The majestic Texas-set musical Giant is receiving its off-Broadway debut at the Public Theater in a beautifully crafted production by Michael Greif (Rent; Next to Normal). Though each performance in the musical is solid and nuanced, you’d be hard pressed to take your eyes off leading lady Kate Baldwin or featured actress Katie Thompson. In order for Michael John LaChiusa’s score and Sybille Pearson’s book to soar, the audience must fall as madly in love with Kate Baldwin’s Leslie Lynnton Benedict as the strong-voiced Brian d’Arcy James and the smoldering PJ Griffith do. And fall for her you will—Baldwin’s Leslie is magnetic. It’s a no-brainer to see why out of all the women in the great state of Texas, two men chose this one. Her voice is perfection and her layered performance blossoms over the three hour saga, making the time spent in the theater race by. The only time you can take your eyes off Baldwin is when Giant’s other Kate arrives on stage. Newcomer Katie Thompson seems to usurp the show from its principal characters during her songs “He Wanted a Girl” and “Midnight Blues.” This is no doubt the beginning of Thompson's long and illustrious stage career. If Giant finds its way to Broadway, these two ladies should prepare for awards season, but don’t wait to see the unforgettable performances live for yourself! Giant runs at the Public Theater through December 16.