The Giant Hoax: Show Review by Alyson Treglia

(Photo credit: Brian E. Long)

The Giant Hoax is a musical for ages 6 and up, set in 1869 based on the true (?) events of the prehistoric petrified Cardiff Giant, a young farm girl, Emily, and Stub, the owner of the Giant.  The opening of the play sets place outside the carnival tent where Stub was charging 50 cents for tickets to get a viewing of the mysterious giant.  Various people flock from the aisles and line up to purchase their tickets for a viewing of this Giant. Emily arrives as a vivacious, curious girl with a large imagination.  She has run away from home looking for excitement, adventure and a job working for Stub so that she could view and then befriend her imaginary friend the Giant. Stub questions Emily about all she knows about the Giant. She shows how smart, knowledgeable and curious she is to see it with her own eyes.  She is offered a job after lying to Stub and her friends from school about her mother knowing her whereabouts, and she then sleeps in the tent with the Giant, only to discovery her imagination gets the best of her. The Giant is alive and can talk, dance, play cards and listen to her thoughts with an open mind.

Emily’s sweet voice and childlike imagination help you to fall in love with the idea of her Giant becoming her friend. Stub, although a crook, forms a friendship with Emily and the two work together and bond over the promoting and viewing of the Giant.  Each night Emily sleeps in the tent and her Giant comes to life, a proper gentleman who listens to her thoughts, plays games with her, sings and dances. The Giant puppet is operated by Daniel Moser, who brings the puppet to life through his British accent, pleasant songs and dance.

P.T. Barnum challenges Stub along with other specialists to prove the statue is a fake and manipulates Emily into thinking she gave him the idea of creating his own copy of the Giant. The pair go to court where Stub admits his statue is a fake, which then drums up publicity of seeing this statue all over again for a larger dollar amount to view.

The book, music and lyrics of New York’s famous Cardiff Giant are by Kit Goldstein Grant. Christopher Michaels directs a cast of 13, including Paul Aguirre, Mary Albert, Henry Fin Berry, Greg Carter, Sarah Chiu, Yvette Monique Clark, Jianzi Colón-Soto, Daniel Moser, Robyne Parrish, Kevin Riddagh, Staci Stout, Ben Tostado, and Forest VanDyke.

This musical is upbeat and fun, with a positive message of telling the truth, something that many need to learn.

The runtime is approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. Show is running through December 7th at the Theatre Row – Theatre One (formerly The Lion Theatre) 410 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036.




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