Diane Paulus' Re-Imagined Pippin, Starring Matthew James Thomas, Patina Miller, Begins Dec. 5

By Adam Hetrick
05 Dec 2012

Patina Miller as the Leading Player
Patina Miller as the Leading Player
Photo by Karen Snyder Photography

Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson's dark, coming-of-age musical Pippin takes on new life in a fresh production staged by Tony Award nominee Diane Paulus that begins previews Dec. 5 at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA. Matthew James Thomas stars in the title role.

The A.R.T. staging of the Tony Award-winning 1972 pop musical will officially open Jan. 3, 2013, for a run through Jan. 20, 2013. The new production incorporates circus choreography and acrobatics by Gypsy Snider of the Montreal-based circus company Les 7 doigts de la main (7 Fingers).

Pippin retains Bob Fosse's iconic moves thanks to Chet Walker, who choreographs in Fosse's original style. Pippin has a score by Academy Award winner and Tony nominee Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, "The Prince of Egypt") and a book by Tony nominee Hirson. Paulus is the Tony-nominated director of the Tony-winning Broadway revivals of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and Hair.

Spider-Man cast member Thomas takes on the title role in a cast that also features Tony and Olivier Award nominee Patina Miller (Sister Act, Hair) as the Leading Player, Tony Award winner Andrea Martin (My Favorite Year) as Berthe, Tony Award nominee Terrence Mann (Les Miserables, The Scarlet Pimpernel) as King Charles, Tony Award nominee Charlotte d'Amboise (Chicago, Carrie) as Fastrada, Erik Altemus (The Fantasticks) as Lewis, Andrew Cekala (Marie Antoinette) as Theo and Rachel Bay Jones (Women on the Verge..., Hair) as Catherine.

Matthew James Thomas with choreographer Chet Walker in rehearsal
photo by Kevin H. Lin



The cast is completed by Gregory Arsenal, Stephanie Pope Caffey, Lolita Costet, Colin Cunliffe, Andrew Fitch, Orion Griffiths, Viktoria Grimmy, Olga Karmansky, Bethany Moore, Philip Rosenberg, Yannick Thomas, Molly Tynes and Anthony Wayne.

Much of A.R.T.'s cast returns from participating in a workshop of Pippin last summer.

Pippin has set design by Tony Award-winning designer Scott Pask, costume design by Dominique Lemieux, lighting design by Tony Award-winning designer Kenneth Posner and sound design by Clive Goodwin.

The A.R.T. staging has new orchestrations by Larry Hochman, music supervision by Nadia Di Giallonardo. Charlie Alterman serves as musical director.

Here's how A.R.T. bills the production: "A bold new staging of the dark and existential musical you thought you knew. Pippin, on a death-defying journey to find his 'corner of the sky,' must choose between a life that's ordinary or a flash of singular glory."

Pippin features such songs as "Corner of the Sky," "Magic To Do," "With You," "Glory," "No Time at All," "Morning Glow" and "Love Song."

For tickets visit AmericanRepertoryTheater. A.R.T. is located at 64 Brattle Street in Cambridge, MA.

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Terrence Mann, Charlotte d'Amboise and Matthew James Thomas
Photo by Kevin H. Lin