Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Raul Aranas, Kate Baldwin, Brian d’Arcy James, P.J. Griffith, Bobby Steggert and Michele Pawk Set for New York Premiere of GIANT at The Public Theater, October 26-December 2, 2012

Raul Aranas, Kate Baldwin, Brian d’Arcy James, P.J. Griffith, Bobby Steggert and Michele Pawk are set for the New York Premiere of GIANT, an epic love story with book by Sybille Pearson and music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa, which is a co-production of The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Patrick Willingham) and the Dallas Theater Center.

Brian d'Arcy James (Photo by Lia Chang)

Brian d’Arcy James (Photo by Lia Chang)

Directed by Michael Greif, GIANT begins previews on Friday, October 26 in The Public’s Newman Theater at its Astor Place home and will run through Sunday, December 2, with an official press opening on Tuesday, November 13. Single tickets, beginning at $75, are on sale now. Click here to purchase tickets.

Two-time Tony Award-nominee Brian d’Arcy James (Sweet Smell of Success, Shrek, “Smash”) stars as Texas cattleman Bick Benedict. Brian d’Arcy James has also appeared on Broadway in Next to Normal, Time Stands Still, The Apple Tree, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Titanic, Carousel, Blood Brothers and Les Miserables. His film and TV credits include Game Change, Friends with Kids, Ghost Town, G, Neurotica, Sax and Violins, Victoria Pool, The Exiles, Tina and Lance, Call of the Wylie, “The Big C,” “Person of Interest,” “Cashmere Mafia,” “Rscue Me,” and “The Education of Max Bickford.”

Kate Baldwin Photo by Peter Hurley

Kate Baldwin Photo by Peter Hurley

Kate Baldwin, a Tony Award nominee for Finian’s Rainbow, plays his socialite wife Leslie Benedict. Baldwin has appeared on Broadway in The Full Monty, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Wonderful Town, and has performed at theaters across the country.

P.J. Griffith

P.J. Griffith

P.J. Griffith, who recently starred in the original Broadway production of American Idiot and is the lead vocalist for the band Blue Movie, portrays young oil tycoon Jett Rink.

New York stage veteran Raul Aranas, who has appeared on Broadway in Miss Saigon, The King and I, Loose Ends and Flower Drum Song, plays Polo. Aranas is fresh from appearing as The Kralahome in The King and I at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta. During his stint as The Engineer in the 1st National Company of Miss Saigon, he received a Helen Hayes Award, the Carbonell Award and a Jefferson Award Nomination. His turn as The Reciter in the North Shore Theatre production of Pacific Overtures, garnered him an Irne Award. He has appeared in the films Burn After Reading, Buzzkill, JFK, Company Man, Afterwards, and on television on “Law And Order,” “Gideon Oliver,” “One Life To Live,” and “Bluebloods.”

Raul Aranas

Raul Aranas

The complete cast of GIANT features Enrique Acevedo (Ensemble); Raul Aranas (Polo); Mary Bacon (Adarene, Mrs. Lynnton); Kate Baldwin (Leslie); Miguel Cervantes (Angel); Natalie Cortez (Juana); Rocio Del MarValles (Analita); John Dossett (Bawley); Jon Fletcher (Bobby Jr., Bobby Sr.); P.J. Griffith (Jett); Michael Halling (Lord Karfrey, Lynnton); Brian d’Arcy James (Bick); Mackenzie Mauzy (Lil Luz); Doreen Montalvo (Lupe); Michele Pawk(Luz); Allison Rogers (Heidi, Lady Karfrey); Isabel Santiago (Ensemble); Martin Sola (DiModeo); Bobby Steggert (Jordy Jr.); Matthew Stocke (Mike);Katie Thompson (Vashti); and William Youmans (Pinkie).

Katie Thompson

Katie Thompson

Based on the classic novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edna Ferber, GIANT 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 will come to life in an appropriately huge production with a company of 22 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 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 features scenic design by Allen Moyer; costume design by Jeff Mahshie; lighting design by Ken Posner; sound design by Brian Ronan; musical direction by Chris Fenwick; and choreography by Alex Sanchez.

Other Articles by Lia Chang
Theater of the Stars Presents The King and I Starring Ronobir Lahiri, Victoria Mallory, Raul Aranas, Ali Ewoldt, Josh Dela Cruz, Jee Hyun Lim and Raphael Aranas, Helmed by Baayork Lee on Tour through September 11, 2012
Greg Watanabe, Julyana Soelistyo and Jennifer Lim Lead the Cast of Signature Theatre’s Production of David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child, October 23-December 2, 2012
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Oskar Eustis, BD Wong, Brian d’Arcy James, Francis Jue, Jennifer Lim and Leigh Silverman at WNYC’s The Greene Space
DTC’s Production Photos of Giant featuring Aaron Lazar, Kate Baldwin,P.J. Griffith, Dee Hoty, Raul Aranas & Katie Thompson
Aaron Lazar, Kate Baldwin, P.J. Griffith, Raul Aranas Set for the Dallas Theater Center/Public Theater Co-Production of Giant at the Wyly Theatre, 1/18-2/19/12
World Premiere Screening of Lil Tokyo Reporter Starring Chris Tashima at Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, September 14-16, 2012
Mu’s landmark 21st Season features a brand new Taiko Concert, Lauren Yee’s The Tiger Among Us, and Rick Shiomi’s Award-Winning comedy Yellow Fever
David Henry Hwang to Receive the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award at the 5th Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards on October 29, 2012
Photos: 4 Wedding Planners’ Illeana Douglas, Kimberly-Rose Wolter and Michael Kang at Screen Actors Guild Foundation Conversations Series in NY
André De Shields Returns to The Laurie Beechman Theatre with I Put A Spell on You, October 5 and 12
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Tony Award – winning Playwright Terrence McNally to be Honored at Westport Country Playhouse Annual Gala, September 24, 2012
Signature Theatre’s World Premiere of Sam Shepard’s Heartless Starring Lois Smith, Gary Cole, Jenny Bacon, Betty Gilpin, and Julianne Nicholson Extends through September 30, 2012
Photos: Tonya Pinkins, André De Shields, S. Epatha Merkerson, Billy Porter and George C. Wolfe at 54 Below
Sean Dugan Set for West Coast Premiere of George C. Wolfe’s Tony Award-Winning Production of The Normal Heart at A.C.T., September 13 – October 7, 2012
10 minutes with Sullivan & Son’s Jodi Long, Award Winning Actor and Filmmaker
Multimedia: Screen Actors Guild Foundation’s Conversations with Derek Ting, Linus Roache and Michael Park of $upercapitalist
Faith Prince and Jason Graae: The Prince & the Showboy in Concert at 54 Below, August 21-25, 2012
Photos: All-Access Pass to Disney’s Aladdin at The Muny with Thom Sesma, Francis Jue, Robin De Jesus, John Tartaglia, Jason Graae, Curtis Holbrook, Eddie Korbich, Samantha Massell and Ken Page
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Performing Arts Images from the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection on Display at the Library of Congress to Celebrate APA Heritage Month
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2012 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

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