Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

REVIEW: Big Fish is a big hit

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The cast of Big Fish gathers around for a group picture after the USO dance scene.

From February 23 to March 3, Jesuit’s winter musical Big Fish lit up the Moyer Theater stage. The production displayed the creativity of the set designers, the vibrance of the theater community, and the talent of the actors we’re proud to have at our school.

“I think Big Fish was the story people needed in their lives this year. It showed our community that we are capable of great things,” junior Angel Dauvin said after performing in the show.

Big Fish is a story of family relationships, imagination, and true understanding, starring Joseph Ulrich ‘25 as Edward Bloom. Edward Bloom is a traveling salesman from Alabama who loved to have adventures in his youth and tell stories to bring others joy.

“Edward Bloom is such a happy-go-lucky, extroverted, and loving character. Portraying his character was a ton of fun, and all I needed to do was bring those traits to myself… so I could portray him in the best way possible,” Ulrich said.

Piper Lavey ‘24 played his wife, Sandra Templeton, who he meets in a circus and wins her over with daffodils and a kind heart. Lavey skillfully represented Sandra’s arc from a college girl, to a mother, and to a wife going through the heartbreak of losing the love of her life.

His son, Will Bloom, played by Lars Hoffbeck ‘26, is about to have a child with wife Josephine Bloom played by Madeline Ward ‘25. He becomes determined to find out which of the stories his father tells are true, and which are fabricated— in order to understand him before he passes from cancer. As Will puts together the pieces of his father’s past, he finally understands how much he was loved, and that the ridiculous stories his father told him were meant to inspire a bold and unforgettable life.

As the story gives glimpses into the life of Edward Bloom, the audience gets to know and love characters like Carl the giant (Kekoa Dowset ‘24), the witch in the bog (Angel Dauvin ‘25), circus ringleader (Moss Firth ‘24) and Jenny Hill (Sage Bonta ‘24).

The musical displayed the musical talents of the ensemble and everyone involved, but the strong duet between Ulrich and Lavey in Time Stops blew the crowd away.

“I do choir with Joseph and I was so excited for him to share his amazing voice in such a big way,” sophomore Molly Kennedy said.

Not to mention Lavey’s emotional solo in I Don’t Need a Roof which was enough to make the audience shed a tear.

“Big Fish was my favorite production I have ever been in. The most special part of this show for me was the idea of the legacy that goes behind the stories that we tell. In a lot of ways, that mirrors the life of the students in the Jesuit theater program,” Lavey said.

As well as creating magic on stage, the cast and crew were able to create magic off stage by forming and strengthening bonds with their peers.

“Seeing (the cast) so often- they automatically become family” Kennedy said after her very first experience with the Jesuit theater program.

“I’m very proud of our underclassmen…in awe of how talented they are. Big Fish caused a lot of smiles and happy tears. So many people stepped—leaped—out of their comfort zones to make this show happen, and I’m grateful I got to witness the magic they created,” Dauvin said.

Throughout months of non-stop dedication and hard work, the production provided a safe space for all involved.

“When I’m performing, I’m able to put my life struggles on hold and let the magic unfold around me, creating a space of enchantment and endless possibilities,” junior Keegan DeMerrell said.

It offered a moment of escapism that allowed the audience members to be fully suspended into the captivating story of Big Fish.

“Watching the play transported me into the lives of the characters. It allowed me to be fully present in the production,” junior audience member Jaycee Borders said.

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About the Contributor
Evelyn Kennedy
Evelyn Kennedy, Assistant Editor-in-Chief
Evelyn Kennedy, a junior at Jesuit High School, was born in Portland and has also grown up in Chicago and Seattle. She is creative and spends her free time reading, writing, drawing, spending time in nature, and baking. Aside from that, she loves laughing with friends and spending time with family, including her dog Willie and sophomore sister Molly. She plans to pursue a career where she can be creative. From a young age Evelyn has loved writing short stories and being imaginative. Evelyn is interested in learning about, as well as writing about, social justice issues, the arts, and pop culture. Her goal for her high school years is to constantly be learning new things, within the media production world, and beyond. Evelyn is overall curious about the world and wants to share her interest with others. She hopes to travel and find fulfillment in volunteer work throughout her life.