Pippin, Staged by Diane Paulus, Will Spread Magic on Broadway This Spring
By Adam Hetrick
The American Repertory Theater production of Pippin, the Tony Award-winning medieval pop musical fable by Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson, will transfer to Broadway's Music Box Theatre in March, Tony Award-winning producers Barry and Fran Weissler and Howard and Janet Kagan announced Jan. 3.
The announcement comes as Pippin, staged by Tony-nominated Hair and Porgy and Bess director Diane Paulus, opens its A.R.T. engagement in Cambridge, MA. The producers have been attached to the project since a summer workshop at A.R.T., which tested a new circus-inspired take on the material conceived by Paulus and Gypsy Snider of the Montreal-based circus company Les 7 doigts de la main (7 Fingers). The A.R.T. run continues through Jan. 20.
Pippin will begin Broadway previews March 23 at the Music Box towards an April 25 opening night. The musical first premiered 40 years ago at Broadway's Imperial Theatre Oct. 18, 1972, and ran for 1,944 performances.
The production marks Paulus' second A.R.T. revival to bow on Broadway. Last season her staging of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess transferred to Broadway and took the 2012 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. She also staged the Public Theater's revival of Hair, which also transferred to Broadway, garnering a Best Revival of a Musical Tony Award in 2009. She has been twice-nominated for the Tony Award for her directorial work. Paulus is the artistic director of A.R.T.
Casting has not been confirmed for the Broadway transfer.
The new production of Pippin has choreography by Chet Walker, who staged the production in the style of the musical's original director-choreographer Bob Fosse. 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.
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. New orchestrations are by Larry Hochman and music supervision is by Nadia Di Giallonardo. Charlie Alterman serves as musical director at A.R.T.
The A.R.T. principal cast is led by Spider-Man cast member Matthew James Thomas in the title role, with 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.
Completing the A.R.T. company are 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.
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 will go on sale Jan. 8 to Audience Rewards members. An on-sale ticket date for members of the general public has not been announced.
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