Palo Alto Players to Stage BIG FISH, 9/12-28

Palo Alto Players opens its 84th season with the West Coast premiere of the colorful and stirring musical, Big Fish (based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the Columbia Motion Picture written by John August). With music & lyrics by Andrew Lippa and book by John August, this tender tribute to family and the magic of storytelling is a feast for the eyes, as well as the heart. Big Fish will play for 11 performances (September 12-28, 2014) at the Lucie Stern Theater, located at 1305 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto. Tickets are on sale now by ordering online at or calling 650.329.0891.

Big Fish closed its original Broadway run on December 29, 2013. Just a few days later, Artistic Director Patrick Klein negotiated and acquired the performance rights. Palo Alto Players' production is the first to premiere on the West Coast.

"Big Fish is such a well-known title thanks to the whimsical film, but so many people - even most of our performers - had never seen it or even heard the musical! Once we learned it was an option for this season, we jumped at the opportunity to bring this brand new, beautiful Broadway gem to the Bay Area," said Klein, who is also the show's Director. "It really presents a unique opportunity for Palo Alto Players as a company, and for myself as a director. It's exciting to be able to branch out in an original direction in this way and let the collective imagination of our incredibly talented design team and cast run wild. After all, breaking the boundaries of imagination is a major theme in the show. It's been very rewarding to see everything come together. I can't wait to present it to an audience. People of all ages can expect to be transfixed and transported by what they'll see on stage!"

In this whimsical fantasy set in the heart of Dixie, the charismatic Edward Bloom tells his son, Will, stories about his life -- but these aren't just any old stories. They're mythic tales of impossible magic, complete with witches and giants. As Will prepares to become a father, Edward faces the final chapter in his life's story. Will sets off on an epic journey of his own to uncover the truth about his father, and generations collide as the lines blur between fact and fiction. A feast for the eyes, as well as the heart, Big Fish is a tender tribute to family and the magic of storytelling.

Managing Director Diana Lynn Wiley said, "Many people are familiar with Big Fish because of the wonderful Tim Burton movie, and this show encapsulates its best parts - it's an incredibly touching story about family set in a fantastic environment."

Big Fish shifts between multiple real and reimagined timelines: present day, where Edward Bloom is coming to terms with his own mortality, and flashbacks to Edward's life, as he ages from teenager to adult. But the way Edward tells his life's story, full of encounters with magical creatures, including a witch, a giant, and a mermaid, it's hard for his son, Will, to know where the truth is buried amid his father's stories - and which secrets his father never revealed.

The cast includes:

Chris Janssen, San Jose - Edward Bloom

Danny Martin, Millbrae - Will Bloom

Elizabeth Santana, San Jose - Sandra Bloom

David Murphy, Mountain View - Karl the Giant

Jennifer Gregoire, San Bruno - Josephine Bloom

Mohamed Ismail, Palo Alto - Don Price/Ensemble

Mark Alabanza, Belmont - Amos Calloway

Nic Garcia, San Jose - Young Will

Raegena Raymond-Brunker, Redwood City - The Witch

Andrew Lucero, San Jose - Zacky/Ensemble

Andrew Kracht, Cupertino - Ensemble

Vic Prosak, San Jose - Dr. Bennett/Ensemble

Eli Habeeb, San Mateo - Ensemble

Derrick Contreras, Fresno - Ensemble

Jennifer Young, San Francisco - Ensemble

Katie Mazon, San Jose - Ensemble

Catrina Manahan, Foster City - Ensemble

Jessica Whittemore, San Jose - Jenny Hill/Ensemble

Stacey Hamilton, Sunnyvale - Ensemble

Bridgette Losey, Redwood City - Ensemble

This production will also feature musical direction by Matthew Mattei, choreography by Jennifer Gorgulho, and scenic design by Patrick Klein. Costumes are designed by Lisa Lutkenhouse Lowe, lighting design by Ed Hunter, sound design by Grant Huberty, properties design by Pat Tyler, video projections design by Nick Kumamoto, and hair and makeup design by Shiboune Thill.

Opening night for Big Fish is Saturday, September 13 at 8pm, and the show runs until September 28, 2014; there is also a paid preview performance on Friday, September 12 at 8pm. The curtain lifts at 7pm on Thursdays, 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and Sunday performances are a matinee at 2pm. Palo Alto Players will host two post-show Talk Back events on Thursdays, September 18 and September 25, led by show director Patrick Klein and featuring cast members and other members of the design team. Talk Back events are complimentary with the purchase of a ticket for that night's performance. Ticket prices are priced according to seating chart, and range from $34 to $48. Discounted tickets are available to Seniors, Military, and Students for Thursday and Sunday performances only. Special discounts of 20-25% for groups of 10 or more are also available. For ticket services, please call 650.329.0891 or visit Palo Alto Players online at

Big Fish is the first offering in Palo Alto Players' 84th season, "A Season of Mythic Proportions". In November, audiences will be entertained by the hare-raising comedy classic Harvey (by Mary Chase). In 2015, the new year begins with the beautifully haunting Eurydice (by Sarah Ruhl), and the spring musical, The Addams Family, is sure to delight and thrill (book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa). The 84th season will close in June 2015 with Chinglish, a new comedy about the misadventures of miscommunication (by David Henry Hwang). Season tickets are still available for as little as $140 for all five shows, including Big Fish.

In cooperation with The City of Palo Alto, Big Fish and the 84th season of Palo Alto Players are produced at the Lucie Stern Theater located at 1305 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto, CA. Use of this facility is made possible through support from The City of Palo Alto, Community Services Department, Division of Arts and Sciences, and from our patrons.

Founded in 1931, Palo Alto Players is the Bay Area Peninsula's first theatre company, making it both the Peninsula's oldest and continuously operating theatre. Based at the Lucie Stern Theater, built explicitly for the Players in 1933, Palo Alto Players produces a season of comedies, dramas, classics, and musicals from September to June. Audiences and participants come from all over the Bay Area to be a part of Palo Alto Players' productions. Palo Alto Players is committed to providing a meaningful theatre experience for both audience and production participants. Intrinsic in this is the belief that theatre benefits the community-at-large and enhances the quality of life of those who are touched by it through education, enlightenment, and enrichment. Palo Alto Players is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established for public benefit. For more information about Palo Alto Players and upcoming shows, visit or call the box office at 650.329.0891.

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