The producers of Big have announced that the $10 million musical will close Oct. 13 after a disappointingly short run. Here's how Playbill On-Line members have reacted.
From Shana M Sisk:
I too was extremely disapointed to hear that "Big" was closing. I feel that this show, is the next in a long chain of musicals that were just not given enough of a chance to shine. Big has a lot to offer the entire life cycle and it's really a shame that it will not get a chance to run as long as it should. I was very excited to hear that the musical was being produced in the first place. Then when I went to New York this summer, I chose to see it instead of Noise/Funk as my third and final show to complete my trip and let me tell you that I was NOT disapointed. David Shire is such a talent, and it's a joy to see actors like Dan Jenkins on stage giving their all. Overall, I can see why it wasn't the hit of the season (although I think we all know that had this been a couple years ago it would have much more hype surrounding it). It's just really sad I think that this musical will not be looked upon in a really positive way by a lot of people in the future. The attitude will just be like "oh ya, that show that tried to immitate the movie," instead of "hey BIG, that show that was full of energy and great music!" do you see what I mean? I dunno. I think it has a lot to offer and deserves a lot more than a standby for children's theater and high schools of my future children's generation.
From: Nicholas Cheng:
I am so mad...and so depressed; I saw the show in August (August 3, to be exact) and loved it SOOOOOOOOOOOO much!!!
I have the CD, which I listen to everyday; I can't get enough of it. My mom said that if I got good grades, she'd take me to see a show, and I chose Big; now I won't have a chance.
Now I can't; BUT, I'm gonna buy tickets for closing night..."Can't Wait!"
Kudos to Dan Jenkins and Crista Moore; they are my heroes; I wish I could meet them and the whole cast to tell them how good the show is.
In fact, I've cajoled many people to go see it, and they all loved it. I just don't see why their revenue is so low. If I weren't as poor as I am, I probably would go see it every week.
I have seen all the musicals on Broadway, and I just gotta say that this is my all-time favorite...nothing else combines as much music, dance, and comedy than this show.
I am very sorry it's coming off; I hope they do a national tour or something, and if they do, I hope they come somewhere near Philadelphia and Trenton.
I can't express how sad I am to hear that Big is closing. Sure it is no Les Mis, or Phantom, or even Rent, but it has it's own special kind of magic. Yes, I loved the movie and was a bit skeptical about it being turned into a musical, but after seeing it and being totally taken in by it, I can't imagine a better translation to the stage. The performances by Daniel Jenkins and Crista Moore were outstanding. They truly captured the essence of their characters and made the show very moving. The actors were able to take me into their world for the two and a half hours of the show and affect my life, which is what theatre is all about it. So even if the rest of the general population can't appreciate the magic of Big, it will always hold a special place in my heart.
I saw the show just before it opened and thought it was delightful. After I saw the musical, I finally saw the film. Yes, the film had a great cast, but it was hardly irreplaceable. I found that the most striking difference between the musical and the film was that the film was poignant. Other than that, the music and lyrics were wonderful ("What I wouldn't give to be a kid again and have fun" keeps running through my mind!) and the show was fun. It seems that the vicious gossip dogged it all the way and it's a shame that it lost so much money. There has to be a less costly way to do shows! At any rate, I look forward to the next Maltby-Shire musical. From: kincanon
Good Riddance! "Big" was a big waste of time, money, and energy. Some things should just be left well enough alone, and the movie "Big" was a classic example. As a film, it was pure entertainment. As a broadway production, a joke. Let's hope the Great White Way learns a lesson from this.
I have been one of the few lucky ones to go see Big. This would have to be one of the best musicals that have come along in a while. It was for the whole family without being too goofy. I thought it was one of the best musicals I have seen. I can't believe that it's closing. It was VERY well done. It had great sets and lighting. The music was superb. I especially liked "Cross the Line." The cast was top rate! It was an enjoyable show. It may not be as dramatic as some of the other ones such as Rent, but that did not make it a bad show. And to all those people who have criticized it that do not know what they're talking about. I can also not believe that some people have criticized it without even seeing the musical. I highly suggest that people go see the musical. I thought it was better than the ever popular Phantom of the Opera that is playing right next door.
I feel very said that "Big" is closing with such a huge loss. My wife and I saw the show early in its run and enjoyed it very much. The costumes and sets were great. The kids in the show with all their energy and the production numbers were also great. True, there were no memorable songs in the show, but we walked out of the theater with smiles on our faces after firstname.lastname@example.org an enjoyable, happy theater experience.
I was sad to hear that Big was closing. I saw it in June shortly before I moved to Seattle. While I did not have high hopes for the show, I found it utterly charming. It was a great deal of fun and it was very sweet. Beneath all of the bright sets and costumes, Big had something that Rent never could attain; heart and humanity in its purest form. Big will be missed for what it was and what it stood for. The impact of the closing of this show will pave the way for Disney to take over the family niche on Broadway completely, and that's a shame.
From Gerald Reeves:
Congratulations to the Tony Awards Committee. Their narrow little minds have helped kill another show. Since they have a marked preference for closed and/or failed shows, they should greet this announcement with hysterical glee. I wonder, seriously wonder, if anyone is going to bother with the Tony Awards TV program in the future. Hell, you can go to a rock concert and see the same stuff!!
From Andrew Hwang:
I wasn't too surprised to hear of BIG's final weeks. Having seen the musical in May, I was sorely disappointed with the overall quality of the show. Some of the set designs (eg. the mall scene) looked very tacky, the lyrics were horrific, and Stroman's effort to emulate a "kid-style" choreography looked like Crazy For You on speed. Granted, there were some good songs and the cast - Dan Jenkins, Crista Moore, Jon Cypher et.al. -- did the best they could with it, the piece still came off as a self-serving attempt by FAO Schwarz to showcase itself in a "big" Broadway musical through that single piano scene. The whole thing was nothing but a commercial venture: I passed by NY's FAO store and they were relentlessly promoting the show with oversized sneakers, dozens of posters, mugs, t-shirts, step-on keyboard mats, a replica of the fortune machine, and an employee dressed as Zoltar. I can't imagine what it was like in Detroit if this was supposed to be the revised version. And they kicked out C4U for this?
We saw "big" with our 2 children the beginning of September. It was their first Broadway play. Although it lasted a little longer than I thought was needed (at 2 and a half hours), my 5 year old and 10 year old sat totally mesmerized. Several catchy numbers, especially the toy store scene with the giant keyboard, were extremely poplular with the audience, which appeared to be a sold out theatre. We left as a family feeling we were very entertained and are very disappointed by the news that "Big" will close. I know of several friends that were planning to see it over Thanksgiving, they had also heard good things about it from friends. It is a shame that it didn't last through Christmas, because it was definately a good family play to see.
From Craig Woythaler:
I never saw the show, and I really had no desire to, but I always feel awful for everyone involved when a show closes due to low ticket sales. So cast, crew, and creative team of BIG--I salute you.
I saw big this summer on my annual pilgrimmage to the great white way from California. I saw the handwriting on the wall when I was able to get a great orchestra 1/2 price ticket. I really liked this show because it was a show for the whole family. The kids in the audience were very enthusiastic and the thematic message hit home for adults. I sure hope this show tours - I think it will be a success on the road. Hats off to the great Big Kids and the adult stars. This was a crowd pleaser. One question in my mind - where in the world was the $10 million?
BIG was a very enjoyable show. Yes, it many problems, but it had a lot of heart and emotion. RENT is not perfect by a long shot, and no one really seems to care about that. Granted, the authors of RENT were still alive to work on their show when it opened, but once the press latched onto RENT, there was no hope. Of all the musicals this year, BIG had the the most heart in it.
I think that years from now people will regret thrashing BIG. Basically, the critics and Tony committee sent out a message that they don't want old style, song-and-dance musicals. They want shows staged like a rock concert (RENT), and shows that merely pretend to be musicals (Noise/Funk).
And finally, to all the people who put down with BIG without even seeing it, you are really fools. You cannot judge a show by its cast album, or by its Tony awards clip. If you haven't seen it, your opinion has no real merit.
Big wasn't the best show of the year, indeed it wasn't even a particularly good show, but it did have a talented cast that tried hard. That was of course the problem with the show- it tried TOO hard. A cross between family fluff and adult love story, the score contained a spice of everything from recitative to rap, Big wanted to be too many things to too many people. Much like the central toy company, Big tried so hard to be fun that it wasn't. It just didn't get what the difference between fun and "fun!". Still, it wasn't a terribly bad show, and all in all was a fairly good family musical, with more artistic daring than the other family shows on Broadway. It's a shame that they aren't the ones that are closing.
From Carli Entin
I have to admit that while I have and listen to the cast recording, BIG was a big disappointment. With the exception of "Fun", none of the numbers were really spectacular. The children were exceptional and the adults bland (with the exception of Jenkins and the guy who played Mac). If there was more excitement and less "Stars" maybe it would have done better. I must disagree with most and say that Christa Moore was boring and not right for a somewhat comedic role like this. I saw her in "Gypsy" where she was much better.
From Ed Rose:
I'm sorry to see it go. I saw in this spring, the day before I saw "Rent." I enjoyed both shows--it's like dinner and dessert; you can't say which is better because they're both different.
"Big" was a wonderful family show, something lacking on B'way these days. Although I'm a single, not-child-friendly curmudgeon, I enjoyed seeing families with children sitting around me, and I watched the looks on their faces as the young people in the cast were performing. There isn't enough product right now to turn young people away from the video arcades and Ninetndos toward legitimate theatre.
Apart from that, I personally liked it. Nice score, we already know how the book ends, great sets and production values, real dance numbers (of which there are too few in musicals these days), and very entertaining.
From John Dispirito:
I love the song "Stop, Time" and i thought that the score of "Big" is great! I haven't seen it yet, but i plan on doing so before it closes!! I was hoping one day to see Liz Callaway (Currently starring as Grizabella in "Cats") to one day step into the role of Josh's mom (Mrs. Baskin....?),but it doesn't look like that'll happen :( Well, I guess I can go back to hoping to see Liz as Norma Desmond in "Sunset Blvd."!!
From Zander Opper:
As opposed to some show fans, I am neither a huge fan of the show, nor do I feel that it is a disaster. When I saw Big last May, I felt that it divided about evenly into moments that were wonderful, and then other parts that just didn't work. While all the principal performers (especially Daniel Jenkins) are quite good and ideally suited to their roles, the problem with Big is that it doesn't contain enough emotional and touching moments that would truly make one's heart go out to the characters. There are just too many dance numbers for the talented (though occasionally overly perky) ensemble of kids and not enough time spent on developing the plight of Josh and Susan and Josh's mother.
When the writers do spend time on the feelings and emotions of the principal characters, the results reveal how fine Big could have been overall. The songs "Stop, Time," "Stars, Stars, Stars," "I Want to Know," and particularly "Dancing All the Time" are so melodic and terrific that it's disappointing that too often the surrounding scenes let the musical down. After I saw the show, I remarked to friends that I'd probably enjoy Big more on disc; now that I own the CD and have played it several times, I can state that the music in this show is mostly wonderful. I strongly recommend to show fans who either haven't seen the show or disliked it to buy the disc - I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised.
Despite my negative feelings about Big, I find it saddening that an old-fashioned show like this can't find its niche on Broadway. It is a good show for kids (familes with children occupied most of the seats around me when I attended) and worth going to see not only for the superb performances of Daniel Jenkins, Crista Moore, Barbara Walsh and the rest of the cast, and those aforementioned songs, but because an old-style show like Big might just one day go out of style. I, for one, would rather see Big a second time than attend Noise/Funk again; as exciting as the tap numbers in the latter show are, for a purist like me, it's just not a musical, whereas Big most decidedly is. My reservations aside, I urge show fans to run to buy tickets to Big while it lasts-- in coming years, we may never see such a conventional, old-fashioned show like this again.
It's another sad day on Broadway. For years, begging for new musicals, and then shunning them when they arrive. Does anyone remember when the movie of Beauty and the Beast came out -- everyone reviewed how theatrical the score was, and how it should be one Brooadway. Everyone mourned the fact that Hollywood was seducing the Broadway talent of composers like Alan Menkin. Then, Beauty opens on Broadway and the critics -- the same critics who loved the score -- ignore the show and whine about Disney "buying" Broadway.
I liked "Big". Let's put it into perspective though. "Big" isn't an important show. If it were written in the 60's, it could have run for 600 performances. I think that Marvin Hamlish's show are in the same class. Very enjoyable, and no pretentions to be anything but entertaining. Maltby and Shire wrote a good score, but it wasn't an "important" score. BUT, ISN'T THERE ROOM ON BROADWAY ANYMORE FOR THE AVERAGE SHOW? Isn't there room for shows of socialogical significance like "Rent" and shows that want to entertain as well as make us think, like "Big".
I enjoyed the show, the actors, the sets and the music. I have the CD and there are alot of good moments in the music -- and songs that people will sing for years, be it in reviews or auditions. There are some important songs here. I hope that an experience like "Big" doesn't make the creative team nor the producers give up on creating shows like this. Broadway was created from shows like "Big" and, admit it or not, this is what we continue to need.
The response from John Francis Yocca is utterly ridiculous. Gershwin is dead. Does this mean that every song in the world sucks because Gershwin wrote the best ones? "Big" didn't kick anything out of the Shubert theater. If it did, does this mean you hate Les Miz because it kicked Ethel Merman's Gypsy out of the Broadway Theater? Smell the coffee! No real theater person is ever glad, I'm sorry, "PROUD", to hear that a show is going to close.