'GIANT' first preview

Here I Am
Broadway Star
joined:8/25/05
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/26/12 at 01:25am
Is anyone going tomorrow? I'm pretty excited to see this cast.

Has anyone heard any advanced word on the new running time? They seem to be making a pretty big deal in the press about the previous four hour runtime lol.
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/26/12 at 11:39pm
The running time was 3 hours 10 minutes tonight.
CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/27/12 at 12:09am
Good, I want my money's worth.
LimelightMike
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/27/12 at 08:18pm
...Anyone with actual thoughts on the show?: LOL
LimelightMike's 2010-2011 Theatergoing Schedule: THE PITMEN PAINTERS (10.03.10) A LIFE IN THE THEATRE (10.10.10) BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (10.16.10) THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS (11.06.10) WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (11.13.10) BRIEF ENCOUNTER (11.22.10) THE PEE-WEE HERMAN SHOW (11.28.10) LA BETE (12.23.10) A SMALL FIRE (01.13.11) THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON (03.09.11) ARCADIA (03.16.11) BLACK TIE (03.19.11) PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT (03.21.11) THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (03.26.11) BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO (03.30.11) GHETTO KLOWN (03.31.11) HOW TO SUCCEED... (04.07.11) ANYTHING GOES (04.12.11) JERUSALEM (04.20.11) SISTER ACT (04.29.11) iHO: (05.22.11)
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/27/12 at 08:38pm
I didn't particularly care for it, but I would say it was respectable work. It could use cutting. The first act holds one's attention fairly well; the second loses focus. The score isn't as drab and dismal as La Chiusa's previous works, but it isn't very agreeable either.

The cast was uniformly good, the design functional.

It's just not a very enjoyable piece. I found myself longing for Dolly, Mame, or Dear World.
broadwayworldreader
Stand-by
joined:7/6/09
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/27/12 at 08:56pm
This isn't gonna be very thorough but here are some of my thoughts:

I was there last night and really enjoyed myself. As someone who generally enjoys LaChiusa's work I will say this music felt much more accessible. Much more sweeping epic film score kind of music infused with some country/mariachi/jazz flavors. Also, having a 25 piece orchestra certainly doesn't hurt.

I thought Brian D'Arcy James and Kate Baldwin were wonderful as was Katie Thompson. Wasn't a huge fan of PJ Griffiths.

As far as design, the set was very simple and really beautiful. They use a lot of sky expanse projections. On SR a giant staircase slides on and off for interior scenes; on SL is a giant water tower for external scenes. The lighting was beautifully done. Kate's dresses were gorgeous as were many of the other costumes. Sound seemed to be having some issues but they'll be worked out.
LimelightMike
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/27/12 at 08:58pm
Twenty-five piece orchestra, huh? GEEZ...

Where the heck are they located?
LimelightMike's 2010-2011 Theatergoing Schedule: THE PITMEN PAINTERS (10.03.10) A LIFE IN THE THEATRE (10.10.10) BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (10.16.10) THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS (11.06.10) WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (11.13.10) BRIEF ENCOUNTER (11.22.10) THE PEE-WEE HERMAN SHOW (11.28.10) LA BETE (12.23.10) A SMALL FIRE (01.13.11) THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON (03.09.11) ARCADIA (03.16.11) BLACK TIE (03.19.11) PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT (03.21.11) THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (03.26.11) BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO (03.30.11) GHETTO KLOWN (03.31.11) HOW TO SUCCEED... (04.07.11) ANYTHING GOES (04.12.11) JERUSALEM (04.20.11) SISTER ACT (04.29.11) iHO: (05.22.11)
broadwayworldreader
Stand-by
joined:7/6/09
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/27/12 at 09:05pm
if the stage is, for our sake, 25 ft deep the upstage half has a giant platform lofted about 10 feet high. Thats where the entire pit is. There is also a scrim that slides up and down to at times cover the pit and at times cover the space beneath them. There looked also to be like an aisle on the most downstage part of the platform where actors would walk across. It's somewhat difficult to explain so I hope that some of that made sense.
egghumor
Broadway Legend
joined:3/9/11
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/27/12 at 10:08pm
I'd basically assumed the production is playing in the Anspacher, but after that description, I'm now wondering if it's in a more adaptive space, which most of the others are. So, which Public Theater space is GIANT playing?
frogs_fan85
Broadway Legend
joined:12/3/05
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/27/12 at 10:52pm
It's in the Newman.
egghumor
Broadway Legend
joined:3/9/11
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/27/12 at 11:07pm
Thanks, frogs! Actually, the Newman is the one I meant when I said "Anspacher," as I was trying to remember the ground floor rather traditional proscenium house, where A Chorus Line and the majority of the larger scale musicals play at the Public, but like I said, after reading broadwayworldreader's description of the set, I thought perhaps I was wrong in assuming it was in the Newman. In other spaces in the Public I've seen musicians suspended from the ceiling, sitting singly atop poles throughout the house, all sorts of configurations.

Updated On: 10/27/12 at 11:07 PM
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/28/12 at 03:07am
Sorry to be "that guy," but I know Giant hasn't been on TDF, so how has it been ticket wise? Could I rush it day of? etc.
Luv2goToShows
Broadway Star
joined:9/13/09
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/28/12 at 08:13am
RippedMan, it was on TDF for several performances, so keep checking.
broadwayworldreader
Stand-by
joined:7/6/09
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/28/12 at 03:50pm
I got a student rush for $25. well worth it.
LimelightMike
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/28/12 at 04:13pm
Super-duper stoked for this, not gonna lie!
LimelightMike's 2010-2011 Theatergoing Schedule: THE PITMEN PAINTERS (10.03.10) A LIFE IN THE THEATRE (10.10.10) BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (10.16.10) THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS (11.06.10) WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (11.13.10) BRIEF ENCOUNTER (11.22.10) THE PEE-WEE HERMAN SHOW (11.28.10) LA BETE (12.23.10) A SMALL FIRE (01.13.11) THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON (03.09.11) ARCADIA (03.16.11) BLACK TIE (03.19.11) PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT (03.21.11) THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (03.26.11) BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO (03.30.11) GHETTO KLOWN (03.31.11) HOW TO SUCCEED... (04.07.11) ANYTHING GOES (04.12.11) JERUSALEM (04.20.11) SISTER ACT (04.29.11) iHO: (05.22.11)
broadwaybaby086
Broadway Legend
joined:6/12/06
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/29/12 at 05:41pm
Saw it yesterday afternoon via rush (actually rushed Saturday night, but idiotically didn't check the ticket and showed up late, but they kindly allowed me to past-date the ticket). For future reference, all showtimes for Giant seem to be at 1pm for matinees and 7pm for evenings.

RippedMan, definitely give rush a try, especially as it's early in the run. Check the Public's twitter account, as they usually give daily updates as to rush availability.

Anyhow, I really enjoyed it. I actually forgot that it was LaChiusa for a good part of the first act because the score was so accessible. I didn't love the functionality of the physical space, especially the movable scrim, but thought that the uses of the turntable were effective. The first act felt quite long; it ran about 1:35. Could listen to Kate Baldwin and BDJ sing forever. In particular, I loved Baldwin's characterization as Leslie, as well as John Dossett as Bawley; in smaller roles, I enjoyed Miguel Cervantes and Natalie Cortez; wasn't a fan of PJ Griffith or Mackenzie Mauzy. I'll definitely be returning, if I am able.
"I'll cut you, Tracee Beazer!!!! ...Just kidding. I'd never cut anyone." -Tina Maddigan, 9/30/06, WS stage door
Avatar: JULIE "EFFING" WHITE, 2007 TONY WINNER. Thank God. I'm thinking about legally changing my name to Lizzie Curry...
Act4ever
Broadway Star
joined:4/12/04
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/30/12 at 01:33am
It's a 17-piece orchestra
AHTC
Chorus Member
joined:7/20/10
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/30/12 at 09:49pm
I saw the Sunday matinee and absolutely adored every second of it, and everyone in it. If this moves, this could get Kate Baldwin her Tony.

On a reasonably sad note, does anyone know what happened to Michele Pawk's voice? She gives a GREAT performance here, but it is obvious that she sustained some kind of injury at some point. She sounds incredibly ragged, and its only noticable to me because of how she used to sing?
chrisampm2
Leading Actor
joined:5/26/07
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/30/12 at 10:11pm
I don't think Pawk's vocal damage is noticeable only to those who heard her earlier in her career.
LaChiusa remains loyal, even after many felt those problems contributed to the less than stellar Los Otros reviews.
I remain a fan, but prefer her in straight plays now. Deterioration was noticeable in LA Opera's Little Night Music in'04. I didn't hear her sing in anything between Cabaret in'98 and that.
AHTC
Chorus Member
joined:7/20/10
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 10/30/12 at 10:54pm
She is a one of my favorite actresses in straight plays. Her work in A SMALL FIRE at playwrights a year or so ago, so extraordinary. SO extraordinary.


I think she did Seussical between those two shows (Night Music and Cabaret)
RSrichie
Chorus Member
joined:5/12/04
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 11/1/12 at 04:05am
Less than stellar is a kind way to describe Pawk in Los Otros. Casting someone who can't sing any more in a one woman show is just stupid (the second half was mercifully one man) she destroyed every song I've never seen a more atrocious performance. The audience sat there in disbelief. It was a train wreck. Loyalty is admirable but the quality of the show must come first. I'm very much looking forward to seeing Giant. He cam write some exquisite music.
SondheimFan5
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/10
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 11/4/12 at 05:28pm
Anyone else seen this? Any good? A friend called it 'better than Scandalous' but didn't elaborate.

Hoping to see it later in the run.
michellek45
Leading Actor
joined:5/20/11
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 11/4/12 at 06:04pm
I saw the matinee today with the Public's free tickets, and I loved it. Some very light spoilers in this post. Honestly I left the theater wishing they hadn't cut it down from the original four hours. That said, the first act was much better than the second act, and I feel like they needed, if not the whole hour, at least another 20 minutes to really tie it together like it should have been. I liked the sort of non-ending, though, with none of the stories getting fully resolved (other than Jordy and Juana). Jett and Bick's rivalry could have been played up more in Act II. The songs were outstanding, some incredibly beautiful music in there. The actual dialogue in the book was great, and I was struck by how quickly LaChiusa and Perason were able to give their characters life. I never felt overwhelmed by the amount of characters nor confused by the multiple stories going on. Overall, this is an excellent production and I would recommend it highly, even if you are not a LaChiusa fan.

Can anyone who saw the production in Dallas or Virginia elaborate on what has been cut since it moved here?
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 11/4/12 at 07:07pm
I caught the matinee yesterday and enjoyed it a lot, but I like the three act structure in DC better, and I missed some of the cut songs. I admit that I'm a crazy LaChiusa devotee, and I saw the try-out in DC twice. It needed some minor fixing, but really I thought it was a masterpiece, and easily one of LaChiusa's finest scores.

The breaks between the three acts seemed more natural, and the characters and plot were able to develop better.

Some differences I noticed:
The sequence in Virginia was much shorter. Unfortunately this meant cutting a beautiful song for Bick called "Lost in Her Woods." I wish so much that they would reinstate this for Brian D'Arcy James; it's almost painful to not be hearing him sing it as he is turning in such a lovely performance.

Jett had a song called "Elsie Mae" about his truck that he sang to Leslie when she got lost on her walk. It was very catchy and made Jett seem sleezier and slimier. I remember his "Dog is Gonna Bark" song being bigger too and having more of a dramatic ending. You definitely don't get much resolution of his storyline in this incarnation.

Act One ended originally with the arrival of Dossett's character and he had this huge story-song called "Coyote." It may have been deemed padding, but he performed it with virtuosity and it was a nice ending for the act.

Act Two started with "I Miss Our Mornings," which has now been moved to the beginning of this second act.

There was a beautiful song for Leslie called "A Stranger" about her want to travel and Jett offered her travel in his new ride "Lady L."

Act Three really got to develop the kids. I don't know if it was just Jessica Grove's performance, or if it was the part, but L'il Luz seemed more fully realized in DC.

All that said- What is left is wonderful, and where this production (in general) eclipses the try-out is in the performances. Kate Baldwin is so freaking good! I mean vocally and acting-wise she is dynamite.

The three hours fly by, and that's all the more reason that it never needed trimmed down to begin with. I left wanting more, not less.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
michellek45
Leading Actor
joined:5/20/11
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 11/4/12 at 07:59pm
Whizzer- I was really looking forward to hearing "A Stranger." It's in the LaChiusa piano book I have, and I wish I could have seen it while it was still in the show. Did we get to see more of Angel, Jr. in the original? His one big song was a highlight. I thought the actress did a fine job in this production as Lil' Luz, but her sudden desire to be a pilot, while it makes sense for the character, was really abrupt.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
'GIANT' first preview
Posted: 11/4/12 at 08:10pm
I like his song a lot too, and he wasn't featured much more in DC than he is now.

I forgot to say I do think the book is much stronger now. The dialogue was better and it supported the songs more. Maybe with the tighter book the cut songs felt extraneous, but they were so good and added to the epic feel.

"A Stranger" really has a nice melody and lyric. It is a shame it's gone.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!

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