Terrence Mann and Charles Busch Join All-Star Pippin Concert; Barre to Direct

News   Terrence Mann and Charles Busch Join All-Star Pippin Concert; Barre to Direct Two more names have been added to the cast of the upcoming concert presentation of Stephen Schwartz's Pippin, which will be presented Nov. 29 to commemorate World AIDS Day.
From Top: Terrence Mann and Charles Busch
From Top: Terrence Mann and Charles Busch Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Terrence Mann, whose Broadway credits include Beauty and the Beast and Cats, will portray Charlemagne, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. And, Charles Busch will don drag to portray the role of Berthe, which was originated on Broadway by "The Beverly Hillbillies" Granny, Irene Ryan.

Gabriel Barre, who directed Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party Off-Broadway, will helm the production at The Manhattan Center's Grand Ballroom at 34th Street and 8th Avenue.

As previously announced, the company will also include Darius de Haas and Billy Porter, who will share the role of the Leading Player; and Julia Murney, who will play Fastrada. The ensemble will also feature Jenna Leigh Green, Barrett Foa, Jennifer Barnhart, Michael Longoria, Sarah Chase, Adam Fleming, Marty Thomas, Sriram Ganesan, Jen Malenke, Caitlin van Zandt and Natalie Joy Johnson. The one-night-only mounting of the Schwartz musical will also boast an 80-member choir and full orchestra.

Co-producers of the concert are Kate Shindle and Jamie McGonnigal. The concert will feature choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical direction by Mark Hartman.

The New York City concert of Pippin will benefit the National AIDS Fund as well as the non-profit Storm Theatre. Tickets will go on sale at the end of October. Sponsorship opportunities are currently available by e- mailing PippinConcert@aol.com. Terrence Mann received Tony nominations for his work in Les Misérables and Beauty and the Beast and has also appeared on Broadway in Barnum, Rags, Cats, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Getting Away with Murder and The Rocky Horror Show. He also starred with wife Charlotte d'Amboise in a production of the Sept. 11-based play The Guys.

Charles Busch is a playwright and performer. His play The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, which began life at the Manhattan Theatre Club, later transferred to Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. He also wrote the book for the Broadway mounting of Taboo. Busch also wrote the screenplays for and starred in the films "Die, Mommie, Die" and "Psycho Beach Party."

Gabriel Barre directed the national tour of Cinderella as well as the Off-Broadway musical Summer of ‘42 at the Variety Arts Theatre. His other directorial credits include Stars in Your Eyes, Sweeney Todd, Finian’s Rainbow, Houdini, Fanny Hill and Dorian. As an actor, Barre has appeared in the Broadway productions of Starmites, Ain’t Broadway Grand, Rags and Anna Karenina.

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).

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Last season, McGonnigal and Shindle presented an all-star benefit of another Stephen Schwartz musical, Children of Eden. That concert also benefited the National AIDS Fund.