I knew the Woodford Theatre production of “Big Fish” was in trouble when the contributing arts critic who reviewed it began by lamenting its failure to match the magic of the 2003 film. Of course film productions can soar beyond the physical limitations of stage drama. The magic of stage is that despite limitations of space, cast, sound and movement, real actors in the same room with their audience can spin a story that evokes both thought and emotion. Contrary to the almost spiteful review that the critic wrote, I believe “Big Fish” met that expectation and more. I have to wonder about motivation when a reviewer, in her own words, finds almost every element of a show from design to performances “a reach.”
In contrast, I would offer my own experience. The energy, emotion and, yes, talent of the cast members transported me to an imaginary world full of fantasy and truth, mirth and sorrow, family and self. It is a trip I will remember with gratitude. I recommend the experience to all. I am sorry the critic got lost along the way.