A.R.T.'s Pippin to Star Matthew James Thomas, Patina Miller, Andrea Martin, Terrence Mann and More
By Adam Hetrick
Spider-Man cast member Matthew James Thomas will star in the title role of Diane Paulus' re-conceived revival of Pippin, which will premiere at the American Repertory Theater in December. The cast also boasts Tony Award winner Andrea Martin, as well as Tony nominees Patina Miller, Terrence Mann and Charlotte d'Amboise.
Much of A.R.T.'s cast returns from participating in a workshop of Pippin last summer. The new production of the Stephen Schwartz-Roger O. Hirson musical will incorporate circus choreography and acrobatics by Gypsy Snider of the Montreal-based circus company Les 7 doigts de la main (7 Fingers). Details of the new physical approach have not been revealed, but several cast members have posted via social media that they are currently in trapeze lessons.
Pippin will retain Bob Fosse's iconic moves, thanks to Chet Walker, who will choreograph 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.
Thomas will lead the cast as Pippin, with Miller (Sister Act, Hair) as the Leading Player, Martin (My Favorite Year) as Berthe, Mann (Les Miserables, The Scarlet Pimpernel) as King Charles, 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.
The cast is completed by Gregory Arsenal, Stephanie Pope Caffey, Lolita Costet, Colin Cunliffe, Andrew Fitch, Orion Griffiths, Viktoria Grimmy, Olga Karmansky, Rachelle Rak, Philip Rosenberg, Yannick Thomas, Molly Tynes and Anthony Wayne.
Pippin will premiere Dec. 5 towards a Jan. 3, 2013, opening night. It is currently scheduled to run through Jan. 20, 2013.
It will have 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.
Pippin will have new orchestrations by Larry Hochman, music supervision by Nadia Di Giallonardo. Charlie Alterman will serve 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."
Tickets go on sale on Oct. 23. For tickets visit AmericanRepertoryTheater. A.R.T. is located at 64 Brattle Street in Cambridge, MA.
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