Stephen Schwartz, the composer behind 1971's Off-Broadway hit Godspell, made his Broadway musical premiere in 1972 with Pippin, a musical originally conceived for his student theatre troupe at Carnegie Mellon University.
"It is one of the best musical stagings to be seen on Broadway in years," Clive Barnes declared in his review for the New York Times, "and it might well do for the actor Ben Vereen what Cabaret did for Joel Grey."
Collaborators Roger O. Hirson and Schwartz would not receive similar acclaim. "The book is feeble and the music is bland," he wrote. "It is a trite and uninteresting story with aspirations to a seriousness it never for one moment fulfills."
Nonetheless, the musical Barnes deemed a "painfully ordinary little show" proved a hit. The production went on to earn 11 Tony nominations and played nearly 2,000 performances in its five-year run.
Radio City Christmas Spectacular: Buy One, Get One Free!
The Rockettes® dazzle in brilliant dance numbers and Radio City® shines with the joy of the season.
Follow Santa on his sleigh ride, see ice skaters swirl across the stage, and catch a snowflake or two
in this immersive theatrical experience like no other. And this year, delight in the magic of Santa’s enchanted toy factory! We’re bringing back a fan favorite to Santa’s workshop, with charming ragdolls that come to life.