Michael Arden to Star in Reprise! Mounting of Pippin; Complete Casting Announced

News   Michael Arden to Star in Reprise! Mounting of Pippin; Complete Casting Announced Casting has been announced for the upcoming Reprise! mounting of Stephen Schwartz's Pippin.
Michael Arden
Michael Arden Photo by Joan Marcus

Michael Arden, who played the title role in the recent benefit concert of the Schwartz musical in Manhattan, will reprise that role for Reprise! He will be joined onstage by Sam Harris, Jean Louisa Kelly, Luba Mason, 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.

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.

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. *

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