Stephen Schwartz to Discuss Pippin April 9

News   Stephen Schwartz to Discuss Pippin April 9 Composer Stephen Schwartz, currently represented on Broadway with the mammoth hit Wicked, will discuss one of his earlier musicals, Pippin, at a free event April 9.
Stephen Schwartz
Stephen Schwartz Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre will present the Schwartz evening, scheduled for 7-8:30 PM. Schwartz will discuss the relevance of Pippin today and will also perform some of his own songs. In a statement, the acclaimed composer said, "The main story in Pippin is timeless — someone trying to figure out what to do with his life. This is a question every generation has to deal with and the answer inevitably involves compromise and learning what's important."

The musical, which concerns the life of Pippin, son of Charlemagne, will play the 5th Avenue Theatre May 2-21.

The April 9 evening will also feature several 5th Avenue stars, who will offer tunes from such Schwartz works as Pippin, Wicked, Working, The Magic Show and "Pocahontas."

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).

Stephen Schwartz, a Dramatists Guild council member, composed the scores for Wicked, Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show, Rags, The Baker's Wife and Children of Eden. He has also written for several film musicals, including "Pocahontas," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "The Prince of Egypt" and the TV musical "Geppetto." His solo CDs of new songs are titled "Reluctant Pilgrim" and "Uncharted Territory." Schwartz is the recipient of three Academy Awards, three Grammy Awards and three Drama Desk Awards. Wicked currently plays Broadway's Gershwin Theatre. For more information visit www.5thavenuetheatre.org.