The Vineyard Theatre presents a coming-of-age musical comedy about a group of outcast teens who have been sent to a weight-loss camp in Pennsylvania. More…
Camp Overton is the number three weight-loss camp in Southern Pennsylvania, and Robert is attending, whether he wants to or not. Getting shipped off to weight-loss camp is hardly Robert’s idea of the perfect summer, but even he isn’t prepared for what can be lost or gained. Robert and his fellow campers tackle the growing pains of adolescence as this bunch of misfit teens is forced to find solace in one another. Their search for acceptance, a hot make-out session, and the last contraband Butterfinger is sure to delight audiences of all weight classes.
"A bigger-than-life look at self-acceptance and adolescent angst…That’s a lot of purposeful name dropping, which is to say that musically speaking, 'Gigantic' doesn’t necessarily score big in the originally department. But what speaks volumes is the show’s construct and wildly talented cast…'Gigantic' is great fun, due mostly to a committed cast that relishes the material." Full Review
"The energetic, first-rate cast under the fast-paced direction of Scott Schwartz makes the material seem better than it is. This is one of the few teen musicals in which the characters actually sound like modern youth...'Gigantic' has no pretentions as to being anything but an entertaining musical comedy on a subject not so often handled in the theater. An authentic cast convincingly playing teenagers plus a dynamic score makes this a feel-good musical evening in the theater." Full Review
"Scott Schwartz directs the bouncy, homespun production…The entire cast creates individual, often poignant personalities…This is a feel-good musical, and the final song is cautiously titled 'Feels A Little Bit Like Love.' Some self-acceptance is bound to be achieved, with a lot of fun along the way." Full Review
"While not much is new here, 'Gigantic' is a spoof-like, crowd-pleaser for those with a taste for the sugar-coated...This high-energy musical with lots of laughs is staged with over the top whimsy...While mostly fluff, we do grasp the emotional challenges of teens labeled as fat, and the pressure to fit in...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." Full Review
"The themes of 'Gigantic' are not revolutionary, and when the show’s book deals with these clichés, its weakest points reveal themselves. It’s a shame because these weaknesses are even more heavily emphasized by their contrast to the show’s moments of complete and utter hilarity...Despite the weak moments in the script and score, there is nothing weak about this cast, and having the privilege to watch their magic on the stage is a gigantic pleasure." Full Review
"A fun adult musical, albeit an adult musical about teenagers--fat teenagers who are sent by their parents to a summer camp to lose weight. The narrative is somewhat predictable...Nothing deep or revelatory here, but an enjoyable experience nonetheless. The book is funny and fast-moving and the lyrics are very clever." Full Review
"The perky charms of this offbeat musical, penned by Randy Blair and Tim Drucker, are obvious. The music is upbeat, the lyrics are funny, and the direction is quick and clever. The show’s flaws — the book is overwritten and the songs are monotonous — are also conspicuous in this Vineyard Theater production, but the cast is so cute and so committed to their roles, they make it fun." Full Review
"'Gigantic' is a fun night, although at times a bit confused and wandering – you forget because you’re laughing at a multitude of cliches. Somewhat heavy-handed, the story could go further to get to the honest nugget of why camps like these still even exist, but it was never lacking in the entertainment category." Full Review
"What the musical lacks is a way of synthesizing this humor, singing, and great character work into an actual theatrical event. Don’t get me wrong, it is ridiculously entertaining. I made a fool of myself laughing and smiling through the whole thing, but despite it’s plot, it lacks story. Not that this lacking kills the show." Full Review
"The antics at a summer camp for overweight teenagers are a slender thread for a full-evening musical. During the second act, the authors try frantically to liven things up with a production number featuring life-size dancing animals that bear no relation to anything else in the show...The energetic, appealing cast give it their all...The music is generic pop-rock…Too bad the the quality of the material does not match the high level of the production." Full Review
"The book is not cohesive. There are moments in this show where you wonder where this musical number came from, other than the fact that it’s hilarious? The pop-rock score is tuneful, but not memorable. Scott Schwartz direction is energetic and fun. Chase Brock’s choreography is pedestrian. What creates this show is it’s youthful driven cast...Gigantic will appeal to a lot of people, especially teens that are struggling with who they are." Full Review
"A clunky but cute, feel-good musical…The pop-rock songs are generic but have a lot of drive behind them. The storyline is messy and the humor is often strained… Wilcox has genuine charisma in the lead, while Redmond makes for an assertive counterpart. Leslie Kritzer gleefully plays up her supporting role as an eccentric, jumpsuit-wearing camp counselor." Full Review
"Unfortunately, the balance is all off...there are moments when the show does actually tug at the heart...The trouble is that this bit of 'summer loving' is surrounded by so much silliness that it feels like whiplash when the writers bring this to the fore...Scott Schwartz has directed 'Gigantic' so that it bounds along energetically and fluidly, but his work never manages to make the musical’s dichotomous elements blend into a cohesive or satisfying whole." Full Review
"The show’s defiantly feel-good message about being comfortable in one’s own skin is in philosophical conflict with its creative impulses, which are otherwise thoroughly conformist…'Gigantic' is very comfortable with unexamined stereotype, particularly where its female characters are concerned…The kids at Camp Overton want to blend in, but 'Gigantic' needs to stand out. For the show, a little more creative audacity might have done a lot." Full Review
"'Gigantic’s' propulsive if mostly generic-sounding rock score leads us through a plot that is an accumulation of stock scenes running the gamut from juvenile to sophomoric, with an occasional detour into sentimental…For all its easy superficiality, it offers what one senses are some hard-earned observations about life as an adolescent in general…The best thing about 'Gigantic' is the opportunity it gives to performers with out-sized talents and regular-people bodies." Full Review
"I can't say that the creators efforts to unearth fresh, fizzy humor from the cliches of bunk house life captivated me as much as some of the people around me…The show as much as the kids at Camp Overton needs to be slimmed down. Scott Schwartz smoothly directs the frantic doings but at two hours plus intermission, there's just too much fat…The music is catchy but hardly memorable enough to justify so much of it that you could almost describe 'Gigantic' as a sung-through." Full Review
"Berger's lyrics aren't nearly as clever as they could be...The book offers a mixture of hackneyed characters and ham-fisted pop-culture parody…The cast is absolutely perfect, and director Schwartz guides them to distinct, over-the-top performances that still manage to feel emotionally grounded...One can't help but wonder if 'Gigantic' really sides with the feelings of the rail-thin cheerleaders instead of the lovably unconventional heroes it purports to celebrate." Full Review
"With clever lyrics and a decent pop score, 'Gigantic,' directed by Scott Schwartz, is entertaining, though I have my gripes. There were too many time-sensitive cultural references for my taste...Sometimes it can be funny, but there's a sequence in which the teens sexualize the candy, which is outrageous in all the wrong ways, and it's sophomoric, low-hanging fruit, anyway. If there's a silver lining to the just-OK show it's Kritzer's and Redmon's performances." Full Review
"The result is flat and tasteless, desperately in need of an infusion of wit…To the degree that any of these tedious shenanigans are amusing you can thank a hard-working and often charming cast…The score contains too many similar-sounding numbers...Scott Schwartz directs like the pro he is, keeping the action moving at a good clip…'Gigantic' tries to coast on the easy-sell premise that got it its festival exposure. But it lags in the execution department." Full Review
"A dilemma for the show: it doesn't want to make fun of overweight people but it also finds it hard to resist fat jokes. The characters are all one-dimensional and the show gives into the cliché of having the thinnest of the plump girls be the most desirable. Small wonder that I spotted a group of theater industry insiders sneaking out at intermission." Full Review
"The show has tipped into bland conventionality…Gone is the gently wacky edge that gave the writers and performers the permission they needed to be weird, something that's absolutely required in a show like this one…Things are listless and leaden — not terrible, but not invigorating...This isn't a poor-looking or poor-sounding show, but it's one that doesn't seem to know what it's supposed to be or how it's supposed to accomplish its goals." Full Review
"The writing devolves into cliché and contrivance; in the second act, it largely abandons coherence...'Gigantic' seems to use the fact that it’s a musical as an excuse not to have to make sense, culminating in one of the most bizarre floppo numbers I’ve ever seen...It’s unforgettable, at least, which can’t be said of the rest of this musical, in which the huge talent onstage is mostly wasted." Full Review
"I have nothing against silly musicals if they’re smartly crafted or thrillingly tuneful or genuinely funny or at least touch on some form of reality. 'Gigantic' goes zero for four…The material has been deliberately dumbed down, as if the authors believed that their nominal subject were so distasteful it could never succeed on its own. Is this what we are reduced to? As a former husky person, I resent that; as someone who loves good musicals I resent it more." Full Review
See it if This show is hilarious and it has a well written musical score, great acting, dancing and singing! I laughed the whole way through!
Don't see it if You don't have a sense of humor about weight loss and if you don't like musicals!
See it if Great message about being your own person no matter what size you are. Talented cast and some fun, poignant score. Some is over the top
Don't see it if You can't take a joke or poke fun at weight and personal issues
See it if you want to see a cute blink-and-you'll-miss-it Hamilton parody (William Howard Taft) in act 2. Also, Leslie Kritzer is divine, as always.
Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with a comedic take on teen obesity.
See it if you enjoy smart-ass off-broadway fare with a talented cast and some truly delightful moments.
Don't see it if you're not up for a show that tends to wink at the audience. It's a fun concept, but the show is pretty uneven.
See it if you want to see great actors show off how well they can sing and entertain an audience. You want to see a work in progress. Taft!
Don't see it if you want to see great acting or storytelling. Unmemorable music. Juvenile humor. Unlikable protagonist. Underdeveloped characters/story
See it if want to spend time thinking if you're staying for the 2nd act (which was actually better). Fresh topic but very weak book/dialogue. Music?
Don't see it if you like a good score. Lot's of talent here, but material doesn't elevate.
See it if you're like the guy next to me who somehow finds lame jokes hysterical. You're into "so bad it's good" (Though this doesn't quite get there)
Don't see it if your taste level is higher than zero and you don't like seeing good performers wasted.
See it if you like over the top comedy and if you think there must always be a romance plot line.
Don't see it if you were hoping that the show would tackle issues of body image and fatphobia in a tasteful way.
See it if You want to pee your pants laughing. You want to be inspired & invigorated. You want to hear some amazing talent. You want your heart full!
Don't see it if You don't have a heart or sense of humor.
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