FAMILY SHOW RECOMMENDATION: PIPPIN Review by Robin Gorman Newman
Royal heir Pippin is spurred on by a mysterious group of performers to embark on a death-defying journey to find his “corner of the sky.” The original production of PIPPIN, directed by Bob Fosse, premiered on Broadway in 1972. It won five Tony Awards and five Drama Desk Awards, and ran for close to 2000 performances before closing in 1977.
Roger O. Hirson and Stephen Schwartz’s Tony Award winning musical comedy PIPPIN is directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus and features choreography by Tony Award nominee Chet Walker in the style of Bob Fosse and circus creation by Gypsy Snider of the Montreal-based circus company Les 7 doigts de la main (also known as 7 Fingers). The production is now playing at the Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th Street).
PIPPIN is noted for many Broadway standards including “Corner of the Sky,” “Magic To Do,” “Glory,” “No Time at All,” “Morning Glow,” and “Love Song.”
This is an absolute MUST SEE show. It is a class act on every level.
It is fanciful, funny, thought-provoking, flirtatious, affecting, and the staging is pure eye candy. Between the set, costumes, acrobatics, singing, dancing, clucking (the adorable strutting chicken dancers), we are taken on a magical musical ride we won’t soon forget.
The stellar cast features Matthew James Thomas as Pippin, Tony Award winner Patina Miller as Leading Player, Tony Award nominee Terrence Mann as Charles, Tony Award nominee Charlotte d’Amboise as Fastrada, Rachel Bay Jones as Catherine and four-time Tony Award nominee Tovah Feldshuh as Berthe. Other members of the company include Erik Altemus, Grégory Arsenal, Lolita Costet, Colin Cunliffe, Andrew Fitch, Viktoria Grimmy, Sabrina Harper, Preston Jamieson, Olga Karmansky, Luke Kolbe Mannikus, Gabrielle McClinton, Bethany Moore, Brad Musgrove, Philip Rosenberg, Yannick Thomas, Molly Tynes, Anthony Wayne, Ashton Woerz.
I can recall seeing the original production as a kid, and it was an absolute thrill to take my 10 year old son to this stunning new production that he thoroughly enjoyed. After the show, we had the opportunity to participate in a talk back with Rachel Bay Jones, Charlotte D’Amboise and Tovah Feldshuh….a real treat. Charlotte has two children, and Rachel has one, and they shared about the challenges of balancing, and the importance of practicing good self care and living life to the fullest, including eating well and doing something physical every day…both to keep up with their kids and maintain the high energy level needed for the rigorous performance schedule.
PIPPIN is the recipient of the 2013 Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Patina Miller), Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (Andrea Martin) and Best Direction of a Musical (Diane Paulus). The production also led the winners of the Outer Critics Circle Awards with 7 wins including Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Outstanding Director of a Musical (Diane Paulus), Outstanding Choreographer (Chet Walker), Outstanding Lighting Design (Kenneth Posner), Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Patina Miller), Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Terrence Mann), Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Andrea Martin). PIPPIN received the Drama League Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical and two Fred and Adele Astaire Awards including Outstanding Choreographer of a Broadway Show (Chet Walker) and Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show (Charlotte d’Amboise).
With a book by Roger O. Hirson and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, PIPPIN features music supervision and arrangements by Nadia DiGiallonardo, orchestrations by Tony Award winner Larry Hochman, scenic design by Tony Award winner Scott Pask, costume design by Tony Award nominee Dominique Lemieux, lighting design by Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner, sound design by Tony Award nominees Jonathan Deans and Garth Helm.
PIPPIN will launch a US national tour in September 2014, at the Buell Theatre in Denver, CO. The New Broadway Cast Recording for PIPPIN is now available on Ghostlight Records.
Tickets for PIPPIN are available through www.telecharge.com/pippin, by calling 212-239-6200, and in person at the Music Box Theatre box office (239 West 45th Street). Tickets range in price from $157.50 to $59 (all prices include a $2.00 facility fee). Premium seating is available.
For more information, visit www.PippinTheMusical.com.