Philip Boroff, Bloomberg: The redoubtable Brian d'Arcy James, Kate Baldwin and John Dossett lead a cast of 22 singing sumptuous melodies by Michael John LaChiusa. They're backed by a 17-piece orchestra, a rare luxury for off-Broadway. But before fantasizing about "Giant" gushing onto Broadway and upending the season's Tony Award derby -- as I did during those thrilling opening minutes -- be mindful of its excesses...too many peripheral characters bog down the story. Especially given Bruce Coughlin's sublime orchestrations for the 25 songs, too much of a good thing is still pretty good.
Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal: What I miss in this production is the strong sense of place that you take for granted in a western movie. As lovely as Mr. Moyer's set is, I wish it were dirtier, just as I wish that Mr. Greif had brought in a diction coach. These aren't quibbles, but in the end they don't matter, for the show comes through triumphantly in spite of them. Like "Oklahoma!" before it, "Giant" tells an all-American tale in a way that is well suited to the present moment. It's a myth, but an honest one, enacted with high seriousness and great beauty. This show is built to last.
Jennifer Farrar, Associated Press: Beware of allowing tradition to blind you to the benefits of progress. That's one message from the aptly-titled "Giant," the robust, polished, three-hour new musical that opened Thursday night at The Public Theater...Somehow Ferber's sprawling material has been wrangled into a generally cohesive, often-eloquent musical that retains her concern with social issues while examining 25 turbulent years.