Broadway and Smash alum Brian d’Arcy James is heading to Texas —on stage at least— as he leads the cast of the upcoming musical adaptation of Giant. James will play Bick, the rich Texas cattleman originally portrayed on screen by Rock Hudson, when the musical plays off-Broadway's Public Theater this fall. Broadway.com recently caught up with the two-time Tony nominee to chat about prepping to step into Bick’s cowboy boots.
James, who is from Michigan, is hitting the books to find out “what Texas was like in the ‘30s." The actor has immersed himself in the show's source material, Edna Ferber's 1952 novel which follows the Lone Star life of Bick and his family. “Ferber’s novel is incredible—particularly the details she goes into about this world and the people that inhabit it,” the actor explained. “I’m studiously pouring over the book right now.” So how will James transform from city dweller to cattle rancher? “Well, I’ll be wearing a Stetson around New York City for the next six weeks,” James joked.
In addition to an ensemble cast featuring Kate Baldwin, P.J. Griffith, Bobby Steggert, John Dossett and Natalie Cortez, Giant boasts an impressive creative team. “I’ve admired Michael John LaChiusa’s abilities for a long time,” James said of the musical's five-time Tony nominated composer and lyricist. “To be able to work with him is a real luxury and an honor.” The actor is also thrilled to reunite with three-time Tony nominee Michael Greif after starring in his production of Next to Normal on Broadway in 2011. “Michael's an incredible director, as everyone knows,” the actor said. “It’s a confluence of lots of different people on this hallowed ground of the Public Theater—it’s really exceptional.”
Giant begins performances October 26, with opening night set for November 13.