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00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d78e0000We've been gathering your "big fish" stories here at KMUW. You know... the stories passed down through the generations that are true, but maybe not 100% true. Tune in on various weekdays through June to hear some local lore and legend. Or visit us here throughout the month to play the stories at your own convenience. Either way, don't let 'em get away.

'Big Fish' Explores The Power Of Stories


One of my favorite family stories comes from my father's childhood, and involves my grandmother preventing my father and his older brother from following their father into town by hooking the straps of their overalls over a couple of laundry lines. I don't know if this story is actually true. When I think too hard about it, the edges begin to fray and dissolve, so I don't dwell on the details. I just focus on the glorious notion of two small boys running up and down opposite clothes lines.

Every family has at least partly apocryphal stories—“big fish” stories that may or may not be factual, but are nonetheless repeated as truth. Music Theatre Wichita is bringing to the stage the musical version of Big Fish, based on the film adaptation by John August of the novel by Daniel Wallace. John August wrote the book for the musical, as well, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa.

The story revolves around the tales told by salesman Edward Bloom to his son William. For the character of William Bloom, unraveling his father's stories, pulling away the threads of whimsy, is necessary to understanding who his dying father was, and remains.

Few concepts better lend themselves to the freewheeling joy and spectacle of the stage musical than the fanciful tales of a traveling salesman. You can catch Big Fish on stage at Century II, from July 22nd through the 26th.

Sanda Moore Coleman received an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University in 1991. Since then, she has been the arts and community editor for The Martha's Vineyard Times, a teaching fellow at Harvard University, and an assistant editor at Image. In 2011, she received the Maureen Egan Writers Exchange prize for fiction from Poets & Writers magazine. She has spent more than 30 years performing, reviewing, and writing for theatre.