‘Big Fish’ makes big splash


photo or infographic by Aiden Hamilton

FATHER & SON. During a performance of “Big Fish” Marcus Shumake and Aiden Hamilton act as Edward Bloom as his son Will.

Hook, line and sinker. The fine arts department reeled in quite the crowd on Jan. 27 and 28 when they performed “Big Fish.” The musical is an adaptation of a story written by Daniel Wallace which describes the fantastical events of a dying man’s life. The fine arts program had an impressive cast and song lineup and ended their final show night on a high note. 

In “Big Fish,” we’re introduced to Edward Bloom (Marcus Shumake) and his son Will (Aiden Hamilton) as they’re preparing for Will’s wedding. Through this, we learn of Edward’s tendency to embellish events, a trait that forms the very basis of this tale. Just as Will is getting ready to live his own life, he’s drawn back home by the news of his father’s cancer diagnosis. From that point on, the audience watches as Edward’s family and friends recount the extravagant stories he told,  learn to grieve and get their affairs in order. By the end of the story, the audience is dragged along with Will, searching for the truth in the myriad of stories that Edward told, trying to figure out if the father he knew was just a fantasy and searching for the truth in a sea of stories. 

Big Fish is a tragically comedic tale that, when performed by a charismatic cast, has the potential to tug at the viewers’ heartstrings. With just a few short months to prepare, the fine arts department did an excellent job designing the set, putting together costumes and mustering up the courage to put on an excellent rendition of Wallace’s “Big Fish.” Sadly, there won’t be an encore anytime soon, but if community members had the chance, it would’ve been well worth the time to go see “Big Fish.”