With 'Big Fish,' Owen High theatrics make a splash

Mike Siler

Owen High School is the first school in Buncombe County to bring the 2013 hit Broadway musical "Big Fish" to the stage.

"Big Fish" at Owen High School showcases a talented group of seniors in the lead roles.

"This show has been a big effort, everything from sets, to costumes to using a student based orchestra," director Lyn Nihart said. "It’s one of the more complex shows we’ve produced in recent years. It showcases a talented group of seniors in the lead roles. This is a must-see show.”

Based on 1998 novel by Daniel Wallace and the 2003 film by Tim Burton, "Big Fish" is the story of a strained relationship between a father and his son. When Edward Bloom becomes ill, his son Will travels to be with him. Will has a hard time caring for his father because of the exaggerated stories his dad tells about his life.

Will, who is about to have his first child, believes his dad has never really told the truth about anything. The musical takes the audience from Edward’s young life through his last days. Edward’s fantastical memories, which include a giant, a werewolf, a mermaid and a witch, are on full display.

When Will, a journalist, starts to investigate his father's tales, he begins to understand the man and his penchant for storytelling. He uncovers a thread of honesty and meaning that holds his father’s life together.

“The music adds a wonderful dimension to this larger-than-life and surprisingly poignant story," choral director Kati Swinney said. "All ages will be drawn into this tale of tales.”

Tyson Hamrick, Owen High's new band director, will leads the 16-person student orchestra.

"Big Fish" stages at Owen High’s auditorium at 7 p.m. May 18-20. Tickets are $10 adults and $5 students. Tickets can be purchased in advance at: cdowenhs.ticketleap.com/bigfish. Tickets will also be on sale at the door.