Posts Tagged ‘Big Fish’

2017 Tony Award Nominations – Chicago Connections!

Posted on: May 22nd, 2017 by B.I. C.

The Tony Awards are always the most anticipated theatre event of the year, and we always love discovering if there are any nominees that have connections to Chicago to share in their excitement.  This year we have quite a few to celebrate!

One of these connections involve Laurie Metcalf, a veteran Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member, who was nominated for her portrayal of Nora Helmer in A Doll’s House, Part 2. The show, currently nominated for 8 Tony Awards, is playwright Lucas Hnath’s take on what happened to Nora Helmer, 20 years later from where Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House left off.

The musical War Paint, which premiered here in Chicago at the Goodman Theatre last July 2016, is also being showcased in the Tony Award nominations.  Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole, who originated the roles of Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, are both nominated for Best Leading Actress in a Musical.  The show also features several Chicago actors in supporting roles, including Mary Ernster and David Girolmo.

Ben Platt, who is currently leading the company of Dear Evan Hansen, was nominated for Best Leading Actor in a Musical.  He’s no stranger to the Chicago theatre scene since you may remember him as Elder Cunningham in the First National Tour of the hit musical The Book of Mormon from December 2012 – October 2013 at the Bank of America Theatre (now known as The PrivateBank Theatre).

Kate Baldwin, a Northwestern University graduate who was last seen in Chicago as Sandra Bloom in the Chicago premiere of Big Fish at the Oriental Theatre April – May 2013, will be competing for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Irene Molloy in Hello, Dolly.

Stephanie J. Block, who is also nominated for Best Featured Actress in a musical for her work in Falsettos, has spent a good amount of time in Chicago herself.  She played Elphaba in the Chicago premiere of Wicked at the Oriental Theatre back in June 2005, which ended up running until January 2009.  She also played Grace O’Malley in The Pirate Queen at the Cadillac Palace Theatre October – November 2006.

Lynn Nottage, the playwright of Sweat, which is now nominated for Best Play, has also recently received this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  You may recognize her work from the play Ruined, which premiered at the Goodman Theater in 2007.  Nottage won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2009 for Ruined, making her the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice!

Come From Away, the new musical which has landed 7 Tony Award nominations, has nominees for Best Director of a Musical Christopher Ashley and Best Choreography Kelly Devine, who will also be a part of the Escape To Margaritaville creative team set to premiere here in Chicago at the Oriental Theatre beginning November 9, 2017!

Make sure to tune in to the 71st annual Tony Awards hosted by CBS on Sunday, June 11, 2017  beginning at  7 p.m. CT!


Tony Awards 2015 – Best Costume Design

Posted on: May 6th, 2015 by B.I. C. No Comments

Costumes set the tone and time period of a play or musical as soon as an actor walks out on stage.  They’re also able to make an immediate time lapse believable when actors have costume quick changes.  Here are the brilliant designers nominated for this year’s Best Costume Design Tony Awards:


costume-d1(Left to Right: Bob Crowley, Jane Greenwood, Christopher Oram, David Zinn)


Best Costume Design of a Play

Bob Crowley, “The Audience”

Jane Greenwood, “You Can’t Take It With You”

Christopher Oram, “Wolf Hall Parts One & Two”

David Zinn, “Airline Highway”


Here’s a few fun facts:

– Bob Crowley designed set and costume for “Mary Poppins,” which played in both the West End, on Broadway, and toured through Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre from March 11, 2009 – July 12, 2009.

– David Zinn designed the costumes for the Broadway production of “Xanadu” that toured through Chicago at the Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place from January 16, 2009 – March 29, 2009.


costume-d2(Left to Right: Gregg Barnes, Bob Crowley, William Ivey Long, Catherine Zuber)


Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes, “Something Rotten!”

Bob Crowley, “An American in Paris”

William Ivey Long, “On the Twentieth Century”

Catherine Zuber, “The King and I”


Here’s a few more fun facts:

– Gregg Barnes was nominated for Best Costume Design in 2013 for “Kinky Boots,” which will be returning to Chicago this summer at the Cadillac Palace Theatre July 7 – 26, 2015.

– William Ivey Long has costume designed over 60 Broadway shows, including previous Broadway In Chicago touring companies such as “9 to 5,” “Big Fish,” “Cinderella,” and the upcoming “Cabaret” which will play at the Bank of America Theatre February 9 – 21, 2016.

– Catherine Zuber costume designed “South Pacific” that toured through the Cadillac Palace Theatre February 14 – 26, 2012.


BIG FISH Composer Andrew Lippa Helps Emerging Chicago Writers Refine Their Work

Posted on: May 3rd, 2013 by broadwayinchicago No Comments
Andrew Lippa and John August

Andrew Lippa and John August

There is nothing more exciting (or daunting) then the traditional out-of-town tryout.  Creative teams get the opportunity to revise, reimagine, and refine their work before it hits the Great White Way and we’re honored whenever Chicago gets chosen to be the city that gets a show’s tryout. The new musical Big Fish currently has the slot, held last season by Kinky Boots (which earned 13 Tony Award nominations on Tuesday, the most of any show this season). Big Fish composer Andrew Lippa is no stranger to Chicago, having worked on the pre-Broadway tryout of his musical adaptation of The Addams Family here in 2009. Even with Big Fish entering the final week of its out-of-town tryout and the revisions that that entails, Lippa still found time to lead a master class for emerging composers at Chicago Dramatists on Monday, April 29.

Working with emerging writers and composers “is one of my favorite things to do,” Lippa told Broadway in Chicago between takes of a behind-the-scenes video filmed at a recent matinee. “I was telling [Big Fish book writer] John August today how I was working with these fantastic writers on Monday night. And of course every time I do that, it’s really selfish because I get better. I listen to what we talk about and what they’re aiming for and not quite getting to and it reminds me of how to do my work.  It’s really the old saying ‘by your pupils you shall be taught.’  Teaching for me is a real opportunity to learn myself.”

When asked to describe the night of the recent master class, Lippa said, “I loved working with Chicago Dramatists, it was really great.” He went on to describe the experience: “It’s like going to church: it’s so incredibly spiritual for me to be around who love making things, in particular music and lyrics.“

It is a rare opportunity for an emerging writer to have the opportunity to have get direct feedback on their work with a writer as successful and acclaimed as Lippa, and he recapped the master class with warmth and fondness, “Look, I’m just one guy who happens to write musicals myself and I was only sharing with them what I’ve learned over time. The beautiful thing was that a couple of them wrote to [Chicago Dramatists Director of New Musical Development] Cheryl Coons and she forwarded some of these messages to me about how the things I said helped them and they started rewriting that very night. That’s just gratifying to know that I can be of help to some emerging writers and make their shows better.” A process we’re sure he can empathize with as he enters the closing weekend of the pre-Broadway tryout of Big Fish.

The show that enters a city for its pre-Broadway tryout is never exactly the same show that heads on to Broadway. Scenes and songs get added and cut, characters are more clearly defined, and both the cast and creative team get to make bold choices and take big risks to make the best show possible for its Broadway run. Those who live in a city lucky enough to get an out-of-town try have the fortunate opportunity to see the show evolve from what it was to what it can be. So even if you saw Big Fish at the beginning of its run here in Chicago, know that the creative team and cast have been passionately revising it each week to make it the best show it can be. Take advantage of the opportunity to see true artistry at work and see how the show has evolved since you first saw it. And if you still haven’t seen it yet, get yourself to the Cadillac Palace Theatre this weekend for the final performances. You definitely want to be able to say “ I saw it when…” before it takes Broadway by storm!

Danny Bernardo, Broadway In Chicago Marketing Team


Short and Sweet: The Lowdown on the Show – Big Fish

Posted on: April 26th, 2013 by broadwayinchicago No Comments

Broadway In Chicago is happy to introduce “Short and Sweet,” a quick view of our shows courtesy of Diana Martinez, who will give you the lowdown on Broadway In Chicago productions from the perspective of an audience member. Diana will discuss the important points of each show with a guest in this special, produced by the talented students and faculty at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy. If you’d like to join Diana for a future production, leave a comment below.