Sunday, 22 November 2015

GIGANTIC the musical produced by the Vineyard Theatre at the Acorn Theatre

     In the day of "serious" musicals like FUN HOME and HAMILTON and the Disney and Disney-style kiddie shows, old fashioned fun adult musical comedies tend to get short shrift. GIGANTIC (book by Randy Blair and Tim Drucker, music by Matthew roi Berger, lyrics by Randy Blair) is just that, a fun adult musical, albeit an adult musical about teenagers--fat teenagers who are sent by their parents to a summer camp to lose weight. The narrative is somewhat predictable. There are two manic adults running the camp, a formerly fat, fat-hating counselor and three skinny, bitchy cheerleaders who invade the camp. Of course the fat kids don't get thin, but they get proud. Nothing deep or revelatory here, but an enjoyable experience nonetheless. The book is funny and fast-moving and the lyrics are very clever. The music is Broadway rock, not particularly original (how original can you be with rock), but enjoyable. One can't help but be impressed with the talented, energetic cast. Yes, they're big boys and girls, but they move as if they weren't. It's difficult to single anyone out--it's a cohesive ensemble. Scott Schwartz's direction and Chase Brock's choreography are dynamic/
     I saw a preview. The show could use some cutting.
     I'm not a good predicter of the commercial potential of shows like this. I found GIGANTIC to be delightful.
     Next to me in the third row were three twenty-something women who texted throughout the show. I prayed that Patti Lupone would appear and snatch their phones as she did at a recent performance I attended. Can't these people turn off their phones for an hour? Don't they know that texting is distracting to the people on stage and the people around them. When are we going to devise principles of common courtesy regarding cell phones?

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