez and D. Ward Ensign (producing) who give collective, creative ideas and direction to Big Fish. Dave Nelms, brings his set designing experience, recently designed set for the Croswell’s production of Memphis, and Conductor, William Hayes also lends his musical talent to PMT.
For more information, visit Public sales will be June 13, 14, 20 and 21 at 6:30 at the Perrysburg High School box office or one hour before each show.