POST: 'Gigantic' - embrace what you have!
What's it about?
Gigantic takes place in Camp Overton, a summer fat camp, where they proclaim that you will lose weight. Gigantic is a coming-of-age story; they're all trying to lose weight but along that journey they find their true selves and happiness.
What'd I experience?
In the beginning, I dreaded musicals with a passion! I thought they were so annoying because every five minutes someone would always sing, whether it was sad or happy. But then we saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch and my whole prospective on musicals changed.
So when I was looking through which plays to see, I saw Gigantic. The name stood out to me, and it was even a comedic musical, so I knew I wanted to see it. I didn't really read the little description that well, so all I knew was that it's about teens in a fat camp trying to lose weight.
I was on my way to the Acorn Theatre and the L train decides to have delays. Every time I have somewhere important to go, something bad happens. So it wasn't a good start, the only good thing about the day was that I got to eat some Mexican food (tamales-my fave😋).
The show started at 3, and I got off at the train at 3! Once I got off the train, I speed walked to the theatre, thankfully I knew where it was. I got to the location at 3:06, but by the time I got my ticket and went to the third floor it was already 3:10. So the usher, (I think that's what they're called) told me, "Hi sweetie! Are you here to see Gigantic?" and I replied yes and he then tells me that the show started five minutes ago! I was so upset. 😤
So I was just standing outside waiting for the song to be over so I could go in. The guy said, because I was so close, he would sit me near the back so I wouldn't disturb anyone and then after intermission I could move to my seat. I didn't mind because it was my fault I was late and I didn't want to bother anyone because I've been to a few shows where people are late and interrupt the entire audience.
Gigantic is about Robert, who is sent to "fat camp" by his parents and his guidance counselor. I thought to myself "is there really a fat camp, why?" Robert is obese and in his high school, the music teacher bought him this enormous drum set so he could play it at the talent show. But when he was finished, the bleachers collapsed! Everyone laughed at him and they recorded it and put it on YouTube. Which is so mean! I personally thought they should get expelled or at least detention because that's cyber bullying.
So he's at camp and at the beginning of the camp everyone had to be weighed so the camp can chart the progress each teen has made. But they were only weighed because the camp supervisors cared about staying opened. They did not want to become a storage unit, and would if they didn't reach a certain weight.
Everyone in the camp, had something unique about them. There was Darnell, who was a YouTube star who had a million subscribers, who's at Camp Overton because he wants to lose weight in order to get surgery. Taylor is good girl who doesn't take risks and is at camp because she actually wants to lose weight. Daphne has the bitchy personality, who tells Taylor that she isn't a virgin because she wanted to show everyone that a "fat girl can also have sex." Daphne basically wants to show everyone, she's a self proclaimed slut. She has no other choice but to go to Camp Overton for three years.
Robert doesn't want to be there and waste a whole summer at Camp Overton because he believes he's too cool. At camp, everyone thinks he's cool because he goes against the rules. His only mission is to get kicked out. No one ever gets kicked out - the supervisors, Mike and Sandy, make that point straight. No matter what. In order to get kicked out, Robert takes in Darnell and Anshel and they start a candy business. Candy is, of course, prohibited at the camp. Robert takes it upon himself to be the "Candy Man" and sell candy to everyone so they won't lose weight. But when he starts to have feelings for Taylor, he doesn't want to get caught selling and get kicked out.
Robert convinces everyone that he is popular at his school and dating a popular girl, named Ashley. And no one even questions him. He even makes Brent, the head counselor look like a fool. Brent was once fat and wants to get back at Robert so he does everything in his power to find out the truth about him. It always backfires. I hate how Brent was once fat and he has the guts to make fun of Robert. He should know how it feels. So why do it when it was done to you? He figures out that Robert was the kid who broke the bleachers in that "Gigantic" video on YouTube.
Brent tells everyone the secret. The truth comes out and everyone hates Robert, including Taylor. So in order to get Taylor back, he challenges Brent and Ashley to a Color War. If he wins they need to take the "Gigantic" video down and if they win there will be a sequel to the video. Ashley does not want to take down the video because she makes $2,000 a year with all the views. I thought to myself, how horrible and shallow can someone be to have someone humiliated just to make a profit?
Luckily, Robert wins with Darnell, Anshel and Daphne on his team! Taylor sees the evil in Ashley and forgives Robert. Robert faces his fear and plays the drums again by playing in the talent competition. The stage collapses (because of Brent) and Robert falls down but everyone, from Taylor to myself, starts clapping and screaming like crazy.
In order to win the swimming part of the competition, it's up to Darnell. But his biggest insecurity is taking off his shirt and showing his "man boobs." He even has a "homemade bra" that he uses in order to cover it. Darnell finally gets the guts and takes off his shirt, his "homemade bra" and is left with just his bare chest showing. Me and the whole audience start clapping with joy. I start screaming and yelling, "YAAAAAAAS Darnell, embrace what you have!!!"
While going against Brent and Ashley, they all learn about themselves. And Ashley finally realizes that they are cool and nice people and wants to come back next summer to Camp Overton. The cheerleading camp and Camp Overton become one. Whether fat or skinny, everyone has difficulty leaning who they are until they experience something or find someone new. That's what the play is truly about. Not about what society considers to be the ideals of beauty, but being beautiful because of who you are as a person.