You have just four days to see the magic that is Music Theatre of Louisville’s BIG: The Musical! We had a chance to check in with Hannah Wemitt at MTL for a little behind the scenes info on the play!

What are the differences between the Play and the movie?
The play is very similar to the movie. Of course on stage you can’t change locations as quickly as you can in film, so one of the BIG changes is that they have combined some scenes together or have taken the essence of a scene from the film and have rewritten them for the stage. One example is when Josh first goes to NYC after making his wish. In the movie, Josh and Billy arrange for Josh to stay at a seedy motel and later go to the administrative offices of the Bureau of Arcades and Amusements. In the play they have moved that scene to Port Authority and have placed a video arcade there, allowing us the combine the intentions of the two film scenes in a way that minimizes the need for extra scenery and keeps the action of the story moving. If you are a fan of the film, all of your favorite moments will be represented on stage. Oh and in the play, they sing J

Will there be a giant floor piano?
Oh yeah! They do Heart and Soul and Chopsticks, just like the movie!

What can you tell us about the leads?
Tyler Bliss (Josh Baskin). Regional credits include Cinderella (Prince), A Wonderful Life (George Bailey), Joseph…Dreamcoat (Reuben), High School Musical (Jack Scott), Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere),Thoroughly Modern Millie (Jimmy), and Oklahoma (Joe) at Derby Dinner Playhouse, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown Charlie Brown with Stage Once, as well as 42nd Street (Billy), Hello Dolly (Barnaby), West Side Story (Bernardo), and Anything Goes (Billy) with Music Theatre Louisville. Tyler is also the Director of Development for Stage One/Music Theatre of Louisville.

Gylf Forsberg (Billy Kopecki) is thrilled to be returning to Music Theatre Louisville. He looks forward to He most recently was seen at Actor’s Theatre in A Christmas Carol last year. Other credits include A Christmas Carol ’09, Singin’ In The Rain (MTL), Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Stage One). He is also involved in local school productions including , You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, King and I, and Mulan. Recently he has been involved in Turners of Louisville, performing on the silks.

Is this a play the whole family can enjoy together? What performance nights would you recommend for a family?
While it is a family show, remember that the original film was PG-13. But our show has been toned down in language (Mrs. Baskin does say “son of a b****” and there are a couple of slightly crude moments). But there are 23 kids who have taken part in a musical theatre camp who are involved in the show, as well as a student ensemble in the show, so we’ve definitely made it appropriate for families. Any night is a great night to come, but seating options are always better during the week since the weekends tend to be most popular.

Is there any fun or interesting tidbit about the set you can tell us?
Because of the number of locations represented in the play, we have chosen to represent some things in a more suggestive way. Even with that there is a lot of scenery for the show. While the audiences will see the scene changes onstage, what they don’t realize is that backstage there is a constant shifting around of scenery just to make sure that the right pieces are in placve to come off and on stage as needed. It is kind of like a giant game of Tetris going on backstage.

Catch this fantastic show Thursday through Sunday at the Kentucky Center for the Arts.  Purchase Tickets here.


Video courtesy of David E. Becker.

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