WEATHER »
<b>BE A HERO:</b>  The ensemble cast of <i>Big Fish</i> fills the stage at Santa Barbara High.

Isaac Hernandez

BE A HERO: The ensemble cast of Big Fish fills the stage at Santa Barbara High.


Review: Big Fish at SBHS

Santa Barbara High Presents a Really Big Musical


Surely one of the most ambitious shows to be mounted in the area this season, Big Fish is the Santa Barbara High School Theatre program doing what it does best — big musicals with lots of dancing and professional production values. Theater program director Otto Layman is the auteur responsible for this marvelously complex and layered evening, with Jessica Hambright on board as choreographer to help realize the multidimensional vision of the show’s original Broadway director, the legendary Susan Stroman. Aaron Linker plays Edward Bloom, the tale-spinning, shape-shifting protagonist, and Andrew Gutierrez is his son Will, the relentlessly practical and analytic counterpoint to his father’s slippery grandiosity.

Thanks to Edward’s overactive imagination, the show’s multifarious plot effectively defies summary. There’s a singing and dancing tree, a werewolf, and, of course, a big fish. There’s also a remarkably wide variety of dance styles, many of them quite specific to the show’s setting in Alabama. Lizzie Saunders, Hailey Turner, and Hailey Simmons take a particularly effective turn in this vein as the Alabama Lambs. Saunders plays the young Sandra Bloom stealing Edward’s heart, but a second Sandra Bloom is necessary to handle the scenes set in the present, and Sable Layman sings and acts beautifully in this key role. In addition to the excellent and elaborate set design, the professional band led by Jon Nathan contributed to the overall impact of this colorful example of great contemporary musical theater.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Catalytic Converter Thefts Rise

Thievery matches increased price of precious metal rhodium.

City Amends Charter Concerning Council Vacancies

The proposed amendment concerning elections must be approved by Santa Barbara voters.

Garden and Haley Closed for Emergency Sewer Repair

Northbound Garden Street closed between Haley and Cota streets.

Former Supervisor Tom Urbanske Dies

He had stayed active in community nonprofits benefitting those in need.

Hollister Ranch Settles with State to Provide Limited Public Access

A beach at Cuarto Canyon will be accessible by sea, and educational programs will expand.