Running since March 2013 The magic-themed coming-of-age musical, featuring songs by "Wicked" composer Stephen Schwartz, is back on Broadway for a 40th anniversary revival. Winner of 4 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.
The Broadway production of Pippin closed January 4, 2015. For current Broadway show listings and tickets, please click here.
"Pippin" tells the story of a young prince on a death-defying journey to find meaning in his existence, and features a beloved score including the favorites "Magic to Do" and "Corner of the Sky."
Diane Paulus, director of the Tony winning revivals of "Hair" in 2009 and "Porgy and Bess" in 2012, first staged this circus-inspired production at Boston's American Repertory Theater. In his Boston Globe review, Jeffrey Gantz said "contortionists sashay about, aerialists cavort overhead, performers juggle swords" and audiences discover "how magical the theater can be."
The original production of "Pippin" opened in 1973 and ran for nearly 5 years. It was staged by Broadway legend Bob Fosse, who earned Tony Awards for Best Direction and Choreography. Fosse's unmistakable fingerprints are all over this revival - in fact, the choreography is credited to Fosse protégé Chet Walker, "in the style of Bob Fosse."
2013 Tony Awards: 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), Best Direction of a Musical.
2013 Drama Desk Awards: Outstanding Revival of a Musical or Revue, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Andrea Martin), Outstanding Director of a Musical, Outstanding Choreography.
2013 Outer Critics Circle Awards: Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Outstanding Director of a Musical, Outstanding Choreographer, Outstanding Lighting Design, Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Patina Miller), Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Terrence Mann), Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Andrea Martin).
A musical miracle...The brilliant new production boasts everything you could dream of in a musical - including Schwartz's terrifically tuneful songs. Paulus [has] raised the bar on her work to dizzying heights of imagination, integration and artistry. Walker recreates the sultry hip rolls, eloquent jazz hands and exuberant kicks. The cast of actors merges seamlessly with the seasoned strong men, acrobats and aerialists. "Pippin" punctuates the Broadway season with a big, bold exclamation point.
Thrilling...Director Paulus hasn't just slapped some fresh paint on this beloved tale of self-discovery, she's rebuilt it. [She] has transformed the players into a troupe of circus performers, and it's a stroke of genius. The cast members are amazing. No sooner have you realized that one actor is busy stealing the show than another steps up to blow you away. The Gypsy Snider-led acrobats will thrill you. The genius of Paulus, though, is to know when to stop. She knows when to pack up the circus tent.
This coming-of-age musical has been transformed by director Paulus into a giddy-making pleasure machine. Paulus's "Pippin" is G-rated, frisky rather than sexy, the slick sweat of lust replaced by dazzling but vague innocence. That makes it a visual treat, but eye candy takes you only so far. There's little here of what we need to feel in the gut from a musical. Only Martin's open-hearted turn resonates long enough to transport us, however briefly, way beyond the razzle- dazzle.
Paulus stuffs the production not only with onstage illusions but with eye-popping contributions by the Montreal-based 7 Fingers circus company. It's amazing how Walker's Fosse-inspired choreography blends seamlessly with the hand-walking, knife-throwing, backflipping, human-jump-roping antics of the enviably limber cast. The unlikely showstopper is Martin...she embodies this utterly delightful revival's big-top message: No matter our age, we need never outgrow the capacity for wonder.
New York Magazine
Distraction, even when it's enchanting and absolutely necessary, is not itself a viable dramaturgy. If Paulus has succeeded, against the odds, in shaping a satisfying modern Broadway spectacle from material that's fairly empty...it's because she must have realized that the other thing she needed was an actor who could definitively cut through the dreck. Enter Andrea Martin - a ham's ham but one with total discipline...both warm and demanding. Happily, that glow arrives early, and it colors the rest of the show.
New York Post
A thrilling piece of eye-popping razzle dazzle filled with daredevil acrobatics...Despite the constant whirlwind of activity, we never lose track of the human element, embodied by the vivid contrast between Pippin and the Leading Player. In this more-is-more atmosphere, you'd expect Paulus to pull all the stops for the finale, but instead she surprises us yet again. And it works: Turns out that life without flashy tricks, away from the spotlight, can be pretty great.
New York Times
Ms. Paulus's "Pippin" [pushes] the musical from seduction into sensory assault. This is a "Pippin" for the 21st century, when it takes more than style to hold the attention of a restless, sensation-hungry audience. Fosse's original dancing is evoked, largely stripped of its sensuality. And the connection between storytelling and style, between performer and self-expression, is only occasionally in evidence. "Pippin" is often fun, but it's almost never stirring.
Time Out New York
Sensational...musical-theater showmanship at its best, a thrilling evening of art and craftiness spiked with ambivalence about the nature of enthrallment...enacted by a sexy, sinister, improbably limber ensemble. Beneath the production's over-the-big-top trappings is a slight but resonant parable stuffed with delightful songs. For all its skepticism about entertainment, "Pippin" offers it par excellence. Number after number stops the show, but the show goes insistently, dazzlingly on.
The best musical of this season...a combination of epic theater, burlesque and soulful spectacle that recaptures the show's shiny allure and its poignance while making it seem entirely fresh. The flawless company is led by Miller and Thomas. The young stars work beautifully as both partners and foils. This "Pippin" also offers a new ending, with a twist that provides "thrills and chills." By that point, [the cast] have delivered all the magic they guarantee in the opening number, and then some.
The circus theme makes the work come to vivid, acrobatic life. The look of the piece is ambient, the physical stunts are eye-popping, and Walker has deftly choreographed in the style of the original's Fosse. "Pippin" is a wispy show full of idealistic views that always seemed aimed at the college crowd, but its charm resonates in this well-cast, beautifully turned-out production. And the closing sequence adds a hypnotic darkness that cements the status of Paulus as the queen of Broadway's daredevil revivals.