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‘Big Fish’ comes to the Tamaqua stage

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    The musical “Big Fish” tells the story of the strained relationships of the Bloom Family. It will be presented Friday and Saturday by the Tamaqua Area Drama Club at the Tamaqua School District Auditorium. Main cast members include Jocelyn Rega as Josephine, Zach Frie as Will, Nathaniel Noftz as Edward and Emily Barrett as Sandra. KATHY KUNKEL/TIMES NEWS

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    More than 100 students from Tamaqua Area Senior High and Middle Schools make up the cast and crew of “Big Fish,” a musical to be presented this weekend in the Tamaqua School District Auditorium.

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    What do a giant, a witch, a circus ringmaster and a mermaid have in common? They are all part of the amazing life story of traveling salesman Edward Bloom as told in the Tamaqua Area Drama Club’s presentation of the musical ‘Big Fish.” Three shows will be presented this weekend in the Tamaqua Area School District Auditorium. Cast members include, from left, Alexxa Kowalski, Kipp Tonkin, David Hull, Nathaniel Noftz and Sarah Martinez.

Published March 14. 2019 12:37PM


Relationships are complicated. They become strained for many a reason, sometimes leading to the proverbial end of the road, resulting in heartbreak all around.

The dynamics behind relationships will be front and center this weekend when the Tamaqua Area Drama Club presents the musical “Big Fish,” a story of reconciliation between a father, Edward Bloom, and his estranged son, Will Bloom. Based on the 1998 book written by Daniel Wallace and the 2003 movie directed by Tim Burton, the musical presentation has been a dream of Tamaqua Drama Club adviser Adrienne Drum for as long as she’s been heading the club.

“I fell in love with the story after the movie came out close to the time of my grandfather’s death,” she says. “The music adds so much to the story. I wanted to wait until we had the appropriate cast and this is the year that happened.”

Edward is “larger than life, with a gift for storytelling,” says junior Nathaniel Noftz, who portrays the main character.

“He has a bold, energetic personality that can sometimes rub people the wrong way.”

Noftz says the story has “something for everyone — big dance numbers, kid friendly scenes and adult themes. It’s about mending relationships.”

Will “is a realist,” says junior Zack Frie. “He’s more about the statistics. His father’s fantastic stories can be an embarrassment.”

Senior Emily Barret portrays Sandra Bloom, the “love of Edward’s life and the glue that holds the family together. She loves her husband and her son and their strained relationship breaks her heart.”

The falling out between father and son reaches its worst point as Will prepares to marry his love, Josephine, as portrayed by Jocelyn Rega, asking his father to refrain from telling his fantastic stories. Edward promises, but just can’t help himself, causing a rift that can’t seem to be bridged, until Will learns of his father’s terminal cancer.

The story is told in present day as well as flashbacks as Will and Josephine learn the truth behind Edward’s extravagant tales. Did Edward, a traveling salesman, really join the circus? Did a witch tell him how he was going to die? Did he save his hometown?

“Everyone has an Edward Bloom in their life” says Drum. “We all have difficult relationships. This musical examines those relationships and their importance to each of us.”

Performances will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with a matinee at noon on Saturday. The box office will open one hour before each performance at the Tamaqua School District Auditorium.

Barret, in her final production at Tamaqua, promises “No matter who you are, this show will matter to you. It’s all about how important it is to cherish the people you have in your life.”



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