Broadway's Funny Girl Cast in Reprise! Pippin

News   Broadway's Funny Girl Cast in Reprise! Pippin Former Funny Girl Mimi Hines has joined the cast of the upcoming Reprise! mounting of Stephen Schwartz's Pippin.

Hines, who replaced Barbra Streisand on Broadway in Jule Styne's Funny Girl, will play the role of Berthe, Pippin's grandmother who belts out the toe-tapping "No Time at All." A spokesperson for the production confirmed that Hines will join a cast that includes the previously announced Michael Arden (as Pippin), Sam Harris (Leading Player), Jean Louisa Kelly (Catherine), Luba Mason (Fastrada), Graham Phillips, Conrad John Schuck and Abe Sylvia. The Pippin company comprises Ryan Ashley, Danial Brown, Suzanne Carlton, Rachel Collins, Ray Garcia, Christa Jackson, Joanna Louise, Craig Lucas, Lisa Mandel, Jill Morrison, Digo Padovan and Shaun Thompson.

Pippin is set to play UCLA's Freud Playhouse Jan. 25-Feb. 6, 2005. Gordon Hunt directs with choreography by Dan Mojica and musical direction by Gerald Sternbach. The design team comprises Tom Ruzika (lighting designer), Brad Kaye (set designer), Alex Jaeger (costume designer) and Phil Allen (sound designer).

Mimi Hines first burst onto the entertainment scene in 1958 when she and her partner, Phil Ford, performed on Jack Paar's "The Tonight Show." After headlining in top clubs around the country, Hines made her Broadway debut when she replaced Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl, performing the lead role for 18 months. Since that time she has starred in several national tours, recorded numerous albums, and returned to Broadway as Miss Lynch in the Tommy Tune production of Grease!. Hines was also seen in the York Theatre Company's production of 70, Girls, 70, part of its "Musicals in Mufti" series. Her recordings are numerous.

Michael Arden, who portrayed Peter in the hit Off-Broadway musical Bare, appeared on Broadway in Big River. His other theatrical credits include The Vampire Lestat, It's Only Life: The Music of John Bucchino, Harold & Maude, God of Vengeance, Falsettoland, Art, West Side Story, Songs for a New World, The Common Pursuit and A Winter's Tale. His musical compositions include Easter Rising, As You Like It and Ripley. Arden also recently played the title role in the New York City benefit concert of Pippin.

Bob Fosse directed and choreographed the original 1972 Broadway production of Pippin, imposing his conceptual vision onto the bittersweet fairytale that Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson created. Ben Vereen was the Leading Player ("Magic to Do," "Simple Joys"), John Rubinstein played the searching Pippin ("Corner of the Sky," "With You"), Jill Clayburgh was his love interest ("I Guess I'll Miss the Man," "Kind of Woman"), Leland Palmer his evil stepmother ("Spread a Little Sunshine") and Irene Ryan was Pippin's feisty grandmother ("No Time At All"). Ryan (the famed stage actress and TV's "Granny" of "The Beverly Hillbillies") left the show for health reasons and died during the run. The show ran 1,944 performances and was one of a handful of scores that brought a pop sound to the theatre in the 1970's (along with Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar). Tickets, priced $55-$65, are available by calling the UCLA central ticket office at (310) 825 2101. Go to www.reprise.org for more information.

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The Reprise! season concludes with Applause (May 10-22, 2005).

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