Review: Hyperkinetic ‘Big Fish’ emerges with heart

October 6, 2013 • Entertainment

This undated publicity photo released by The Hartman Group shows Norbert Leo Butz, left, and Ryan Andes during Act I in “Big Fish,” at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York. (AP Photo/The Hartman Group, Paul Kolnik)

NEW YORK (AP) — Sometimes a musical gets you with the first kiss or a nifty bit of dance. “Big Fish” might be the first to do it with elephant butts.

The sight of three swaying caps a tumultuous first act that throws everything at you — acrobats, a montage, smoke, leaping fish, mermaids, werewolves and a ruthless cheerfulness — so by the time the simple view of puppet pachyderm rear ends appear, cheers come naturally from the audience.

Directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, “Big Fish” is a hyperkinetic, messy spectacle that really only finds its footing in a cleaner second act, finally emerging with real heart and style.

The musical that opened Sunday at the Neil Simon Theatre is adapted from the 1998 Daniel Wallace novel and the 2003 Tim Login to read more

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