The McLean Theatre Company opened their production of Big Fish to the McLean High School stage this past President’s Day to a packed house. Under the guidance of Artistic Director Amy Poe, and Musical Director Bobby McCoy, the completely student run show left us more than impressed. After seeing several shows in the Washington, DC metro area over the past couple of years, the age of these young actors was quickly forgotten as they took over the stage.
After being made aware of the production from a co-worker, who is active in local community theater, we were invited to attend the premiere before their one weekend run from February 19-22. The McLean Theatre Company (McLean High School Theatre Boosters) is composed of students, parents, and teachers of McLean High School who work together on these award winning productions. Everything about the productions goes beyond what you may be thinking when you hear “high school theatre” in a sentence. If the set design didn’t surprise us enough the powerful 17-18 year old actors did.
For those unfamiliar with the Tim Burton cinematic interpretation, Big Fish takes a look at the adventurous stories that a father (Edward Bloom played by Alex Stone) shares with his son (Will played by Jake Posey). As Will is expecting his first child he finds himself struggling to understand who is father really is after years of listening to seemingly far-fetched tales. Alex Stone, who is already developing quite the resume as a National Young Arts Finalist and nomination as a Presidential Scholar in the Art, successfully takes on the role of Edward Bloom and amazes us with his vocal range, comedic timing, and innate physicality onstage. Several other things impressed us about this production including the incredible set design and how it adapted to take us through the journey of Bloom’s tall-tales. As I was warming the goosebumps on my arms I looked around the crowded theater to see more than a couple people wiping their eyes as the show ended.
In an area with so many productions hitting the stage at the same time, it can be difficult to keep track of everything. In our opinion, you should give Big Fish the chance it deserves and head to the McLean High School this coming weekend. The entire cast and crew deserves credit for an outstanding production.
What: Big Fish
Where: McLean’s Burks Auditorium
When: February 19-22 (Thursday-Saturday at 7pm, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm)
Ticket Information: McLean Theatre Company