Fresh Magic to Do: East West Players Creates Hip-Hop and Anime-Infused Pippin

News   Fresh Magic to Do: East West Players Creates Hip-Hop and Anime-Infused Pippin
 
A hip-hop and anime-influenced staging of the Tony Award-winning musical, Pippin, will wrap up East West Players' 42nd anniversary season in Los Angeles May 14-June 8.

EWP artistic director Tim Dang will direct the 1972 Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell) musical, with book by Roger O. Hirson, about Charlemagne's eldest son and the journey he takes through war, sex, politics, love, and family to find his life's true calling.

"Anime and hip-hop are emerging forms for live theatre, and when I looked at the story of Pippin, it just clicked," Dang said in a statement. "Colorful characters, music with a great contemporary beat, evoking Fosse dance moves of today just seemed to go hand in hand with the concept."

Music director Marc Macalintal will operate a computer synthesizer to accommodate the new contemporary music arrangements. DJ LinoType, who will be mixing music on turntables, and guitarist Vince Reyes, are also in the "band."

Choreographing the hip-hop moves are Blythe Matsui & Jason Tyler Chong.

Marcus Choi (Broadway's Flower Drum Song, Wicked, Sweet Charity) is the Leading Player, and Daniel May (Flower Drum Song, Thoroughly Modern Millie national tour) is Pippin. Also featured is Gedde Watanabe as Pippin's exiled grandmother Berthe (usually played by a woman). Watanabe is most widely known for his performance in the film "Sixteen Candles" and for his roles in "Mulan," "Alfie" and " ER." The cast includes Jenn Aedo, Kari Lee Cartwright, Ryyn Chua, Cesar Cipriano, Mike Hagiwara, William Jay, Blythe Matsui, Maegan McConnell, Mike Moh and Chloe Stewart.

Alan Muraoka (set), Naomi Yoshida (costumes), Dan Weingarten (lighting), and Ken Takemoto (props) comprise the design team.

Pippin will play at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso St. in Los Angeles, CA. Tickets, priced between $25 and $75, are available by visiting www.eastwestplayers.org or calling (213) 625-7000.

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