The stakes were considerable on the night of January 27, 2012, at the opening of the Dallas Theater Center’s musical Giant, a co-production with the prestigious Public Theater in New York City, based on Edna Ferber’s classic novel of old cattle versus new oil in mid-twentieth century Texas.
The show was the biggest gamble yet for DTC artistic director Kevin Moriarty, who joined the company in 2007 and–- as we wrote last year–has worked to raise its local, statewide and national profile.
The critical verdicts for Giant were all over the map. The Dallas Morning News raved that it was “a big step forward for the American musical.” The Dallas Observer fulminated that “the music in this musical is tuneless and monotonous.” (The music and lyrics were by Michael John LaChiusa. The show’s book was by Sybille Pearson.)
Yet the production, which ran through February, struck a chord with audiences; according to Moriarty, it was among the highest-grossing in the company’s history. The artistic director also said that this quintessentially Texas story attracted a number of new donors to the DTC, who helped pony up the money for the show’s larger-than-usual budget. (The numbers are fuzzy, since costs were shared with the Public, but the DTC’s share was north of $1 million.)
Now, ten months later, comes some especially sweet icing on the cake: On November 13,