"Join us," sings the Leading Player at the top of the show, immersing the audience in the medieval world of Pippin and taking the musical's protagonist on a journey to find his "Corner of the Sky."
This time, though, Tony nominee Patina Miller, as the show's female ringleader, is inviting theatregoers to the circus — the setting for the re-imagined revival of Pippin, beginning performances March 23 at Broadway's Music Box Theatre under the direction of two-time Tony Award nominee Diane Paulus.
"I knew I couldn't do the revival [of Pippin] until I understood how to do the physical production," explained director Paulus. "I was searching: 'Who are the players?' — Pippin is about a troupe of players — 'Who are they? Who are these mysterious people who come to town and plunk down and tell the story to the audience?' I started thinking about circus and that mystery of a circus troupe that comes to town and pitches a tent, and they kind of invite you in — you know, they dare you to enter that tent — and then you see things you've never seen before… When I talked to Gypsy Snider of [Montreal-based circus company] Les 7 doigts de la main, she said, 'The life of an acrobat is how far we go to be extraordinary,' which is the theme of Pippin, and when I talked to [choreographer] Chet Walker, who said Bob Fosse loved [director Federico] Fellini and was thinking about circus when he made Pippin, I [thought], 'Light bulb!'"
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