Show History



Big The Musical is an adaptation of the 1988 20th Century Fox film, Big, starring Tom Hanks. The idea for a musical based on the film initially came from actress, Didi Conn, wife of composer, David Shire. At first, the composer balked at the idea but after his longtime collaborator, Richard Maltby, Jr., penned lyrics for a song called "I Want to Know," Shire had a change of heart.


In January of 1994, composers, Maltby and Shire, played their score of Big for Mike Ockrent, who immediately agreed to come on as Director. Bookwriter, John Weidman, and choreographer, Susan Stroman, completed the creative team. The cast featured Daniel Jenkins, Crista Moore, Brett Tabisel and Barbara Walsh. Big The Musical held its out-of-town tryout in Detroit in February of 1996. Between the Detroit engagement and the New York opening, four songs were added to the first act, two songs were substantially altered and the main character of Josh was also largely rewritten.

Big The Musical opened at the Shubert Theater in New York on April 28, 1996. The show could not achieve the same level of success that the movie did and closed on October 13, 1996. It was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Book, Best Score and Best Choreography.

In early 1997, PACE Theatricals announced a 40-week national tour of a reworked version, in collaboration with Maltby and Shire. The tour launched in September of 1997, directed by Eric Schaeffer. Many songs were replaced by ones seen earlier in the workshop. The tour starred Jim Newman, Judy McClane, Jacqueline Piro and Ron Holgate.