Seaholm High getting ready for ‘Big’ musical

By: Mike Koury | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published February 3, 2016


BIRMINGHAM — Seaholm High School’s next musical is right around the corner, and this year’s performance looks to Broadway for inspiration.

The school’s musical is based on the Broadway adaptation of the Tim Burton film “Big Fish” and the novel it’s based on, “Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions.”

Musical Director Laurie Frick said the rights to the musical just became available to perform when they were deciding what to put on, and she was looking for a show with a large chorus.

“I’m always looking for shows that have large numbers in the cast, lots of leads,” she said. “I look for shows that the community and the kids will love. And this kind of fit the bill for that.

“The music is gorgeous. Absolutely beautiful. It’s one of the reasons I chose it.”

The plot of “Big Fish” follows Edward Bloom, on his deathbed, and his son William Bloom, who is about to become a father. William learns about his father’s past, which he’s always been skeptical of based on the stories that Edward told him as a child.

The 54 students participating in the musical rehearse for three hours every weekday, going over everything from singing to lines to dance numbers.

Choreographer Maritoni Harte said she prepares heavily before working with students, working with them as rehearsals go on and making changes to see what works and what doesn’t.

“I’m very flexible in the sense that, ‘Oh OK, you know what? If you’re not getting this, I’ll modify it,’” she said.

Maritoni, who worked with the school on productions of “Tarzan” and “Mary Poppins,” said that with the amount of dancing featured in the musical, she takes the three hours each day to teach the kids what she can, as well as time on her own to make any changes to the choreography.

With a month left before the show premieres, Maritoni said the students are looking in good shape and are getting a handle on their performances.

“I hope the kids are being honest with me and telling me what they do and don’t understand,” she said. “I think they’re in very good shape, but they also can’t relax yet. It’s a lot of work.”

The show will take place at the school, 2436 W. Lincoln St., Feb. 26-28 and March 4-5. All shows start at 7:30 p.m., except Feb. 28, which begins at 2 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at Tickets cost $12 for adults, and $10 for students and seniors.