Pippin Ends A.R.T. Run Jan. 20; Broadway Is Around the Corner
By Adam Hetrick
The American Repertory Theater production of the Tony Award-winning Stephen Schwartz-Roger O. Hirson musical Pippin, staged by two-time Tony Award nominee Diane Paulus, ends its run Jan. 20 in Cambridge, MA. The circus-inspired production will arrive on Broadway March 23 at the Music Box Theatre.
The A.R.T. staging of the dark, coming-of-age musical began previews Dec. 5, 2012, and officially opened Jan. 3. A.R.T. artistic director Paulus (Hair, Porgy and Bess) directs the work that incorporates circus choreography and acrobatics by Gypsy Snider of the Montreal-based circus company Les 7 doigts de la main (7 Fingers).
Tony Award-winning producers Barry and Fran Weissler and Howard and Janet Kagan will usher the production to Broadway this spring. It officially opens at the Music Box April 25.
Casting for the Broadway transfer has not been announced.
Pippin retains much of 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.
"Pippin, for me, is about how far we go in our lives to prove we're extraordinary," Paulus told Playbill in a recent interview. "Pippin tracks the story of a young man trying to find the meaning in his life, but it's an emblematic journey, almost like a pageant play, a morality play. So yes, it's a young man's journey, but for me it can speak to anyone, whether you're like me — a mom in my 40s thinking about my life and my choices — or an 18-year-old. It can speak across generations. It takes that theme and expresses it completely through theatre, as a play within a play, using the metaphor of theatre — a troupe of players comes to town to do this show."
Spider-Man cast member Matthew James 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.
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.
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 and 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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