Madison actors, staff prepare for ‘Big the Musical’

(CONTRIBUTED)
(CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – A popular Tom Hanks movie will transition to the stage with Lyrique Music Productions’ presentation of “Big the Musical.”

In “Big the Musical,” Josh Baskin makes a wish to a Zoltar machine to be big and wakes up as an adult. “If you loved the movie, you’ll love the musical, (which) has the same nostalgic charm sure to sweep our audiences away,” director Luz Ladrillono said.

The musical has never been performed in Alabama. Lyrique owners Robert and Luz Ladrillono strive “to bring shows that haven’t been performed to the Huntsville/Madison area.” The felt “Big the Musical” was perfect because of the popularity of the 1987 movie and its upbeat songs and mellow ballads.

Tony Award winner Richard Maltby, Jr. (“Ain’t Misbehavin”) and Oscar and Grammy winner David Shire (“Norma Rae”, “Saturday Night Fever”) wrote and composed the music.

Along with the Ladrillonos, all the show’s directors are from Madison: music director Gianna Gimenez, assistant director Christian Gunner, choreographer Renee Bonifay and costume designer Beth Keys.

“We have students from Monrovia middle, Bob Jones and James Clemens High and John Paul II Catholic High schools and Westminster Academy,” Ladrillono said. Colby Deason, who is 12 and a seventh-grader at Monrovia Middle School, portrays the young Josh Baskin.

Other cast members are Tate Butler (Josh Baskin), Grissom High School senior; Darin Windham (Macmillan); Tina Rogers (Mrs. Baskin); Abby Tucker (Cynthia Benson); and female lead Halee Ballash. “Halee is the definition of triple threat: singer, dancer, actress. She performed in the 2002 Olympics and off-Broadway in ‘A Chorus Line.’ Halee is an instructor at The Dance Company and her home studio,” Ladrillono said.

Show times are Aug. 23-25 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 24-25 at 2 p.m. at the Von Braun Center Playhouse. General admission tickets are $20; VIP seats are $25. To purchase tickets, call 256-417-0593 or visit lyriquemusicproductions.org.

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