“When I was in 4th grade, my parents wanted me to audition for our summer camp musical-The Story of Hansel and Gretel. I didn’t want to but they forced me and, surprise, I loved it!” Does this story sound familiar? For most theater students, there is that one show that changes our lives into memorizing, dancing, singing and trying to squeeze homework time into a busy “Hell week.” Hansel and Gretel was that show for Theater West’s new musical director, Matthew Surico.
Surico will be directing the spring musical Big Fish. For those of you who have never heard of Big Fish, this show is an upbeat, “larger than life” production featuring witches, werewolves, giants and a storyteller with a flair for the dramatic. Big Fish is one of my favorite shows,” Matthew Surico said in an interview. “I saw it twice on Broadway and fell in love with not only the story, but the way the story was told.” Surico also picked this production because it is very different from past Theater West shows and he believes “it’s important to be exposed to all kinds of musicals.” Big Fish will provide many opportunities for students to get involved, not only in the cast, but stage crew and the pit too; and the difficult broadway choreography will teach students real theater experience.
While the show Big Fish may be unfamiliar to many students, so is Matthew Surico. He has directed many shows including Into the Woods and Footloose. He is also an actor and has acted in roles including Willy Wonka in “Willy Wonka,’ and Young Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. What is Surico’s dream role, one of the first questions any actor will ask? “I’ve been very fortunate to play several of my dream roles, but the two that are still on the top of my list are Buddy in Elf and Harold Hill in The Music Man,” said Surico. In Big Fish specifically, Surico would love to play Edward Bloom or Will.
“Anyone who wants to be in this musical will get to be involved.” Students can get involved in the cast, pit or stage crew and, if not, should plan to see the musical on Friday March 17th or Saturday the 18th at 7:30. “Also, be prepared to have fun!”