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Friday, 14 December 2012 11:43

Public Theater's Musical Giant to Get Cast Recording

The Public Theater

The Public Theater’s
Acclaimed Epic Musical


To Be Preserved
With Original Cast Album
By Ghostlight Records 

Book by Sybille Pearson
Music and Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa
Based on the Novel by Edna Ferber
Directed by Michael Greif

Giant Ends Final Extension On Sunday, December 16

December 14, 2012 – The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) announced today that the cast of the acclaimed epic musical GIANT will enter the recording studio in January to create an original cast album, which will be released by Ghostlight Records in spring 2013. GIANT officially opened at The Public on November 15 and features a book by Sybille Pearson, music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa, and direction by Michael Greif. The show will end its limited run at The Public Theater at Astor Place on Sunday, December 16 following a final two-week extension.

“We are delighted that we can capture this brilliant musical for posterity,” said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “Michael John LaChiusa has written a heartbreakingly beautiful score, and this cast realizes it perfectly.”

The cast album will be produced by Kurt Deutsch and Joel Moss and will include the popular songs Heartbreak Country, He Wanted A Girl, Topsy-Turvy, and Jump. GIANT marks The Public’s fourth album in collaboration with Ghostlight Records, including the previously released Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, HAIR, and See What I Wanna See. This will also be Ghostlight Record’s fifth album with Michael John LaChiusa (Queen of the Mist, See What I Wanna See, Bernarda Alba, and Little Fish). 

“Giant is the most important new musical to come along since The Light in the Piazza.
It's a show of immense and fully realized promise.
Michael John LaChiusa is one of the most prodigiously gifted musical-theater songwriters
since Stephen Sondheim.”

– Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal

The Public Theater has a long history of producing new musicals, and is the only theater in New York City that presents Shakespeare and the classics, musicals, new works, and experimental theater in equal measure. GIANT, based on the classic novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edna Ferber, 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 is an appropriately huge production with a company of 26 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 GIANT cast features Enrique Acevedo as Miguel; Raul Aranas as Polo; Becca Ayers as a swing; Mary Bacon as Adarene, Mrs. Lynnton; Kate Baldwin as Leslie; Miguel Cervantes as Angel; Xavier Cano as a swing; Natalie Cortez as Juana; Rocio Del Mar Valles as Analita; John Dossett as Bawley; Jon Fletcher as Bobby Jr., Bobby Sr.; PJ Griffith as Jett; Michael Halling as Lord Karfrey, Lynnton; Brian d’Arcy James as Bick; Mackenzie Mauzy as Lil Luz; Melissa Mitchell as a swing; Doreen Montalvo as Lupe; Michele Pawk as Luz; Allison Rogers as Heidi Mueller, Lady Karfrey; Isabel Santiago as Deluvina; Tally Sessions as a swing; Martin Sola as Dimodeo; Bobby Steggert as Jordy Jr.; Matthew Stocke as Mike; Katie Thompson as Vashti; and William Youmans as Pinkie.

GIANTfeatures 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; orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin; musical direction by Chris Fenwick; and choreography by Alex Sanchez.

SYBILLE PEARSON (Book) wrote the book for Baby on Broadway, for which she received a Tony nomination. Her Off-Broadway credits include True History and Real Adventures; Unfinished Stories; and Sally and Marsha. Pearson’s additional plays include Watching the Dog, Be Bold, and Promise Me. She is a recipient of the Berrilla Kerr Award, the Darryl Roth Creative Spirit Award, Rockefeller Playwrights Fellowship, and was an Artistic Resident at the Vineyard Theatre in NYC. She is on the faculty of The Graduate Program for Musical Theatre Writing at New York University.

MICHAEL JOHN LACHIUSA (Music and Lyrics). His works for The Public include See What I Wanna See (2006 Lortel Award Nomination, Outstanding Musical); The Petrified Prince; First Lady Suite; and The Wild Party. He was also The Public’s artist-in-residence during the 1997-98 season.His Broadway credits include The Wild Party, which received a Tony nomination for Best Score and Book; Marie Christine; and Chronicle of a Death Foretold, for which he received a Tony nomination for Best Musical, and Best Book, with Graciela Daniele and Jim Lewis. His additional Off-Broadway credits include Queen of the Mist, Bernarda Alba, Little Fish, Hello Again, among others. He has also written the libretti to operas composted by Robert Moran and Anthony Davis and was the Resident Composer at the Lyric Opera of Chicago 1998-99.

EDNA FERBER (Novel). Her novels include So Big (1924; Pulitzer Prize), Showboat (1926), Cimarron (1929), Come and Get It (1935), Saratoga Trunk (1941), Giant (1952) and Ice Palace (1958). She was a member of the famed Algonquin Round Table and her collaboration with George S. Kaufman includes the acclaimed plays The Royal Family (1927), Dinner At Eight (1932), and Stage Door (1936).  Ferber died in 1968, and the New York Times said, “Her books were vivid and had a sound sociological basis. She was among the best-read novelists in the nation, and critics of the 1920s and ‘30s did not hesitate to call her the greatest American woman novelist of her day.”

MICHAEL GREIF (Director). For The Public, he has recently directed The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures; The Winter’s Tale; Romeo and Juliet; Diana Son’s Satellites; the launch performance of Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365 Days / 365 Plays; Fucking A; Dogeaters (Obie); Marisol; Pericles; Casanova; A Bright Room Called Day; and Machinal (Obie). For Signature Theatre Company, he directed Angels In America, John Guare’s A Few Stout Individuals and Landscape of the Body.  Greif’s Broadway credits include Jonathan Larson’s Rent (Obie Award, Tony nomination), Grey Gardens (Tony nomination) and Next to Normal (Tony nomination). He is an Artistic Associate at New York Theatre Workshop, where his credits include Cavedweller; Bright Lights, Big City; and Rent. His other Off-Broadway credits include Boy’s Life (Second Stage), Neil LaBute’s The Distance from Here and A Very Common Procedure (MCC), Neal Bell’s Spatter Pattern (Playwrights Horizons), Beauty of the Father (MTC), Mr. Marmalade (Roundabout),  Betty Rules (Zipper), and Bell’s Monster (CSC). Greif has a longstanding association with the Williamstown Theatre Festival where his credits include The Cherry Orchard; The Three Sisters; The Seagull; Street Scene; Tonight At 8:30; and Once in a Lifetime.  He was Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse from 1995-99 where he directed Our Town, Sweet Bird of Youth, Diana Son’s Boy, Randy Newman’s Faust (also Goodman), Kushner’s Slavs (also Taper), and Thérèse Raquin.


Sh-K-Boom with its imprint Ghostlight Records has become the leading independent force in Original Broadway Cast Recordings – building a library of over 120 records in the last 12 years, featuring the most successful Broadway musicals and solo albums by Broadway’s biggest stars.  Founded by Kurt Deutsch and wife Sherie Rene Scott, the label was created by and for the Broadway community and has reinvented the musical theatre recording landscape through their high-quality recordings, innovative marketing techniques to reach the next generation of Broadway music fans, and the creation of a new type of ‘United Artists’ environment for Broadway producers and artists to participate in the funding and co-ownership of their albums. Ghostlight recently celebrated a major milestone with their Grammy-winning release of The Book of Mormon, which became the first Broadway cast recording to break into Billboard’s Top 10 since the original 1969 release of Hair, as well as taking its place as the biggest-selling digital release of a cast recording of all time.  In addition, their release of the smash hit Newsies debuted #1 on the iTunes Soundtracks chart and in the Top 15 of the overall iTunes chart, and also won the Tony Award® for Best Original Score.  Also recently released on the label are the premiere recording of Carrie, the new Grammy-nominated cast recording of Anything Goes, plus the OCRs Catch Me If You Can, Sister Act and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, as well as solo albums from some of Broadway’s biggest stars: Sutton Foster, Kelli O’Hara, Alice Ripley, Linda Lavin, Christine Ebersole, Melissa Errico and Ben Vereen. In recent Broadway seasons, Ghostlight has preserved the scores of some of Broadway's most well-known musicals, including the Grammy Award-winning In the Heights, plus Next to Normal, HAIR, Legally Blonde, Everyday Rapture, Passing Strange, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and The Drowsy Chaperone.


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. 

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