The Public Theater Closes GIANT Today
The Public Theater's acclaimed epic musical Giant closes today, December 16, after playing an additional two weeks. With book by Sybille Pearson, music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa, and directed by Michael Greif, Giant officially opened on Thursday, November 15 and was originally scheduled to close on Sunday, December 2.
Based on the classic novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edna Ferber, Giant is a new American musical that spans generations in an epic chronicle of the state that's like no place else on earth: Texas. Amid a turbulent culture of greed, bigotry and money, a powerful cattleman, his new East Coast bride, their family and friends - not to mention their enemies - embrace and confront the joys and sorrows that loom as large as the state they call home. With a book by Sybille Pearson (the Tony-nominated author of Baby), music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa (the five-time Tony-nominated composer of The Wild Party and Hello Again) and direction by Michael Greif (the three-time Tony-nominated director of Rent and The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide...), Giant comes to life in an appropriately huge production with a company of 22 actors and a 17-piece orchestra. Giant is a co-production with Dallas Theater Center and continues The Public's tradition of partnering with non-profit theaters around the country.
The complete cast of Giant features Enrique Acevedo (Miguel); Raul Aranas (Polo); Becca Ayers (Swing); Mary Bacon (Adarene, Mrs. Lynnton); Kate Baldwin (Leslie); Miguel Cervantes (Angel); Xavier Cano (Swing); Natalie Cortez (Juana); Rocio Del Mar Valles (Analita); John Dossett (Bawley); Jon Fletcher (Bobby Jr., Bobby Sr.); PJ Griffith (Jett); Michael Halling (Lord Karfrey, Lynnton); Brian d'Arcy James (Bick); Mackenzie Mauzy (Lil Luz); Melissa Mitchell (Swing); Doreen Montalvo (Lupe); Michele Pawk (Luz); Allison Rogers (Heidi Mueller, Lady Karfrey); Isabel Santiago (Deluvina); Tally Sessions (Swing); Martin Sola (Dimodeo); Bobby Steggert (Jordy Jr.); Matthew Stocke (Mike); Katie Thompson (Vashti); and William Youmans (Pinkie).
GIANT features scenic design by Allen Moyer; costume design by Jeff Mahshie; lighting design by Kenneth Posner; sound design by Brian Ronan; hair and wig design by David BrIan Brown; musical direction by Chris Fenwick; and choreography by Alex Sanchez.
Completed in October 2012, the revitalization of The Public Theater's downtown home at Astor Place physically manifests the Company's core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences by dramatically opening up its landmark building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. Designed by Ennead Architects and constructed by Westerman Construction, the project encompasses enhancements to the building's interior and exterior while preserving the historic structure. Key elements of the design include infrastructure updates to the 158-year old building, as well as construction of new exterior entry stair and glass canopy; installation of ramps for improved accessibility; an expanded and refurbished lobby; the addition of a mezzanine level with a new lounge, The Library at The Public, designed by the Rockwell Group; expansion and remodeling of restroom facilities; and comprehensive exterior restoration, ensuring stability of the landmark façade.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public Theater is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare and the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today the Company engages audiences in a variety of venues-including its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, which houses five theaters and Joe's Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to its beloved, free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City's five boroughs. The Public's wide range of programming includes free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the Company's dedication to making theater accessible to all, new and experimental stagings at The Public at Astor Place, and a range of artist and audience development initiatives including its Public Forum series, which brings together theater artists and professionals from a variety of disciplines for discussions that shed light on social issues explored in Public productions. The Public Theater is located on property owned by the City of New York and receives annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, visit www.publictheater.org.
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus