I realize that if I were to ask you what your favorite Broadway musical is, you're likely to tell me it's Wicked, The Lion King, Newsies or Annie, yeah?
There are some instant-classic current hits rocking out on the Great White Way these days.
But let's not forget about the great shows of the past.
In fact, let's bring them back!
Beginning March 23 (and officially opening April 25), you can catch Pippin, back on Broadway! (Yes, the musical. Not to be confused with my favorite little dancer ever.) Plus, it's being directed by Diane Paulus, who did the revivals for Hair and The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess. And those both won Tony Awards. Just saying.
The revival is currently playing at the American Repertory Theater near Boston, but it will move to the Music Box Theatre in NYC this spring.
Not familiar with the ol' tale? Here's what you're in for: Fosse.
Oh I'm sorry, did you want to know more? Why does it even matter? This is a Bob Fosse show, people. He directed and choreographed the original when it opened in 1972. And that man could do no wrong.
But if you really did want to know more, I'll tell you that Pippin is about the soul-searching son of the first Holy Roman Emperor and it's all pop-rocky and whimsical and fun. There are also circus-y elements.
I'm excited. Join me!
Patina Miller (center) as the Lead Player in "Pippin." Photo by Michael J. Lutch.
Once upon a time, about 35 years ago, a college guy fell in love with one of his classmates. She was not interested, which made him sad.
The guy, being kind of artsy-fartsy, was a member of an a cappella ensemble. One day, feeling inspired, he decided to arrange "Corner of the Sky"—a song from one of Broadway's biggest hits at the time, Pippin—for the group. It was (and is) a great song, openhearted and earnest, with lyrics about the challenges of finding one's place in the world.
The guy sang the song at his a cappella group's next performance. The girl heard him sing it, and suddenly she began to see the guy in a new light. She started falling for him.
A few years later, the guy and girl got married. And more than three decades after that a cappella performance, my parents are still going strong—and singing songs from Pippin.
OK, I'm sorry. That was a lot of non-dancey mushiness. But there wasn't any other way to explain to you why I'm so excited about the fact that a new production of Pippin just opened in previews on Broadway. Thanks to Mom and Dad, I grew up listening to Pippin’s Stephen Schwartz soundtrack over and over on family car trips. Then, once I started dancing, I got reaaaally into the show's choreography, by this dude Bob Fosse you've maybe heard of a couple of times. (You guys: Watch this, right now.) In college, I even toned down my bunhead-iness enough to perform in a production of it. It's one of those shows that's defined my life.
Not many people are familiar with Pippin these days, but my obsession with it isn't unmerited: As we told you a few weeks ago, it's a great musical. And the revival has a circus-y twist, with crazy acrobatics spicing up Chet Walker's re-imagining of Fosse's original choreography. I got a sneak peek at the new Pippin, directed by the amazing Diane Paulus, a few weeks ago, and it looked absolutely fantastic. (You CANNOT MISS Patina Miller as the Lead Player, a role originated by Ben Vereen.)
Anyway, all I'm really trying to say is: Go. See. This. Show. It's in previews now at the Music Box Theatre, and officially opens on April 25th.
I'll see you there—and so will my mom and dad.