Mom Theatre Blogger: GIGANTIC: Show Review by Robin Gorman Newman

Photo by Carol Rosegg

Photo by Carol Rosegg

A summer camp for fatties meets a summer camp for cheerleaders, and there is a clash over pompons and and pounds, as they butt heads and butts at Camp Overton (huge pun intended) in Pennsylvania.  Whether vying for a box of Nerds, or working to overcome their reputation as a nerd, each of the outcast teens brings to the sparse dinner table a stomach-churning desire for confidence, self-esteem, caloric treats, and some sexual conquests.

While not much is new here, with a plot that draws to mind a way lesser Bring It On, Lysistrata Jones, and the family show Camp Lakawanna, Gigantic is a spoof-like, crowd-pleaser for those with a taste for the sugar-coated.  You can check your Red Bull at the stage door, as characters reference downing theirs, because this high-energy musical with lots of laughs is staged with over the top whimsy, and the hard-working and appealing cast, replete with some eye candy, no doubt burns a gazillion calories with every performance.

Gigantic features a witty book by Randy Blair and Tim Drucker, rousing, pop rock music by Matthew roi Berger, biting and heartfelt lyrics by Randy Blair, choreography by Chase Brock and animated direction by Scott Schwartz.

The talented cast features Andrew Durand, Jennifer Geller, Leslie Kritzer, Katie Ladner, Jared Loftin, Taylor Louderman, Bonnie Milligan, Burke Moses , Larry Owens, Cole Ragsdale, Ryann Redmond, MiMi Scardulla, Nyla Watson, Kalyn West, and Max Wilcox.  Standouts include Max Wilcox, Ryann Redmond, Bonnie Milligan and the very versatile Leslie Kritzer.  Kritzer (bit of a spoiler alert) does a mean Michael Jackson, snarky send-up in the second act.

Gigantic has set design by Timothy R. Mackabee, costume design by Gregory Gale, lighting design by Jeff Croiter and sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge. Music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations are by Dominick Amendum.  Musical direction is by Aaron Jodoin,  and casting is by Michael Cassara, CSA.

While mostly fluff, we do grasp the emotional challenges of teens labeled as fat, and the pressure to fit in and grow (yet not grow) comfortable within their own overweight skin. No huge character revelations, and a ballad here ‘n there might have added nicely to score, but overall, the show will leave a salty and sweet sensation in your mouth, and there are worse outcomes from a theatrical experience.


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