The Paper Mill Playhouse will hold a sneak preview of its all-new production of the Roger O. Hirson and Stephen Schwartz musical comedy, Pippin on June 1. The preview will take place in Manhattan at the Lawrence A. Wein Dance Center.
As reported earlier, Schwartz and Hirson will be making "slight changes" to the Tony Award-winning show, which runs at New Jersey's state theatre from June 7-July 23.
Pippin will star Jack Noseworthy ("U-571"), Charlotte Rae (from television's "The Facts of Life," and York Theatre's 70, Girls, 70), Ed Dixon (Scarlet Pimpernel, The Iceman Cometh), Jim Newman (Encores!' On a Clear Day, Steel Pier), as well as Natascia A. Diaz and Sara Gettelfinger.
Originally staged on Broadway in 1972, Pippin won 1973 Tony Awards for Best Director, Best Choreographer, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, Best Set Design and Best Lighting. The Best Musical award went to Harold Prince's production of A Little Night Music.
Pippin ran for five years, hitting Broadway after composer-lyricist Schwartz's Godspell, (which was followed by his collaborative work on Leonard Bernstein's Mass) and before Broadway's The Magic Show, which earned him the distinction of being the first composer lyricist (though other teams have had the distinction) to have three shows running simultaneously on Broadway. For the July production at Paper Mill Playhouse, David Siegel is writing new orchestrations, and David Chase will be the dance arranger. The Paper Mill production will feature new choreography by Rob Ashford (Encores!' Tenderloin, and the upcoming Thoroughly Modern Millie).
-- By Murdoch McBride