Celebrate More Than 45 Years of Pippin on Broadway

Photo Features   Celebrate More Than 45 Years of Pippin on Broadway
 
The original Broadway production opened at the Imperial Theatre October 23, 1972.
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Ben Vereen and John Rubinstein Martha Swope/©NYPL for the Performing Arts

Pippin opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre October 23, 1972. The production, directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, played five previews and 1,994 performances before closing five years later on June 12, 1977. The production earned 11 Tony Award nominations, winning five, including Best Actor in a Musical for Ben Vereen’s performance as the Leading Player.

With music and lyrics by Schwartz and a book by Roger O. Hirson, Pippin tells the story of the young son of the medieval French ruler Charlemange who is encouraged by a flashy troupe of strolling players to try his hand at war, love, and other joys before settling down.

In addition to Vereen, Pippin starred John Rubinstein as Pippin, Eric Berry as Charles, Jill Clayburgh as Catherine, Leland Palmer as Fastrada, Irene Ryan as Berthe, Shane Nickerson as Theo, Christopher Chadman as Lewis, Gene Foote as Noble, Roger Hamilton as The Head/Field Marshall, Richard Korthaze as a Beggar, John Mineo as a Musician, Paul Solen as a Peasant, and Candy Brown, Kathryn Doby, Jennifer Nairn-Smith, Ann Reinking, and Pamela Sousa as Players. Rounding out the company were Walter Willson, Northren J. Calloway, Lucie Lancaster, and Will McMillan as standbys and Cheryl Clark and Roger A. Bigelow as swings.

The production featured scenic design by Tony Walton, costume design by Patricia Zipprodt, lighting design by Jules Fisher, and sound design by Abe Jacob.

Pippin returned to Broadway four decades later in a Diane Paulus-helmed revival. The musical, starring Patina Miller as the Leading Player, Matthew James Thomas as Pippin, and more, opened at the Music Box Theatre April 25, 2013, running through January 4, 2015. The revival was nominated for 10 Tony Award nominations, winning four, including Best Actress in a Musical for Miller’s performance and Best Revival of a Musical.

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