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MAHS cast catches 'Big Fish'

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Maria Schneider and Judah Malek in a rehearsal for "Big Fish" at Morris Area High School. Rae Yost/Stevens County Times2 / 3
Cast members of "Big Fish" rehearse at Morris Area High School. The musical will be presented Nov. 16-18. Rae Yost/Stevens County Times3 / 3

Three Morris Area High School upperclassmen said they may have experience with musical theater but they are impressed at the talent of younger cast members of "Big Fish." Performances are slated for 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 16-18with an additional 2 p.m. performance on Nov. 18.

"We have a lot of talented people," said Laura Pester. "Even the seventh-graders who just joined (musicals) are super talented."

As upperclassmen they want to make sure the younger cast members know they are appreciated.

"I think for younger kids, it's really important including them," Carissa Mohrman said. "Showing them that they matter."

Girl No. 5 in the chorus is just as important as someone with a larger role, Mohrman said.

As rehearsals continue, there are successes and hitches, the cast members said.

"Every year people think it won't come together, but it always does," Maria Schneider said.

Mohrman talked of a successful moment earlier this week when she noted the talent and the progress of the musical cast. The cast was rehearsing a dance routine when "it was (coming) together, Most people were getting it," Mohrman said.

The "Big Fish" is the story of man and his relationship with his son. Edward Bloom leads a life apparently filled with tall tales he shares with his son Will. Will doesn't believe the stories of witches or joining the circus. When Bloom grows ill Will, now an adult, visits him and must come to terms with his father and his stories. The musical is based on the 1998 book by Daniel Wallace and the 2003 movie directed by Tim Burton.

The storyline of "Big Fish" may not be as familiar as two prior musicals, "Sister Act" or "The Addams Family," but the cast said they are liking the story.

The characters are diverse and so is the music, the cast members said.

"The thing I really like is every song is different," Mohrman said. "I play a witch and my songs are sassy."

"The songs Maria (Schneider as Sandra Bloom) sings are loving and sweet," Mohrman said.

"She's very loving toward everyone," Schneider said of her character. "She kind of balances Edward out."

And while Will may be reluctant to hear his father's stories, Pester's character, an overly excited Scout, is eager to hear them. "I'm excited to get the fire started," Pester said of a camping trip at which Edward shares stories by the fire.

Although the trio are veterans on stage, Mohrman is a junior and Pester and Schneider are seniors, they expect there will be some anxiousness on opening night.

"Every opening night you will always be nervous," Mohrman said. But once on stage, "You go full out 100 percent," she said.