When the composer-lyricist Michael John LaChiusa was approached with the idea to do a musical adaptation of Edna Ferber’s Giant by her great-niece Julie Gilbert, he was more than a little daunted. After all, how does one stay true to a more-than-400-page epic about multiple generations of cattle barons and oil tycoons in Texas without making it 10 hours long? Preferring to follow the 1952 book rather than the Hollywood film, LaChiusa and Sybille Pearson, who wrote the libretto, have managed to create a brand-new work for 22 actors and a 17-piece orchestra that clocks in at just three hours, including intermission (not bad, especially considering their first attempt in 2009 ran for four). When it was staged at the Dallas Theater Center, which is co-producing the show, The Dallas Morning News called it “a big step forward for the American musical.” Will New Yorkers agree? Tony-nominated Michael Greif (Rent) directs.
Tuesdays-Sundays, 7 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 1 p.m. Starts: Oct. 26. Continues through Dec. 16, 2012