New York-Aimed Giant, with Kate Baldwin, Aaron Lazar and P.J. Griffith, Sweeps Into Texas Jan. 18

By Adam Hetrick
January 18, 2012

Tony Award nominee Kate Baldwin, Aaron Lazar and P.J. Griffith are at the heart of a generation-spanning love triangle in the musical adaptation of Edna Ferber's sweeping Texas-set novel Giant, which begins performances Jan. 18 at the Dallas Theater Center.



Giant has music and lyrics by five-time Tony Award nominee Michael John LaChiusa (Queen of the Mist, Hello Again, Marie Christine, The Wild Party) and a book by Tony nominee Sybille Pearson (Baby). The epic romantic musical about cattle barons and oil tycoons and racial prejudice had its world premiere at the Signature Theatre Company in Arlington, VA, in 2009.

Michael Greif (Next to Normal, Rent, The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide...) helms the production that will officially open Jan. 27 for a run through Feb. 19 in the Wiley Theatre. Giant is a co-production between DTC and the Public Theater in Manhattan. The Public has not announced dates of production.

Baldwin, a Tony Award nominee for Finian's Rainbow, stars as Leslie, opposite Lazar (A Little Night Music) as Texas cattle man Bick and Griffith (American Idiot) as young oil tycoon Jett. The musical is based on Ferber's novel but is best known for its iconic 1956 film version that starred Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean.

The cast of Giant also features Enrique Acevado as Miguel; Raul Aranas as Polo; Mary Bacon as Adarene and Mrs. Lyntonn; Miguel Cervantes as Angel, Jr. and Angel, Sr.; Natalie Cortez as Juana; Rocio Del Mar Valles as Analita; Tony nominee John Dossett as Bawley; Matt Doyle as Jordy, Jr.; Andrea Green as Lil Luz; Michael Halling as Lord Kafrey; Jason Hite as Bobby, Jr.; Tony nominee Dee Hoty as Luz; Doreen Montalvo as Lupe; Allison Rogers as Heidi; Isabel Santiago as Mrs. Obregon; Martin Sola as Dimodeo; Matthew Stocke as Mike; Katie Thompson as Vashti and William Youmans as Pinkie.

Here's how DTC bills the musical: "Giant is an epic love story set in the Lone Star State that spans generations. Bick Benedict is the heir apparent to the largest ranch in Texas, Reata. When he falls in love with a Virginia girl, Leslie, and brings her home, complications ensue as Leslie learns to cope with a new land and culture, and Bick tries to cope with a changing country and changing times. Jett Rink, represents a new age in Texas – oil. The struggles between the cattle ranger’s way of life and the drilling for oil, hostilities between whites and Mexicans, exploitation of the land and the desire to preserve it, the challenge of adapting to a changing world versus clinging to traditional values---Bick, Leslie, their children, and all those they know and encounter must face these challenges."

The Giant creative team includes costume designer Jeff Mashie, scenic designer Allen Moyer, lighting designer Ken Posner, sound designer Brian Ronan and choreographer Alex Sanchez.

For tickets, phone (214) 880-0202 or visit DallasTheaterCenter. The Dallas Theater Center is located at 2400 Flora Street, Dallas, TX.