The show is playing at the Music Box Theatre located at 239 West 45th Street. It runs two hours and thirty five minutes with one intermission. This is an open ended run.
Pippin premiered at the Imperial Theater on October 13, 1972 and ran 1,944 performances. It closed on June 12, 1977. Bob Fosse was the director. Among the actors in the show were Jill Clayburgh, Ben Vereen and John Rubenstein. It was nominated for eleven Tony Awards and won five. Ben Vereen and Bob Fosse (director and choreography) won.
The show has been performed across the world. The latest before this Broadway production was at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was directed by Diane Paulus, choreographer Chet Walker, scenic design Scott Park and costume Dominique Limieux . It played from December 5, 2012 thru January 20, 2013.
This production was nominated for ten 2013 Tony Awards. Among the Tony Awards it won was for Best Revival. The show won the Outer Critics Circle Award in 2013 for outstanding new score and outstanding revival. Terrance Mann, Patina Miller, Diane Paulus and Chet Walker won Outer Critics Circle Award.
Diane Paulus is the director. She won a Tony for “Pippin” (2013) and was nominated for a Tony Award for “Hair” (2009).
Scott Pask is the scenic designer. He won a Tony Award for “Book of Mormons” (2011), “The Coast of Utopia” (2007) and “The Plowman” (2005). He was nominated for a Tony Award for “Pippin” (2013), “Pal Joey” (2009) and “Les Liaisons Dangerous” (2008).
Patina Miller won a Tony Award for “Pippin” (2013). She was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award (2010), Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Drama League Award and Outer Circle Award for “Sister Act” (2011).
Terrence Mann was nominated for a Tony Award for “Pippin” (2013), “Beauty and the Beast” (1994) and “Les Miserables” (1987).
Andrea Martin won a Tony Award for “Pippin” (2013), Tony Award, Theatre World Award and Drama Desk Award for “My Favorite Year” (1992). She was nominated for a Tony Award for “Oklahoma” (2002) and “Candida” (1997).
Charlotte d’ Amboise was nominated for a Tony Award for “A Chorus Line” (2007).
The show opens with a circus setting with a troupe of players on rings and poles. Others players are doing all sort of twists and turns. This sets the mood of the musical. The lead player (Patina Miller) sets the mood of the scene interacting with the main actors.
Pippin (Matthew James Thomas) has graduated from college and goes home. His father King Charles (Terrence Mann) is surprised to see him. King Charles does not want his son to go into battle. But Pippin needs to find himself. In the meantime his step mother Fastrada (Charlotte d’ Amboise) wants her son Lewis (Erick Altemus) to be King. She encourages Lewis to go into battle.
Poor Pippin just can’t find fulfillment. Catherine is his employer (Rachel Bay Jones), tries every to try to make him happy. Even his grandmother Berthe (Andrea Martin) can’t help him. In each act the scenes are how he tries to find himself, “Home”, “Glory”, “The Flesh”, “Revolution”, “Politics”, “Encouragement” and “Ordinary Life”.
Pippin is so lost or maybe he's just spoiled.
The players act out the scenes in a comical way. They twist and turn their bodies in ways I could never image. I won't tell you how, you have to see it.
There are six main characters; Patina Miller and Matthew James Thomas are the major ones. The others, Andrea Martin, Terrence Mann, Catherine d’ Amboise and Rachael Bay Jones are in a few scenes. But when they are on there is no stopping them. They are great. Rachael is only in the second act. The remainder eighteen players come and go. It’s amazing how well they work together. You don't have to be on the stage all the time. All it takes is one line or scene for the audience to remember you. Did I mention the cute dog in one scene. I guess that makes 19 players.
Andrea Martin does one song called “No Time at All” where she encourages the audience to sing along to the chorus, “Just the chorus”. The house lights come up and the words to the chorus appear on the tent top. She does another scene on a swing with a player (Yannick Thomas) that is astounding. You know why she won the Tony.
Patina Miller was great in “Sister Act”. But she outdoes herself in this role. She deserves her Tony Award. Her facial expressions, movements and singing are outstanding.
Matthew James Thomas does a remarkable job as Pippin.
I probably saw this show a century ago or so it seems. I don't remember it. But I am glad I did see this one. This is a wonderful, delightful, funny, impressive revival. I would not mind seeing it again.
If you missed it the first time or you did see it, go see this revival. You won't be disappointed. The audience wasn't when I saw it and neither was I.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
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