The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

‘Big Fish’ Earns Ovations, Overcoming Illness and Cancellations

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  • Kyle Terino ’24 as “Will” sings a number.

  • Hick Jennings ’25 as “Edward” performs a scene with Tavio Mares-Van Praag ’27 as “Young Will.”

  • The cast performs a musical number.

  • Huck Jennings ’25 as “Edward” welcomes his son, Kyle Terino as “Will” and future daughter-in-law, Maya Lownie ’24 as “Josephine.”

  • Ady Jackel ’25 as the Witch performs a musical number.

  • Huck Jennings ’25 as “Edward” meets Nikka Souza ’26 as “Karl” the giant.

  • The cast performs a musical number.

  • Mary Wang ’26 as “Amos” before her character’s big reveal as a werewolf.

  • Huck Jennngs ’25 as “Edward” shares a scene with Claire Fleming ’25 as “Sandra”

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Despite illness among the cast and a constrained two-performance schedule, ‘Big Fish’ defied expectations with two sold-out audiences Friday and Saturday night.

Under the direction of Bill Jacob and Caitlin Johnson, and with musical direction by Max Holman, when the curtain rose, there was no trace of sickness in the cast or crew, delivering a seamless and memorable performance.

“I believe it was a rocky start, since seeing as it was the first time we ever had to cancel a dress rehearsal, an opening night, and a matinee,” Jacob said. “I think it was the prettiest show we’d ever had in a long time.”

The musical centers around Will Bloom (played by Kyle Terino ’24), a reporter and a concrete thinker, who has difficulties connecting with his dying father, Edward Bloom (Huck Jennings ’25), who tells outrageous stories about his life. Shifting between two timelines, the musical revolves around the relationship between the two characters.

Leading up to the show, Jennings was sick with a virus, which he said hampered his opening performance.

“I did not feel 100 percent Friday night, and between songs backstage I would down cough drops and water,” Jennings said. Saturday, I think vocally and in spiritually, our cast was doing a lot better.”

Several actors remained sick for the opening show, but everyone returned for the Saturday performance.

Terino, who did not fall ill, still remained concerned about the cancellations.

“There have been a lot of times people have gotten sick, but that happened before the show and they were able to come back in time,” Terino said. :Also, the fact that we had Thursday off before the show Friday made me nervous. But I think that the quality of the show turned just as good as I would have expected it to be, regardless. I’m really happy about it.”

Maya Lownie ’24, who played Josephine, Will’s expectant wife, reported that the musical was successful—even in the face of her fellow cast members falling ill.

“I think it was definitely a tricky process by the end, with people getting sick and having two of our shows canceled,” Lownie said. “But I think we all managed to pull it together and I think the energy really came through on the final night.”

Holman was also pleased with the performances.

“I think the musical went very well,” Holman said. “It was a bummer with our sickness encounter, but I thought that the energy and focus of the students was awesome.”

The two sold-out performances received standing ovations, which are “few and far between” here, Jacob said.

Wednesday’s open dress rehearsal, which the Sumner School was scheduled to attend, faced a setback as they were unable to make it. Thursday’s slated opening night had to be canceled due to illness, with the Saturday matinee also axed.

Editors’ note: David Barron’s photographs are available for purchase here.

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About the Contributors
Madeleine Pogoda
Madeleine Pogoda, Senior Journalist
Madeleine has been at Brimmer since 2019 and she joined The Gator in 2021. In her free time, she likes to play guitar, listen to music, read, and drink tea. She likes to write op-eds, reviews, and debate tea.
Mckinlee DePaola
Mckinlee DePaola, Journalist
Mckinlee joined The Gator in 2023. She has been at Brimmer since 7th grade and loves it. She also loves photography, reading, listening to music, and horseback riding.

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