Bristol Riverside Theatre brings back a cult classic with ‘Big: The Musical’

Big Bristol Musical Theatre
Kalel Carrera & Charles Osborne

Bristol Riverside Theatre is bringing a classic cult favorite to life on stage this season. ‘Big: The Musical‘ will play at the Bucks County venue from March 21 to April 14, in BRT’s intimate 300-seat theatre, and tickets are currently on sale for opening night and beyond.

The five-time Tony Award-nominated musical is based on the book by John Weidman with music by David Shire, and lyrics by Richard Maltby. Most people know the story however, through the 1988 film starring Tom Hanks. At the Bristol Theatre, the family-friendly musical experience stars Charles Osborne as 12-year-old Josh Baskin, trapped inside an adult body after his carnival arcade wish to be “big” comes true.

Big Bristol Musical
Charles OsbornePROVIDED/BRT

As the release notes, When Young Josh (Remi Tuckman) heads out to the amusement park for an evening of family fun, he gets separated from his mom (Mrs. Baskin/Jackie Washam) and dad (Mr. Baskin/Scott Langdon), and after being mortified in front of his middle school crush, feeds a single coin into a machine that promises to grant wishes (Kalel Carrera plays Billy, Josh’s loyal companion.)

“The Tom Hanks film was such a huge part of my childhood in the ‘80s,” said BRT Producing Director Ken Kaissar in a statement. “I’m excited for new audiences to discover the heart at the center of this beautiful story. And we’re delighted to have Charles Osborne back after his brilliant performance in Irma Vep earlier this season. Charles brings an unfettered comedic brilliance to the table and is sure to lead an energy-packed production.”

Big Bristol Musical

Philadelphians may know Osborne from his stint on Food Network’s ‘The Worst Cooks in America’, but the award-winning actor, comedian, and writer has also starred in off-Broadway productions, including ‘Spamilton’ (as King George) and ‘Midsummer: A Banquet’ (as Bottom). This spring, he returns to the stage following his fall performance in BRT’s production of Charles Ludlam’s ‘The Mystery of Irma Vep.’

Director, choreographer, and theatre professor at City College Of New York in Harlem, Keith Lee Grant, on the other hand (who plays Macmillan in the show), holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and has also been seen in a myriad of on and off-Broadway productions, including the United States premiere of ‘Ragtime.’

Osborne and Grant will be joined by an ensemble cast featuring Erika Strasburg (Sussan Lawrence), Noah Lee Hayes (Paul), Amanda Hunter-Finch (Mrs. Watson/Kopecki), Dominick Sannelli (Mr. Kopecki), Peter Kirby (Derek), and Chloe Major/Shannon Sharpe (Cynthia Benson) in this production, the release also notes.

Big Bristol Musical

The first few opening shows of ‘Big: The Musical’ will also hold some special occasions surrounding them as well: The March 21 opening night performance will be followed by a reception, while the following night (March 22), the BRT will host their ‘Friday Festival’ featuring drinks courtesy of Pat Deon Beverages and Dad’s Hat, pasta provided by Cesare’s Ristorante, and desserts.

On March 27, the theatre company will offer a ‘Wine Down’ night with complimentary wine from Chaddsford Winery, plus Lahaska and desserts by Donna’s Delicious Delights. Thursday, April 4, on the other hand will hold ‘Thirsty Thursday’ with beer and snacks courtesy of Broad Street Brewing, Dog & Bull Brew & Music House, Naked Brewing Company and Philly Style Soft Pretzel.

Tickets for ‘Big: The Musical’ are available online and by phone at 215-785-0100. More information, including a season production schedule, can be found online at