A colleague of mine once observed that when you ask people about their mothers, you tend to hear stories and fond memories, but when you ask people about their fathers, tears flow within minutes.
Perhaps because traditional, American modes of masculinity and emotional expression have stood at loggerheads for many generations, making father-child relationships highly complicated. Yet it’s precisely this dual struggle to connect that drives Big Fish, the novel-turned-movie-turned-stage-musical now playing at Dexter’s Encore Theatre.
The story begins when Will Bloom (Billy Eric Robinson) is about to be married to his journalism colleague Josephine (Kimberly Alley), and he asks his charismatic, tall-tale-telling father Edward Bloom (David Moan) to refrain from making a wedding toast, or sharing the baby news they’re not yet announcing. Edward, despite his promises, proceeds to do both, infuriating Will and putting his mother, Sandra (Emmi Bills), in the middle of yet another father-son squabble. But when Edward’s health takes a turn for the worse, Will grows desperate to know his father’s true history — not the tales of mermaids, giants, and witches he’s been fed since childhood — and this leads him down a path of discovery that Edward would rather leave blocked off. READ THE REST HERE