Posted by PlayItAgain 2012-12-05 23:36:19
Anyone go to the first preview of A.R.T's Pippin revival?
Posted by somethingwicked 2012-12-06 00:30:05
Patina Miller looks pretty great in her costume.
Posted by LuminousBeing 2012-12-06 00:31:27
I'm going on January 2nd. Bostix!
Posted by PlayItAgain 2012-12-06 01:22:23
i want this to transfer to broadway SO BAD
Posted by Scarywarhol 2012-12-06 01:26:42
She looks awesome! This is one show that could actually use some modernization/tinkering, so I'm fine with Paulus directing. Also think it's great to have a woman as the Player.
Posted by RippedMan 2012-12-06 03:38:30
Just from that picture, it looks like a circus.
Posted by g.d.e.l.g.i. 2012-12-06 09:55:38
Put back Fosse's choreography. Now. Or I'm leaving.
Posted by somethingwicked 2012-12-06 10:15:32
...you know they are using Fosse's choreography, right?
Posted by amoni 2012-12-06 10:29:37
No they are using the Fosse style. They should do this in the park this summer, with tha castle lit up in the background.
Posted by somethingwicked 2012-12-06 10:36:04
No, they are using the Fosse choreography.
From the press release:
"The American Repertory Theater's new production of the 1970's musical Pippin, which will debut later this season, will utilize the original Bob Fosse choreography recreated by Fosse protégé Chet Walker."
Posted by ACL2006 2012-12-06 11:00:25
would LOVE for this to transfer to Broadway.
Posted by timote316 2012-12-06 11:11:04
I'm seeing this tonight... very excited. Never seen PIPPIN before though, so I won't be able to go into too deep an analysis of differences, though...
Posted by Auggie27 2012-12-06 11:13:17
Now it sounds promising. (I.e. without the Fosse choreography we'd have ... the book to make up for it?)
Posted by JoeKv99 2012-12-06 11:14:16
That's not good enough Something Wicked: we want Fosse's corpse exhumed and reanimated and we want him to personally recreate his choreography. Or else.
Posted by g.d.e.l.g.i. 2012-12-06 11:15:22
^ Or at least Ann Reinking and Nicole Fosse (who I hear has been working on a reading of her own production of the show).
Posted by CurtainPullDowner 2012-12-06 11:37:09
The LEADING PLAYER is a Man.
That's how I feel, Patina is beautiful but she doesn't look frightning or scarey at all. And the show does not need any more sexual tension, it had plenty.
Posted by KirbyCat 2012-12-06 12:02:08
RippedMan, it IS indeed a circus production. That's how they're going to be framing the show. In fact, a team member Les 7 doigts de la main (the creators of Traces and Sequence has created the acrobatics!
Posted by raker 2012-12-06 16:26:23
I was excited to see this, and then the TV-movie version of the show from 1981 was on TV a few weeks ago and I saw it. I wish I hadn't. That was quite enough Pippin for me.
Posted by Johnnycantdecide 2012-12-06 16:45:59
"Patina is beautiful but she doesn't look frightening or scarey at all."
I think it's safe to assue that we cannot assume anything about her performance from seeing one picture...
Posted by CurtainPullDowner 2012-12-06 16:58:46
Yes, that's why I said "LOOK".
A Costume can be revealing too.
Posted by SonofRobbieJ 2012-12-06 17:14:20
I know of at least two productions that have utilized female Leading Players (Paula Kelly in one, Chandra Wilson in another).
It's not like it's the newest idea under the sun.
Posted by evic 2012-12-06 17:21:42
The Leading Player needs to ooze charm from every pore. He is only frightening in the last scene where he and the Players try to persuade Pippin into committing suicide. The great Paula Kelly portrayed the LP in an unsuccessful tour of the show in the 70's.
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-06 18:54:41
AwI love the televised Pippin though itis dated (and the full version that's leaked should be released)--but this should be pretty different. Obviously they can't use all of the Fosse choreography in a new concept--but maybe they'll do a lot like th eMenier Factory's video game version latyear.
Posted by CukorLover 2012-12-06 18:59:48
Chet Walker? Ugh !
Forever the protégé , but never a star !
Posted by WiCkEDrOcKS 2012-12-06 19:13:40
I've seen The Leading Player as a woman in multiple productions and it works extremely well if cast right. I think Miller will be great. She's the perfect mix of menacing and sexy.
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-06 19:31:24
Cukor, curious, what's your issue with Chet? I'm fine with him recreating Fosse stuff--just the way I am with Baayork Lee doing the same. I kinda wish Wayne Cilento would have stuck to that and never started thinking he could do his own work... (actually, I don't think much of Anne Reinking's choreography--when she doesn't use the Fosse vocabulary, either). Still, doesn't sound like something he should be criticized for.
Posted by CukorLover 2012-12-06 19:34:20
Eric, in a word, HEATWAVE.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2012-12-06 20:42:57
I'm seeing this on Dec. 16th and looking forward to it. Here's more info on it from an article in the Globe:
I was going to re-watch the 1981 version before next weekend, but I'm thinking I'd be better off if I don't. Sounds like it will be quite different anyway.
Posted by ACL2006 2012-12-06 23:34:29
maybe this can book the Neil Simon or Barrymore?? Or if they want a smaller theater, the Golden??
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-06 23:36:41
Cukor, fair enough I heard that show was a mess staging wise, but was the actual Jack Cole choreography recreation was decent... Wasn't it?
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-12-06 23:58:15
I don't think Diane Paulus passes gas anymore without the intention of it transferring.
Posted by CurtainPullDowner 2012-12-06 23:59:26
I believe Chet's failure with HEATWAVE was re-creating the Excitement of Cole's work. They did the steps but the show had no shape or drive.
I still stand by my opinion that TLP should be a man.
The music is written for a particular male voice (as was the choreography for a male body).
Frastrada is the sexy female role, another sexy female (plus a sexy ensemble of dancers can be overkill).
HE should be apart from the preceedings (till the very end). Any sexual chemistry between TLP and Pip should be subtle not overt (as Patina's costume promises).
Can a woman play it?
That don't make it right.
What are the pluses of a female in this role?
Pip already has a wiser older (much older) guide in his Granny.
I like Patina a lot, but what can she bring to this role as a Woman?
Posted by RippedMan 2012-12-07 00:02:48
I found Patina to be so wooden in Sister Act. Everything seemed too calculated and planned. Hopefully she's a little bit looser in this show.
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-07 00:21:43
Curtain--that makes sense about the failure to convey the feeling under the steps.
I don't really see the gender issue, though--and I'm not sure Fosse would've either. The Leading Player has to be sexually charismatic, but as Fosse's production shows, the sexual orientation is not the point--Pippin isn't turned on by the LP sexually, though he is turned on by what he promises. I think that could work with either gender, as long as they don't play up Pippin wanting to sleep with the LP now that, umm, he's a she.
Posted by CurtainPullDowner 2012-12-07 00:36:44
PIPPIN is a straight character (even with a slight experiment in SWEET SUMMER) If you have a sexy Female LP, how do you avoid the tension?
Posted by CurtainPullDowner 2012-12-07 00:36:56
Posted by CurtainPullDowner 2012-12-07 00:37:14
Posted by CATSNYrevival 2012-12-07 00:46:55
^Pippin experiments? Do I need to watch the DVD again? I don't remember that.
Posted by somethingwicked 2012-12-07 00:48:38
PIPPIN is a straight character (even with a slight experiment in SWEET SUMMER) If you have a sexy Female LP, how do you avoid the tension?
Believe it or not, heterosexual men and women are able to have relationships that are non-sexual.
Posted by CurtainPullDowner 2012-12-07 00:58:00
Not in a FOSSE Musical.
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-07 04:42:34
And I've never really considered the LP as HUMAN. I've always viewed him/her as the embodiment of temptation, there fore the sex of the actor makes no difference as the character REPRESENTS sexualilty, amongst many things.
(and yes, the intent of Sweet Summer suggests there is experimentation)
Posted by jon2 2012-12-07 08:40:18
Oh man, the options for the Weisslers' stunt casting Berthe boggle the mind. They should really run with it and bring people in for a week or a month at a time.
Posted by Mattbrain 2012-12-07 09:36:11
So...has anyone actually seen it?
Posted by amoni 2012-12-07 11:36:30
'From the press release:
"The American Repertory Theater's new production of the 1970's musical Pippin, which will debut later this season, will utilize the original Bob Fosse choreography recreated by Fosse protege Chet Walker."
Maybe they're confused because the actual website states...
Choreography: Chet Walker in the style of Bob Fosse
Posted by timote316 2012-12-07 12:09:40
So...has anyone actually seen it?
I have. I can't compare it to anything, as it was my first exposure to PIPPIN, but I thought it was an absolutely wonderful production. There were a few little things here and there that will get better as performances continue, but I had an absolute blast. Great cast, great show, great production.
Posted by GlindatheGood22 2012-12-07 12:26:34
What are the chances of a Tony for Diane Paulus if it transfers? I know lots of people can't stand her but I thought she was fully deserving for her production of Hair.
Posted by timote316 2012-12-07 12:34:06
What are the chances of a Tony for Diane Paulus if it transfers?
If that's a question for me, I really can't say. I haven't seen anything from this season in NYC, and I don't know PIPPIN enough to see what was new and what was a re-creation of the original production. For what it's worth, the real inventiveness of this production comes from the circus tricks and concept, which did seem seamlessly integrated to the show itself.
And as I've been saying for months, it's not "if" it transfers, it's when. Even before seeing it, it seemed painfully obvious this was a pre-Broadway show, just like her Paulus's PORGY & BESS (also from A.R.T.)
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-07 12:38:10
What are her chances? The same they will be for all the other nominees. I don't mean to sound snarky, but what other answer can there be right now? An actual transfer, and more specifically, an actual transfer THIS season, isn't even guaranteed.
I like Paulus' work, I loved Hair, I even loved Porgy and Bess (I know, shoot me) and expect that I will be one of those that are likely to really like Pippin as well. I already adore the source material.
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-07 13:19:25
Pippin is an everyman. He's tempted by guys as well as girls in Fosse's production--in a way that was pretty groundbreaking at the time (for a commerical Broadway stage). I have no idea why he would be seen as purely straight.
Posted by CurtainPullDowner 2012-12-07 13:32:41
He is tempted by men and women, and the brief interaction with men, to me is like when one get a little freaky, drunk in college,, but the character is absolutely straight in his major reationship wth Cathryn. (not that anyone is 100% anything).
Posted by BroadwayBrat 2012-12-09 22:13:11
I saw the show Friday night and really enjoyed it. It was my first real exposure to the show, so I can not comment on previous productions or recordings. I will say Patina was amazing. She was funny, sexy, and slick.
Actually, I found the entire cast completely entertaining. Andrea Martin's headset went out and she had to quickly switch to a handheld. It threw off the cast for a moment and had the audience roaring. She said " This is what happens when you come to the A.R.T."
The mix of Fosse and acrobats worked for me. I think this production deserves a transfer to allow more people the chance to see it.
Posted by djb 2012-12-10 16:30:33
Okay, so I saw "Pippin" last night and have about a thousand thoughts on it, but let me begin by saying that this production is not only spectacular but deserving of a transfer and far better than anything that I have seen so far this season.
This production is far and above my favorite of the three "Paulus revivals" in the last few years. It is truly a collaborative effort between her, Chet Walker, and Gypsy Snider, but Paulus's focused hand is very apparent. There was a lot of discussion on here about whether or not the choreo is Fosse's original. There were many moments in this production that are exactly the original (parts of "Glory" being a very specific example, not just including the "Manson Trio" which now features Patina and two of the male players.) Many numbers, though, are now circus numbers which feature some Fosse-esque choreography by Chet Walker but mixed with circus/acrobat work done by Gypsy Snider and illusions by Paul Kieve.
I would have to see this production at least six times to have seen EVERYTHING that was going onstage during the large group numbers. There was so much circus work and stage magic being done constantly that it was impossible to see it all.
The sets and costumes are gorgeous, and the entire company was incredibly together and supportive.
Patina Miller is a star. I must admit I've always been sort of iffy about a female LP, but she is just too amazing to deny. From the first moment she steps onstage in "Magic to Do," she owns this production. She IS the Leading Player. This is an accolade-deserving performance that is powerful, sexy, and scary. All of her numbers were fantastic, but I loved her "Simple Joys" because it featured circus work with the rest of the players and there was something interesting about that concept.
I thought Matthew James Thomas was a fantastic Pippin. He is absolutely right for the character visually, and his acting was fantastic, and vocally he was wonderful. My issues with him are more technical than anything else. He does this peculiar thing when he's belting high at the ends of songs where he does a hunched squat and closes his eyes and grimaces, then stands up on cut-off and makes a face. It's weird. Maybe he picked it up at "Spider-Man," I don't know. Also, I understand that Pippin isn't a "dance role," but Mr. Thomas is not a dancer at all. "On the Right Track" begins as it should, with Pippin unsure of the steps and learning them from the LP. But the fact that he's not a dancer made me feel at the end when he's "full-out dancing" like I was watching my child in a recital. He looked uncomfortable and I felt uncomfortable and I just wanted him to commit to it more and stop staring at his feet.
Terrence Mann and Charlotte d'Amboise were great. Mann is in amazing voice as always, and he was a perfect Charlemagne. d'Amboise is sexy as always, dances and sings her face off. With true professionals like these, I never really doubted that they would be great as Charlemagne and Fastrada so it was more "I'm not surprised they're fantastic" than anything else.
I find the second act of "Pippin" to be at times rushed and weird, but Rachel Bay Jones offers up a beautifully sung and particularly intimate performance of Catherine. She has to hurry the plot along at times, but that's the nature of the book and I found her very human while doing it.
Andrea Martin, is of course, superb. She spits out the jokes to make sure we get them all, which we do and which we love. Also, her "Not Time at All" goes from being fun and funny to absolutely awing. I won't ruin it but Ms. Martin is required to do something that I can assure you that she never thought she'd be doing at this point (or any point) of her career, and I just love her and blah blah blah she's perfect as always.
I was particularly struck by Erik Altemus as Lewis. I foresee him having a very strong future. I know he's been off-Bway and seen regionally, but he has got that "something" and I thought his Lewis was, next to Patina, maybe the richest characterization on the stage. Weirdly, though, the incest between Lewis and Fastrada was basically cut. There were only two weird moments between them that would have passed a non-repeat viewer of "Pippin" by. They had a peck kiss at one point and he was laid on top of her for a split second in a dance sequence, but it sort of confused me that it was not "more." It just felt like Fastrada only wanted her son to be king, but she did not want him in any other ways.
The players (chorus) are amazing. The circus work is awing and the stage magic is both fun and fabulous. I had an amazing time and after a very ho-hum theatre season here in NYC, I felt privileged to be able to watch a show and LOVE it. "Pippin" has always been a really strange show, but I think this production serves up the right combination of everything to make the story and themes cut through.
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-10 17:07:00
Can anyone help me with seating? I want to grab a ticket to see this and could possibly grab a front row center ticket.
Is this too close? Is the stage high? It seemed to be either up close or pretty far back -- but any thoughts on whether the seats further back are good or bad would also be greatly appreciated.
Posted by timote316 2012-12-10 18:36:24
I'd sit further back, dramamama. The stage is low, but quite often there are a ton of things going on. I sat in row G, personally, and thought it was a more than fine seat. It's not a massive theater by any means.
Posted by timote316 2012-12-10 18:39:58
And djb, I don't agree on Thomas's dancing skills. I thought the dance in "On the Right Track" was great, both Thomas and Miller nailing it. An off performance or maybe some sort of minor injury, perhaps? Could also be a case of different stroke... who knows. I do agree on that squatting thing he does, though. It was very Spidey-like.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2012-12-10 19:14:36
timote and djb, can either of you comment on the musical arrangements? I think the musical director is the same one who did last year's Godspell revival. Just wondering how updated it sounded. I'm seeing this on Sunday and so looking forward to it. Thanks for your reviews.
Posted by BroadwayBrat 2012-12-10 19:31:37
I sat front row center and had no issues.
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-10 19:39:36
Thanks for the reviews! So... where is the intermission? After Morning Glow? And anyone familiar with the various versions, is the script closer to the Fosse one (the talking head, etc), or the some would say softer version they usually license now? a mix?
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-10 20:01:43
Re the choreography, on ART's website it does say Choreography Chet Walker in the style of Fosse and then at the bottom:
"Original choreography for Manson Trio by Bob Fosse
Spread a Little Sunshine dance arrangement by Zane Mark"
Which is similar to Reinking's credit for Chicago where there's a special note that the Hot Honey Rag is Fosse's original choreography.
Posted by timote316 2012-12-10 20:42:29
HoldThatThought, there were a few points in the show where I actually thought 'this sounds like the GODSPELL revival'. I didn't look up the connection beyond Schwartz, but that totally makes sense. And for what it's worth, I enjoyed the arrangements quite a bit in GODSPELL and now PIPPIN.
And Eric, the intermission is indeed after "Morning Glow". As I noted, it was my first exposure to PIPPIN, but if I didn't know otherwise, I'd assume it was written with an intermission there.
Posted by darquegk 2012-12-10 21:25:59
As of only a couple of years ago, the "soft edit" is no longer licensed. The Fosse version (for the most part), is the default version now, albeit with intermission and some of the non-Fosse elements. But the talking head is back in the show permanently, among other things.
The only thing, off the top of my head, that is NOT in the licensed version, is Fastrada's tragicomic monologue about being raped, but I'm not even sure if that made it to Broadway- it's certainly not in the video release.
Posted by Phyllis Rogers Stone 2012-12-10 21:28:21
That was in the original production. It was in that production that was recorded as well, but it was one of the cuts made for the video.
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-10 21:55:58
Yeah, it is in the "Fosse edit" as people call the full video. I can kinda see why they'd take it out...
Posted by AEA AGMA SM 2012-12-10 22:19:59
I've always preferred intermission after "Morning Glow." When I did the show in undergrad some 11 years ago now we did the final note, black out, house up, then a brief reprise of the final chorus of "Morning Glow" to start Act 2 and on with the Pippin as king scene.
I saw another edit of the show (which may be that "soft" edit) that didn't place intermission until after Pippin "takes back" the murder of Charles and then did a brief reprise of "Corner of the Sky" to end the act. I didn't care for that as it just made the two acts feel that much more unbalanced. Act 1 dragged and then Act 2 felt rushed.
Posted by darquegk 2012-12-11 00:00:02
The "soft edit," as far as I remember, was a mimeographed script in the old-fashioned pre-MTI standardization style, which was still sent out until about six or eight years back. It had no intermission, and very little of the Fosse material.
Posted by darquegk 2012-12-11 11:50:26
What would be curious is to see a breakdown of what does and does not appear in each version of Pippin: the rape monologue is in the original Broadway production and the "Fosse Cut," but not in the soft script, the license script or the current revival (nor did it appear in Papermill).
However, there are things from the soft edit that also disappear from the Fosse versions and their deriviatives, i.e. every other variation. For instance, the return of the Headless Man's Body seems to appear only in the soft edit, if I remember... and the AIDS Day benefit, when it was re-added to give Rod The Gay Republican a second appearance in the show.
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-11 16:04:56
"That's how I feel, Patina is beautiful but she doesn't look frightning or scarey at all. And the show does not need any more sexual tension, it had plenty."
First of all, yes, Patina is gorgeous!
But when did Ben Vereen ever - in Pippin or out of it - look frightening or scary?
Read more: http://broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.php?thread=1054137&dt=65#ixzz2EmOjD7pT
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-11 20:50:04
Darque, I'd love to see a list, too. For ages I heard the, as we're calling it, "soft edit" was the one Schwartz prefered, but either that was never true, or he has come to terms with the Fosse version (which does seem to be true--he speaks pretty highly of it now). You're right, the decapitated head's body doesn't return in the Fosse version (which works better for me...)
Posted by HoldThatThought 2012-12-12 15:42:53
""That's how I feel, Patina is beautiful but she doesn't look frightning or scarey at all. And the show does not need any more sexual tension, it had plenty."
First of all, yes, Patina is gorgeous!
But when did Ben Vereen ever - in Pippin or out of it - look frightening or scary? "
I just watched the video version and Ben Vereen does not look scary or frightening in that at all. I'd be curious as to why the original poster of that comment thought the LP should look that way.
And last time I viewed this video a few years back, I didn't care for it too much. But now I really got it. What a show! I'll be curious to see how Paulus handled the finale, if she changed anything to put across her spin on it, or kept it the same.
Posted by g.d.e.l.g.i. 2012-12-12 16:30:24
For those unable to follow part of the discussion, there are basically three versions of the script, to my knowledge:
1) "Soft edit" (mimeographed script Greg describes)
2) "Fosse cut" (what appeared on Broadway and in the "Fosse edit" of the video that has circulated in trader communities)
3) MTI version (the currently licensed version with the new "Theo ending," the return of some Fosse interjections, and a better overall balance between the soft and Fosse)
My ideal script combines the Fosse cut and the MTI version, because I LIKE NICE THINGS.
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-12 17:37:57
Nice things are good :P
What is the Theo ending? Is that something to do with the Player sorta moving on to try to entice him, instead of Pippin or something?
Posted by darquegk 2012-12-12 18:04:36
Yes. The soft edit ended with Pippin revealing his "Trapped/Trapped- but happy/Trapped. Happy. Not bad for the end of a musical comedy/Hot-cha-cha-cha!" variation on an ending line, blackout.
The MTI edit (which I believe reflects Fosse's plan) ended with him and Catherine leaving Theo alone onstage, as the Players circle in on him, humming the "Magic to Do" hook. This ending was used at the Papermill, where the "woo" hook is sung to the words "Join us" throughout the show, essentially paying off at the end when it is sung not to the audience but to Theo.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2012-12-12 19:11:52
The MTI edit sounds more interesting and natural as the end of the show. Any idea why they used the soft edit for the 1981 video version? Fosse was still alive at that point, his choice for the ending just makes more sense considering Catherine kept breaking from the script and the whole love thing was an unexpected turn for the LP. Was Pippin more of a collaboration between Schwartz, Fosse, and the book writer?
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-12 19:19:40
The "soft edit" ending is the original ending. I think--to be more clear the ending of the video (in the sadly edited commercial version AND the complete "Fosse edit") is the version that played on Broadway in previews and during its run. The MTI ending was added later--I don't think Fosse had anything to do with it.
I like the creepiness of the MTI ending as described too, but I'm not sure it would jive with Fosse's vision since by the ending the house lights come up, etc, and essentially with Pippin's final thought the Players are powerless and shown to be a construct of theatre and not real. At least that's how I see it (kinda--I admit as brilliant as I find Fosse's take--and it does seem to be a show about whether to commit suicide on some level--the themes are kinda muddled.)
Schwartz and the book writer (Hirson?) did Pippin (called Pippin, Pippin) as a very different college show when it was picked up by a producer, and handed to Fosse. Fosse greatly changed it (I believe writing much of the new material himself) and famously locked Schwartz out of rehearsals much of the time.
Posted by darquegk 2012-12-12 20:14:40
As far as I can tell, the players are not a construct of the theatre- the theatre is a construct of the players. Pippin is their wayward creation, not vice versa.
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-12 20:39:48
That makes more sense. I still think as Fosse saw it (not saying I agree or not), with Pippin's final decision that his rather mundane life wasn't a bad way to be, the LP no longer has any power.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2012-12-12 21:11:18
Eric, darque - thanks for the info and insights! On one hand you have the theme of depression. On the other hand, the theme of abandonment? You could also throw in deception, horrors of war, and a probably a few others. Rather dark indeed.
So Paulus' theme is "how far are you willing to go to be extraordinary?" I think that is what I find fascinating with this show - how will she incorporate her theme w/o interrupting what was already there?
Posted by PlayItAgain 2012-12-13 02:47:10
anyone whose been, is a.r.t selling merch ?
Posted by GatorNY 2012-12-14 09:23:01
For whatever it's worth, this "blurb" as in this morning's AMNY:
Boston 'Pippin' revival heading directly to B'way
Although it just started previews at the American Repertory Theatre in Boston, it looks like Diane Paulus' ("Hair") revival of the 1970s musical "Pippin" will transfer straight to Broadway. The buzz is that this is a spectacular show that incorporates the original Fosse choreography. And based on the early production pics, Patina Miller ("Sister Act") looks incredibly sexy as the Leading Player.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2012-12-14 09:40:30
Thanks for the update. What do they mean when they say it will transfer straight to Broadway, does it mean soon? this spring?
Posted by ACL2006 2012-12-14 10:58:08
I would assume this spring. It plays at A.R.T. until January 20. It could secure a Broadway house and start previews early March.
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-14 14:35:30
I admit, as much as I think Pippin doesn't work without Fosse--I really like the look of this production.
Posted by CATSNYrevival 2012-12-14 16:07:22
Based on the pictures alone, I hope it transfers. It looks fantastic.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2012-12-14 20:46:13
The pictures do look great. I look forward to seeing Andrea Martin as Berthe.
I was thinking about the original production and wondered what Irene Ryan looked like as Berthe. As I was searching the web, I found a recording on youtube of her singing "No TIme At All" - not in the show as I had hoped, but it was a recording for a single released by Motown in 1972. I don't ever recall hearing that on the radio. Did I just miss it, or was it never played on radio? It's a bit more pop sounding, but fun to listen to. Wish they would've put that on the re-mastered CD instead of those hideous covers by Jackson 5 and Supremes. Here's the link, if anyone wants to check it out:
Posted by missthemountains 2012-12-15 16:32:20
Funny story, I actually knew a guy who directed a regional production before Papermill's who knew Schwartz personally and asked Schwartz if he could edit the material and Schwartz said "well we have been thinking about this new ending..." and so he claims he technically did it 'before' Papermill.
My ideal ending would be if the LP (or is it Catherine?) asks "Well Pippin, how do you feel now?" And then the lights fade abruptly. The fact is Pippin feels both trapped AND happy to be with Catherine and not cave into the world of showbusiness. Therefore I don't think it's appropriate for him to say otherwise. That's just me though.
Posted by broadwaydevil 2012-12-15 16:48:19
A transfer would be welcome in a season that's relatively light on revivals and there are so many empty theatres. The photos and everything I've heard look marvelous. I'm really hoping for a transfer since there is no way I'm getting to Cambridge.
Posted by g.d.e.l.g.i. 2012-12-15 17:26:08
My ideal ending would be if the LP (or is it Catherine?) asks "Well Pippin, how do you feel now?" And then the lights fade abruptly. The fact is Pippin feels both trapped AND happy to be with Catherine and not cave into the world of show-business. Therefore I don't think it's appropriate for him to say otherwise. That's just me though.
Read this article. Needless to say, there's a reason Fosse's way was the right way.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2012-12-15 19:27:56
That was an interesting read! I was just getting a sense of some of the things mentioned about the show when I was watching the video this past week, and the article really does a good job pointing out details. Understanding what Fosse did, brings a whole other level to it. Too bad the video left these things out, it would've made more sense.
Well here's to hoping that Paulus' revival puts those things back, and doesn't opt for the watered down version. Schwartz may like his version better, but I hope her vision is greater than that. Guess I'll find out tomorrow when I see it.
Posted by g.d.e.l.g.i. 2012-12-16 03:50:25
Your account doesn't accept private messages? Fix that. I've got a little something for you in light of your above post.
Posted by RippedMan 2012-12-16 04:44:58
Share with the class!
Posted by g.d.e.l.g.i. 2012-12-16 13:27:19
Fine. Check your PMs.
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-16 14:18:37
Now I feel left out...
Posted by CATSNYrevival 2012-12-16 14:38:39
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-16 15:06:18
As do I.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2012-12-16 21:04:27
g.d., I turned pm on.
Okay, so here are some thoughts on seeing Pippin today. What a truly incredible show! This is definitely a must see. It seems they've kept all the things that made it dark, and I felt that the whole thing tied wonderfully together with the circus performers. There were some nice little surprises throughout the show with both the magic and the acrobats.
The costumes were decent, make-up/hair, etc. was also well done. The circus performers wore the most makeup with some of the them having a little bit of a freakish clown effect to it. I really enjoyed some of the stunts they did.
All the actors did a great job in their roles. The standouts were Patina Miller, Andrea Martin, Terry Mann, Erik Altemus, and MJT. My wife and I were in the second row, so it was great to see them all up close. But I could see how sitting further back would make it easier to catch everything that is going on. Apparently Stephen Schwartz was in the theatre today too, but did not see him.
Magic to Do was awesome. When they lift the curtain part-way through the song, you get this rush from all the things taking place on stage. The energy is incredible. With all the dancing and the acrobatics, it is just fun to watch.
The talking head was funny. They must have hid that trap door well, because as close as we were to the stage, you could not tell that there was one there. All illusions were well done.
The orgy scene is good too. Different than the video for sure. A combination of acrobatics and dancing - along with the use of an animal cage. Maybe not quite as sensual, but I think that depends on the individual watching it. Costumes had to cover more than usual, probably because of the various acrobatics.
The music arrangements I thought were really well done and the orchestra sounded great. Everything sounded fresh and updated. Really liked how they closed out ACT I with Morning Glow in dramatic fashion. There are some nice musical arrangement surprises in this show as well. I look forward to the cast recording when it transfers.
Andrea Martin just killed it onstage. The audience went crazy at the end of her song. She starts off wearing a modest outfit. Then at one point of her song, she throws it off to reveal a corset and matching whatever. As she's singing, she gets on the trapeze bar with one of the circus performers so that she is eventually suspended high in the air with him on the bar. Towards the end of the song, she is hanging upside down. It was entertaining to see and she looked great in that outfit! She just really got everyone going.
The Finale is spectacular as it should be. The ending used is the one where when Pippin and Catherine leave, Theo turns around to go back to the center of the stage and sings a bit of Corner of the Sky by himself. Then the players come back and sing Magic To Do. Even though the question How do you feel? is not asked, you really get the sense that Pippin is happy with them. Very well done.
** ALERT OFF **
So my only complaint is that it seems the whole scene in Act 2 with Pippin, Catherine, and Theo still needs something or some work. While it wasn't bad, it just drags a little with some of the pacing. I think since the other scenes are so dynamic, it doesn't come off as well.
Kudos to Diane Paulus and company. Looks like another hit on her hands. I hope to see it again before it leaves Cambridge.
Posted by sparepart973 2012-12-17 00:11:52
I just saw this tonight. It's so-so, really.
To be quite honest besides a few songs, I really wasn't a big fan of Pippin nor did I grow up with it, as many theatre geeks (the director included), did.
I tried to bring myself to watch the DVD, but really did not see it through. Some observations:
1-The story is really not that interesting to begin with. I tries to be deep, but in reality it's just a metaphor of a white middle class boy trying to find himself. The themes are really not that universal. The themes of war are a little tried and tested, don't you think?
2-Stephen Schwartz wrote to or three decent tunes for this show. I found the rest uninspired.
3-Acrobatic tricks good but I really don't care for them.
4-The Fosse dances were beautifully done. Patina moves really well, and Charlotte danced up a storm.
5-It got too long, and I got bored.
6-Andrea Martin is really impressive doing the things she did at this age.
7-Why Matthew James Thomas? I'm all about cross-union casting, and I think that the US needs to loosen up with this knowing how strict Equity is, but he's really not all that outstanding to land Spiderman standby and now the lead in this show.
I think if you like Pippin, you'd probably like this. I don't really have much of an emotional connection with the show to begin with, not did this production really blow my socks off.
Posted by bdboston 2012-12-17 00:44:35
I saw this tonight as well, and I agree with many of the preceding comments - especially with the "it went on for too long" sentiment. Act 1 was actually quite, quite good, yet I emailed a friend at intermission and wrote "I really like it; I just don't know why." It certianly wasn't an enthralling (or even very interesting) story. Patina Miller was fantastic throughout, and Andrea Martin brought down the house (though does not look/act/dance like a grandmother). As much as I enjoyed Act 1, I was very bored in Act 2. It started to feel like they were using the acrobatics to pad the show, and they padded it too much. During the last 20 minures I kept looking at my watch.
That said, everyone was is great voice, and it's always atreat to see husband-and-wife team Terry Mann and Charlotte D'amboise (playing a husband-and-wife!). The magic and acrobatics were indeed impressive, as was the choreography, sets and costumes. I can certainly see it garnering many awards come Tony time.
Posted by PlayItAgain 2012-12-17 00:50:11
Again I will ask, is A.R.T selling any merchandise?
Posted by CurtainPullDowner 2012-12-17 01:23:04
To answer the question; Vereen was scarey IMO from the very first sight of his face, frightenly lit by Jules Fisher, His presence was dangerous and it was hightened by his excitement of War and Suicide.
Fosse made him attractive, also, of course but I have always thought the LP should be a threatening character and that has been lost over the years.
Interesting to read good stuff about Patina. I will gladly admit to being wrong if she carries this off, I'm all for diversion when it works.
For those who have seen it and can tell, howmuch Fosse choreo is stil there?
Sounds like the sex ballet for Pippin's adventure is very different.
Are the dancers in the Pippin/Catherine copulation scene still there?
Posted by HoldThatThought 2012-12-17 10:07:02
@Play it Again - I did notice at the bar, they had a sign for Pippin posters. I think they were $10. But that was it, and I didn't see anybody with one. It was probably like the one hanging outside the theater. I would've preferred a t-shirt myself.
@Curtain - some Fosse-like choreo is definitely still there and I think it's pretty much where you'd expect it, but sometimes there's so much going on, I wasn't keeping track of it. That's about all I could tell you. Regarding the copulation scene, the dancers are replaced by the acrobats, and It was funny and interesting how they did it.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2012-12-18 12:06:59
Just wondered if anyone saw this notice on the A.R.T. website:
"There will be post-show discussions with the cast after the 2:00PM performances:
Saturday, 1/5; Wednesday, 1/9; Saturday, 1/12; Wednesday, 1/16; Saturday, 1/19"
I got an email from them after the show asking to do a survey. I think one of the questions asked was regarding a group discussion after the show. At the time it didn't click, but this is what they must have been referring to - sounds interesting. Wonder if they'll allow for autographs, etc.??
Posted by Princeton78 2012-12-18 21:10:17
Bring this to NY.
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-18 21:18:08
I love posts like that -- filled with the awe of theater. (It doesn't even matter if I end up agreeing with the post -- but I hope I do!)
Posted by Princeton78 2012-12-18 23:30:35
Just home and honestly, too zonked to write a full review, but I'll bullet a few things....
-orchestra/orchestrations...amazing. The score has never sounded better
-Andrea Martin- show stopper
-Matthew James Thomas- he's so hot... And that voice! Loved him.
-Patina....Patina....Patina.... KILLING IT! Seriously, the woman is a star. If this makes it to Broadway, I think she'll be an awards contender.
-a few things need some trimming and tightening up, but I'll get to that when I have more time.
Overall...this is one of my favorite shows, and I LOVED this production.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2012-12-19 09:59:11
"I love posts like that -- filled with the awe of theater."
Me too! 3 days later and I'm still buzzing from this show!
Posted by Jimbo2 2012-12-19 19:01:05
I had dinner with a friend last night and found out the show will be coming to Broadway. They are waiting for the NYT to go up and review it. That's about as much as he would tell me
Posted by Princeton78 2012-12-19 19:39:33
Ok, I have a bit more time to organize thoughts now.
Hmm...where to begin.
This production is not perfect....yet. But it has the potential to be.
You couldn't slap the grin off my face last night during the show.
Let's start at the very beginning....
"Magic To Do" is breathtaking from beginning to end. From the moment Patina appears (in sexy Fosse silhouette), she's firmly in control of the whole show. Her performance reminds me a lot of Ben Vereen's. I've only seen the video/DVD of the taped 1982 production, but I recall that from beginning to end, Vereen was in charge, giving 120% and being the central presence, even when he wasn't central and when he wasn't on stage. Patina is doing the same thing here. While I loved the rest of the cast, I missed her when she wasn't on stage. She is committed to this with a capital "C."
During "Magic to Do," the orchestra sounds incredible and as it swells with the big curtain drop/reveal, ("Sit where everybody can see-ee........")it's really a moment. I really loved how the cast sang directly to the audience, and sitting in the 2nd row, I got to have a moment with Rachel Bay Jones singing directly to me.
Matthew James Thomas then wrapped his unconventional, but striking vocal chords around "Corner of the Sky," adding some riffs that really should be written right into the song. Thomas is an enigma to me. I always thought he was good looking in the photos of him in Spider man (much better looking than Carney IMHO), and he's gorgeous here, though not traditionally good looking. I totally fell for him though, and he strikes a nice balance between naive sweetness and brooding bitterness with his role throughout. He's not in any way what I expect of Pippin, but he grew and grew on me. I especially loved him trying to hold it together during Andrea Martin's ad-libbing.
Speaking of Andrea Martin.....Tony Award? Hello? Well....I really can't say because I haven't' been to NYC in a while and haven't seen any of her potential competition, but she's screaming for award recognition with this role. What I've always loved about the character of Berthe is that she is written so that she reminds me of my own grandmother, and Martin didn't disappoint me. Her number is well sung, and she occasionally ad-libs, but without chewing scenery or being desperate for laughs. What she does during her number is also amazing (I won't give it away), but I think it's a bit overdone. I think "No Time At All," is one of the best pieces in the show, and the "direction" in the number distracted from the song.
This might be a great time to mention the biggest problem I have with the show. The whole circus thing is overdone. I get it as a theme, and it works in spots, but there's too clear of a distinction between the circus performers and the musical theatre performers. This is a major fail. It's not seamless enough. At times it felt too "Look what we can do!" This was particularly noticeable in "No Time At All, " and "Simple Joys." For the former number, let's be honest....Andrea Martin doesn't need smoke and mirrors to put a song across. In the latter song, I couldn't help but think, "Patina is KILLING this song...and leaving it all on the stage....so why the hell is she so deep stage left while unrelated circus trick after unrelated circus trick is directed to pull focus from her." This flaw in the show could be fatal. Keep the tricks, but turn them down, cut a few of them, and make the blend amongst the actors more seamless.
Back to the good stuff....
Charlotte...she's still got it, though I actually missed the creepy relatiionship with Lewis...I thought it made the role more sinister
Rachel Bay Jones....an unconventional Catherine, but ultimately very moving
dancing....could be a little tighter, but very...very good
sets....no issues here. I actually loved the pre-show curtain.
costumes....fine except for Charlotte's.....the woman is a goddess....her costume made her look frumpy
Matthew James Thomas' shirtlessness....I could't get enough. Meow.
In summation, Paulus has a solid production on her hands that could be magnificent, but I think the pressure is on her at this point to tighten things up. This runs until Jan 20th, and I have every intention of going back.
I'll be glad to answer any questions.
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-19 20:11:16
Thanks for the detailed review! I agree that Simple Joys doesn't need any elaborate staging (except perhaps for the "change of scene")
Posted by HoldThatThought 2012-12-19 20:39:36
Great to hear your perspective on this.
Charlotte - I remember a bit of innuendo going on between her and the guy who plays Lewis. What comes to mind is his sensuous kiss on her neck, her sort of bouncing her butt in his face, his constant following her like a dog, and at the end when all the guys were kind of stacked on top of her. Maybe not enough? Totally agree about her costume - wish she had less on like Rivera did in the '82 video production.
What did you think about the whole Pippin, Catherine, Theo section? To me that was the part that dragged on. It just didn't have the same flow as the rest of the show. Gratefully, the Finale picked it back up.
Posted by lenstersf 2012-12-20 09:12:06
I watched this last night. My perspective is from someone who was completely unfamiliar with the show, music, prior productions, etc...And I thought this show was incredible. I've never seen a show that so seamlessly integrates acrobatics, dancing, singing, and acting. The orchestra, set, costumes, and makeup are fantastic. Patina Miller is fire on the stage. Matthew James Thomas sings beautifully, and infuses his character with a mixture of determination and almost childlike innocence. Andrea Martin steals the show in her "No Time At All" scene.
Although I loved the production, there were times the story felt a bit boggy. I think this has to do with the book/plot itself, rather than the acting, singing, acrobatics, etc. The first act did feel a bit long. Also, there were a few times the acrobatics were the main focus over the singing..I remember there were a couple of moments when I had to remind myself to pay more attention to the lyrics, especially since I was unfamiliar with the songs.
Wonderful production. When I got home last night, I immediately purchased tickets to watch the closing performance. Broadway deserves a show like this...I hope it transfers.
Posted by anmiller07 2012-12-20 10:55:54
So, assuming this does come to Broadway, would Patina Miller and Andrea Martin be competing against each other for a nomination/win? I am unfamiliar with the show, so don't know if they are both lead roles, both supporting, or one and one.
Posted by SonofRobbieJ 2012-12-20 11:04:21
^ Not a chance in hell. The Leading Player is exactly that. The leading role of the show (along with Pippin...which means this is the first time you could imagine a leading actor and actress from Pippin being nominated).
The role of Berthe is pretty much a cameo. A great vehicle for an older actress that, depending on the impact the actor makes, could certainly sweep up in the supporting actress category.
Posted by Owen22 2012-12-20 11:20:01
The MTI edit was also used in the recent, fantastic (despite what the reviews would have you believe) Video Game inspired version at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London.
Posted by lenstersf 2012-12-20 11:45:41
Agree w/ SonofRobbie
Posted by Princeton78 2012-12-23 19:42:48
Tons of clips here!
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-23 19:52:52
Got back from the show a little while ago. So much about this I loved.
Casting: really wonderful. Couldn't point to a weak link in the bunch. Favorites: Andrea Martin (just WOW!), Matthew James Thomas and Patina Miller.
Concept: I was wary about the whole 'circus thang' but I really liked it. I never felt it was overdone.
Direction: Spot on -- to be fair, I do love Pippin, and, so far, I'm a big Diane Paulus fan.
Choreography: Loved most of it, but still found there to be a bit of sloppiness here and there.
How will this be recieved when reviews come out next week? I cannot imagine, but this certainly made a fan out of my 16 year old! (My 12 year old, not as much.)
Posted by steven22 2012-12-24 16:50:20
I'm waiting for a broadway transfer asap....I'm dying to see this
Posted by ACL2006 2012-12-25 00:40:49
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-25 07:13:40
Just wanted to mention: Andrea Martin will be sixty-six in a few weeks. (That will mean more to those that have seen the show.)
Posted by HoldThatThought 2012-12-25 12:41:36
^ Just goes to show you that age is just a state of mind. She certainly seems to be fearless. I'm hoping they keep the same cast or at least most of the them when they transfer, especially her.
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-25 13:21:41
If they transfer as quickly as the rumors suggest, I would think they would almost have to.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2012-12-25 15:47:56
Makes sense, dramamama. I guess it would depend on their contracts? And then what about the child that plays Theo? Would they bother? He's the only one that's local.
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-25 16:32:41
I could see Theo being replaced...while I think he had an absolutely lovely voice, I DO think he was too old -- or at least too tall -- doesn't give us the visual image of adorable little boy.
However, the kid has been acting all over Boston, I wouldn't be suprised if the parents were willing to let him go to b'way, if given the chance.
Posted by darquegk 2012-12-25 16:34:23
The MTI edit of the show, and I believe the Papermill, used a surly teenager ironically as the adorable little boy.
Posted by FindingNamo 2013-01-01 01:36:45
We saw it tonight because I hoped it would be the perfect New Year's Eve show and it was. I don't even know what the point is pretending to wonder if there's a transfer planned, everything about it screams THIS IS BEING BUILT FOR A COMMERCIAL TRANSFER. The pedigree of the actors, singers, acrobats, everything.
And I have to hand it to Diane, this falls squarely in the win column with her "Hair" and is directed with a much surer hand than "Porgy & Bess." Plus, her collaborators are a helluva lot better than those she had on "Porgy." Boston has been immersed in visits from many of the Montreal cirques over the past several years, including 7 Doigts, Cirque Eloize, and of course, du Soleil, at least twice each. These cirques with their narrative arcs were just waiting for somebody to ask whether or not a real musical could be its scaffolding, and vice versa. That that somebody turned out to be Diane Paulus shouldn't be a surprise. It seems so obvious now because she really does live for this stuff.
All I ever saw before this production was the Broadway broadcast, during which my mind wandered. The problems with the book were obvious. I had a feeling this company could make something good out of Act One, and they did, but I really loved Act Two as well. Then again, I love the second act of Into the Woods best, too.
I'm not particularly interested in whether this role "should" be played by this kind of person or that gender or if the boy should be "younger" (or, GOD FORBID, if there's some alternative production somebody else is just waiting to mount, enough with that isshh, PLEASE, g.d.e.l.g.i) ... I just want to see a show and evaluate whether it succeeds at what it's trying to do, with the cast that they have and the creativity in their imaginations. To borrow a theme from another problematic show about a guy trying to find himself, I believe Diane Paulus and her many collaborators have created the best of all possible Pippins.
We who have loved her forever knew Andrea Martin would be divine, but she goes so, so far above and beyond that I want to put a velvet rope around her and declare her an international treasure. Really superb. I loved the d'Amboise-Manns, Miller, the alternative Broadway Spider-man kid in the title role, Rachel Bay Jones as Catherine, who really perfectly pulls Pippin down from the sky and grounds him on earth. I just loved her.
The circus work is thrilling but also used in a way that compliments and often punctuates the action of the scenes. I feel special mention must be made of Yannick Thomas, the strong man who assists in some breathtaking moments. He was in the 7 Doigts production of "PSY" in Boston two seasons back. He has a LOT of responsibility in this show. There are no nets or safety wires anywhere.
If you have a fondness for Pippin, I can't imagine you won't LOVE what they've crafted here. If you never liked it, it might win you over. I have often held Paulus in contempt for her hucksterism, but she won me over with this one. It's always worth thinking about when the show was written, when its story takes place, and the times in which it's being performed. This production is GREAT for that. The '70s thing of stripping away the trappings and characters wandering away from the authority of the story teller takes on a different resonance in this era of scripted things presented as reality. It may not be shocking or new, and it may be an hallmark of its time, but it works in a different and valid way in this production.
BTW, Zachary Quinto was across the aisle from me. He whooped as loudly as I did for Andrea Martin.
Posted by PalJoey 2013-01-01 09:29:00
Princeton and Namo--you just sold some tickets.
Princeton--your passion for the theater has always been inspiring.
And Namo--for you to say anything at all positive about Diane Paulus is impressive. For you now say she has created "the best of all possible Pippins" is like Scrooge's transformation at the end of A Christmas Carol.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2013-01-01 10:28:49
Nice write-up Namo.
FYI: Quinto will be appearing in A.R.T.'s production of The Glass Menagerie next month.
And there's another interesting article about the Pippin production from BWW Boston
Posted by ACL2006 2013-01-01 12:33:07
Pippin's opening night is Thursday. Hopefully they'll announce a Broadway transfer by Monday.
All Sold Out!
Posted by HoldThatThought 2013-01-07 10:43:20
I checked yesterday morning for seats because I really wanted to see this again, and there were still quite a few available for the remaining days of the show. For various reasons I had to hold off one more day. I go to see what's left this morning, and EVERY friggin' show is sold out! So bummed...
Posted by Brian07663NJ 2013-01-07 13:51:09
I saw Pippin on Sunday, January 6. Have always loved Pippin. Saw it at the Papermill several years ago and am very familiar with the DVD. Familiarity with the old can make it tough to appreciate the new revival. I thoroughly enjoyed this new Pippin and am thrilled it is transferring to Broadway for more to enjoy.
Of course I had hoped specific nuiances in the choreography would be there and they were. I enjoyed the acrobatic additions without feeling like it compromised the historic Fosse choreography.
Patina was great. She outright proved that the Leading Player does not have to be played by a male. Loved her expressions and vocalizations that did not disctract but enhanced the songs. If this is recorded I would purchase a new cast recording. I don't for all revivals but enjoyed the singing of all performers quite a bit.
Not going to go performer by performer but a few things that jumped out - aside from Patina...
WOW Go Andrea! Did NOT see the dazzling end of her stunning number..the costume change (not going to describe it more for those who didn't see the show) and then what she actually did. She also looks like she has frozen her age. She looked spectacular.
I was not impressed by Charlotte. She did ok but she wasn't the wow sexy vixen I felt the role needed. Beautiful woman but didn't push it over the top in my opinion.
Two of the "phrases" that the young boy blurted out I was not thrilled with. I am not a prude in any way. I don't know if this was in the original script. Did not feel it fit for his character to blurt out to Pippin "Bite me" or the next off color term he used which I actually forgot. Don't think it was necessary for his character to say that. I thought the role was a little more innocent but based upon the new ending I might give a bit more room. I did like the addition to the ending - which I also won't give away.
Really enjoyed the circus atmosphere and did not think it took away at all.
Even though I admit I love Pippin...I did get a dragging feeling toward the end of Act 1.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2013-01-07 15:11:56
^ Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I first saw it in previews and still very much loved it despite the 2 minor issues you mentioned.
It turns out I will be seeing it again. Even though all listings showed "sold out" next to them this morning, I checked a little while ago and found a seat available. Someone must have cancelled. So happy now!
Posted by darquegk 2013-01-07 15:42:39
Theo's role as "adorable boy" has evolved from the Schwartz-Fosse original in which he essentially WAS an adorable and relatively innocent boy, albeit one who said what he thought and did not trust Pippin, to his being a surly teenager who was anything but adorable, but gradually came to accept this not-much-older man as a surrogate father figure, to being somewhere in between- a less than pleasant youngster in the modern mold.
Posted by ReggieonBway 2013-01-09 16:32:46
Saw it. Absolutely incredible - I've never been a huge fan of the original (I played the title role and I was never quite able to wrap my head around the show) but this production has totally converted me. Brilliantly done. Nothing I can really say that hasn't already been said. GO SEE IT.
Posted by vegas2 2013-01-09 16:47:33
For this production, is it better to sit close to see faces and details, or further back to take in the bigger picture?
Posted by dramamama611 2013-01-09 16:50:54
Big picture. Definitely.
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2013-01-09 17:11:19
I hope this succeeds far and above everyone's expectations...especially those on here who are so quick to shoot it down based on ill-conceived notions.
Posted by lenstersf 2013-01-09 17:22:27
Big picture...sat fourth row when I watched it, and I feel like I missed a bit of some things going on. Although it was nice being able to see facial expressions, sitting further back is the way to go for this production to appreciate the acrobatics and dancing.
Posted by GatorNY 2013-01-09 17:33:21
I'm going to try to post the image from the Music Box...well, it didn't work. The I saw that there was a whole bunch of pictures on the front page. Don't mind me.
Posted by HenryTDobson 2013-01-09 17:46:13
I found this review of the production. I'm not sure how reliable the source is, but the kid really seemed to enjoy it!
Posted by HoldThatThought 2013-01-09 17:48:42
I just got back from the matinee today, my 2nd time. It's such an eyegasm!!!
So there were a couple of changes that I noticed by the end of Act I. They removed Fastrada's dance section from "Spread a little Sunshine," and changed her costume. She played the role sexier this time too. She was smokin' hot! They also removed/changed the scene (I think towards the beginning) when they imply the incestuous nature of Fastrada's and Lewis' relationship. I think that's why I was puzzled when someone else in this thread mentioned that they didn't see that at all in the show.
They cleaned up the Act II wonderfully in regards to Pippin, Catherine, Theo. Overall the whole production was pretty much perfect - very tight and cohesive. Although I wish they had kept the things in I mentioned above, I can understand why they probably decided to remove it. The first act even felt a little shorter. Nothing about it dragged for me this time, and I am still in awe of this ensemble.
After the show, they announced a Q&A with the cast, so I stuck around to listen. Not too much more revealed than we already know. But someone did ask Paulus if the cast and pit was going to transfer. She didn't answer directly, but did imply that they were "going to treat the time off between the transfer like a road trip with the acting troupe. " And that "they were going to still work on the show to keep making improvements," something to that effect anyway. She also mentioned that the stage at the Music Box theater is smaller than at the Loeb, so there will be adjustments made.
"For this production, is it better to sit close to see faces and details, or further back to take in the bigger picture?"
- The first time I saw it, I sat in the second row, and it is thrilling to see all the expressions on the actor's faces, and to be part of some interaction with them. But you do miss out on the overall picture. Today I sat in the last row, and it was just great to be able to see everything all at once. I'd say go for the middle if you can only see the show once. I think you could see it multiple times, and still miss some of the nuances.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2013-01-10 19:59:45
In case you missed it, 2 articles today on Pippin from BWW:
The talkback from yesterday afternoon's matinee:
Nice interview with Terence Mann and Charlotte d'Amboise. Terence Mann's take on the story of Pippin gave me a chuckle:
Posted by dramamama611 2013-01-10 20:33:00
That first "article" is one of the worst written things I've seen in a long time. (And I'm fairly sure I've read other things from the writer and felt simalarly -- and shocked that she taught writing, at any level.)
Then I read the interview and thought maybe it was just all bad reporting here on BWW -- and realized they were written by the same person. Oy.
Posted by FindingNamo 2013-01-10 21:33:13
Jesus, really? On the strength of your dis I just went and read both the articles and I liked them fine. A couple things that could've/should've been cleaned up in editing, but I don't think that happens much anywhere nowadays, especially on websites where writers don't get paid.
I especially loved the interview, I really like the essence of the conversation with Terry and Charlotte. It just goes to show ya, it takes all kinds, I guess.
Posted by slmlbl 2013-01-11 00:02:01
Just getting back from tonight's performance. Cannot give enough glowing praise to this production. What a breathe of fresh air and a delight from start to finish!!
My biggest surprise and delight was in the character of Catherine and the delightful Rachel Bay Jones. She brought such comedy, warmth and realness to the role and I adored every moment of hers.
The whole show is in great shape, I look forward to hearing more from it as it makes it journey and am crossing my fingers for a Cast Recording.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2013-01-11 10:17:37
One of the things about the Talkback with the cast that they didn't mention in the article was how some of the teenagers in the audience had just finished a workshop with Gypsy Snider. In the workshop, she taught them about hand movement nuances and how it can portray control. They were thrilled to see some of that utilized in the show by the LP, something I didn't notice until I saw it the second time.
Also, it came up that early on in the original production, the cast would go into the audience and invite them up on stage. Apparently as the show become more popular so did that part of the show, and too many people would start running up. So they had to change it to what they do now. Apparently they tried that in early previews at the A.R.T., and found that to be an issue as well. Seems like they are leaving no stone unturned.
Posted by lenstersf 2013-01-11 10:22:38
I'm happy people are enjoying this so much! I'm watching it again tomorrow...interested to see what changes they've made.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2013-01-11 19:05:27
^ I'll be curious to read about what you notice that's different.
Posted by lenstersf 2013-01-13 22:00:57
I enjoyed the show even more the second time! I think this was mostly due to sitting a bit further back and getting a better view of everything going on stage. I didn't really note that many changes from the first time (12/19). There might have been a few slight changes in blocking in Act I, and I thought Charlemagne's entrance was different...but nothing major.
The opening of show is absolutely spectacular...you could just FEEL the anticipation of what's behind the curtain when the Leading Player walks out, and when it falls, you are not disappointed. Patina Miller is perfect as the Leading Player. The end of Act I (Morning Glow) is also breathtaking. It's really impressive how good the chorus sounds, given that a good number of them aren't trained primarily as singers.
Anyway, this production is incredible. Watch it. Support it.
Posted by ACL2006 2013-01-13 22:27:41
I can't imagine any of these cast members not transferring with the show to Broadway unless they have something else contracted. They'll likely add a few extra swings/understudies, but I would hope we see this entire cast on Broadway come March.
Posted by South Fl Marc 2013-01-14 09:04:35
Wow, I'm going to have to eat my words. I NEVER thought I would want to see another production of Pippin, but after reading everything about it, I really do.
Posted by dave1606 2013-01-20 23:31:29
I caught the final performance of this at ART today. This show is going to be a huge hit. Not only does the circus aspect work seamlessly with the show, but there are a THREE tony-worthy performances in the show.
Before I get to those, I want to commend Diane Paulus. She can be a bit polarizing, but she has absolutely given one of the best productions of this show possible. I watched the original on the bus ride back and really appreciated what she did with this show.
First and foremost there is magic and spectacle. The staging is beautiful, and effective. Morning Glow was simply powerful.
Secondly, there are some incredible performances in this cast. Andrea Martin walks away with the show in one swift moment and I was still thinking about that scene long after it was over. Patina Miller is simply incredible, and brings far more enthusiasm to this role than I saw from her in Sister Act.
I cannot say how much I truly enjoyed this. I will most definitely be back to see it on Broadway. A knockout.
Posted by WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel 2013-01-21 08:28:32
I have not been much of a Diane Paulus fan, but she really nails it with Pippin. It sounds cliche, but she really had vision when she created this production. I loved the circus concept so much! It never overwhelms the material- in fact it's just the opposite. The circus stuff strengthens the score and show beyond measure. "Simple Joys" felt like Wonderland (not the musical) or Neverland. Paulus delivers on the promise of the opening number and gives us non-stop magic.
Patina was a revelation for me too. I never thought she brought the excitement in her vocals on the London Sister Act recording to the stage of The Broadway. Here she was alive and juiced up. Her Leading Player is perfect. I had no idea she could dance like that. I hope she gives the Matilda girls a run for their money at the Tonys this year!!
Andrea Martin was wild. I couldn't handle her brilliance! The staging of "No Time At All" combined with her delivery of the song is a signed, sealed and delivered guarantee of a Tony as far as I'm concerned.
I also really enjoyed Charlotte D'Amboise and Rachel Bay Jones. Jones was SO funny. Sometimes I think Catherine can be such a snoozer section of the show, but not this time.
The women are all so glorious and the ensemble so wowing that Matthew James Thomas got lost a little in the mix for me. Maybe that was slightly intentional, but his was the performance that I felt needed to be dialed up a few notches.
Also some of the book is clunky. I think Paulus really did an amazing job making this the best book possible for Pippin though. Even with all the magnificent performances it was Paulus who came out being the star for me. She did what I assume Warren Carlyle tried to do for Chaplin with his circus motif, and failed.
I hope this is a big, big hit on Broadway!
One last thing- Does anyone know what the "official" lyrics for Extraordinary are? The lyrics on the cast recording are the same as the ones William Katt sings in the TV broadcast. Those are not the lyrics that were sung in this production though. I didn't mind the new verse lyrics, but I didn't like that the line, "The fact that I'm different is easy to see..." was changed to, "The fact that I'm special is easy to see..."
Posted by dramamama611 2013-01-21 08:39:36
I actually have the libretto, however, it is in my office, not at home. I'll check for you tomorrow.
Posted by dtzumbrunnen 2013-01-21 08:40:24
What an evening! We made the trek up to Cambridge to see Saturday evening's performance - it was my Christmas gift to my Partner, as it's his favorite show.
We've never left the theatre so engaged in conversation about the motivations behind characters in the show. The entire production was thrilling, although I'm hoping to take it in a little further back when we see it again on broadway. I just know I was missing things happening on stage, although we got tons of interaction with Charlotte D'Amboise and Love Song happened smack dab in front of us.
There are a few things to clean up, but this is ready to head to broadway today!
Matthew as Pippin was glorious. Yes, he's hot, but his voice was so enjoyable, yet not at all what I expected. I was so used to all the syrupy recordings of Corner of the Sky and he brought a real edge and slight gruffness to all of his songs. His take on Extraordinary was so angry that it really helped you buy into his conflict.
Patina took away any doubts about a female Leading Player. She blew the roof off the place at parts and was appropriately menacing at times. There were a few times that the balance between her and the orchestra seemed off, but I'm hoping that was just us sitting right in front of the pit. I'll definitely see it again to make sure!
I'm so glad dramamama posted Andrea Martin's age, because that's exactly what I wanted to google immediately after her number! So incredible. If they change a thing from her number I could cut someone.
Terry and Charlotte are great - Terry killed his patter songs, and Charlotte's dancing was sublime.
I really enjoyed Rachel as Catherine, especially her a capella opening to I Guess I'll Miss The Man. It changed the whole tone of the song and made it make so much more sense - and she felt so alone, you really started rooting for her at that point.
This can hurry up and open now, I want to see it again and again!
Posted by lenstersf 2013-01-21 09:43:06
I also watched the final performance at the A.R.T. on Sunday (my third time!). Still incredible....I seem to enjoy it more and more with each viewing, which does not bode well for my work schedule or wallet once it's on Broadway. I think Rachel Bay Jones needs to be commended for her performance. Act 2 absolutely depends on Catherine to keep the energy in the absence of the acrobatics. Her voice and acting are wonderful.
I really hope this production is a huge hit on Broadway.
Posted by customsay 2013-01-21 16:00:04
Caught up with PIPPIN last week and it was fun to see a full-scale professional production trying to bring a fresh spin to the material while still honoring much of what made Fosse's original staging so iconic. The circus elements are a good fit, although I think they still need to work on integrating them into the storytelling so the show doesn't feel halted periodically by performers doing tricks. And about those tricks: I wasn't really blown away by the circus performers (who hail from a troupe called Les 7 Doigts de la Main). Although they sing and dance as part of the ensemble there's an obvious divide between their abilities and those of their Broadway trained counterparts. They're clearly there to showcase their specialty, circus arts, which includes some pole and ring work and there's lots of tumbling but no really spectacular or original feats. With the exception of a balancing stunt involving a muscular guy, four cylinders, and a plank at the start of act two, the staging of the circus elements held no novelty or amazement for me. With all the editions of Cirque du Soleil out there and SPIDERMAN raising the bar on Broadway for acrobatics and physical stunts, I think this PIPPIN needs to be more inventive and dynamic with regards to the circus stuff as the show is bound to be remembered, for better or worse, as director Diane Pauluss Big Top PIPPIN. It will also be remembered for Andrea Martin's scene-stealing performance as Berthe (in the one number where the show's circus choreography yields an irresistibly delightful effect through wonderfully surprising and economical means); Matthew James Thomas's lanky, unaffected Pippin; and the slyly comic, slightly zonked out poignancy of Rachel Bay Jones's Catherine (who also sings beautifully). I like the placement of the intermission, although I think the break exacerbates one of the show's big deficiencies - the lack of ensemble participation in the second half. And Diane Paulus and Chet Walker are smart to retain a few benchmark touches from the 1972 staging (most notably the timelessly seductive menace of Fosse's "Manson Trio"). Their vision is certainly less cynical and dark than Fosse's, and more calculatedly PG (as opposed to PG-13 or R). PIPPIN will only get stronger and sleeker, mining more comedy, shading and razzle dazzle as it moves into the Music Box, and with a few tweaks it will be a welcome addition to the spring season.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2013-01-21 17:03:43
"and Charlotte's dancing was sublime."
So for those of you who saw it this past weekend, was Charlotte's extended dance routine at the end of "Spread a Little Sunshine" back in the show? When I saw it in previews, it was there. When I saw it almost 2 weeks ago, it was noticeably missing.
Posted by dtzumbrunnen 2013-01-21 20:52:20
HoldThatThought - I don't have anything to compare it to, but it was pretty big. She did at least ten pirouettes all around the stage. I'd estimate about 30 seconds of solid Charlotte dancing, give or take.
Posted by lenstersf 2013-01-22 09:37:43
Now that you mention it, I do think they've put back her extended dance routine. I remember thinking that her routine was shorter when I watched it a couple of weeks ago (compared to previews), but I wasn't sure why...but she did a lot of solo dancing this past weekend, as dtzumbrunnen mentioned.
Posted by macnyc 2013-01-22 10:17:07
I know no one has a crystal ball, but what is your opinion about possible discounts for Pippin? I haven't found any yet. The Music Hall is a pretty small venue, for Broadway, and I'm thinking this show might be popular with the tourist crowd. If all else fails, I'll try the half-price booth after the show opens.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2013-01-22 10:26:45
Thanks dtzumbrunnen and lenstersf - sounds like it's back in. I'd imagine once it opens on Broadway, all the experimenting and tweaking will stop.
Posted by Queen of the Night 2013-01-22 11:27:24
Well, I would hope they put Fastrada's dance stuff back in. When you have a dancer of Charlotte's caliber there is no sense in cutting her dance moments. I'm planning to go see this in NY this spring and she is one of the reasons I wanted to see it (her fantastic husband being another).
Posted by WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel 2013-01-22 12:23:25
Charlotte performed a full, extended dance after Spread a Little Sunshine this past weekend. I would be disappointed and surprised if they cut it after the response it received. I would like to think they will retain the dance for Broadway.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2013-01-22 16:00:31
^ Excellent. Thanks Whizzer. And I agree - I think they will keep it in for Broadway.
So since they put her dance back in, then I have another question - did they have the scene in there where they imply the incestuous nature of Lewis and Fastrada's relationship? Again, it was in the previews, and then removed after opening when I saw it the second time. I think it occurs around the time they introduce Fastrada, and it's fairly obvious.
Since it is a short scene in the show when it is acted out, it might have made more sense to leave it out of this production, given all the other things going on.
Posted by ex-gypsy 2013-01-22 17:42:21
After speaking to someone in the production, Charlottes dance was cut from a few performances, due to her nursing an injury. It was back in the entire last week of the Cambridge run, and will be in the show on Broadway.
Posted by dramamama611 2013-01-22 17:44:08
I really missed the teased incestuous stuff when I saw it...but that was just before xmas.
Posted by dtzumbrunnen 2013-01-22 18:03:50
I think there were a few movements that you could certainly see as incestuous (backing up suggestively into Lewis), but the larger spin seems to be on her working to have Lewis move up in the line of succession after Charles - less about her wanting to put the moves on him.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2013-01-22 19:57:38
^ Yes, I remember that from the second time.
When I saw it the first time on Dec. 16th, the three things I remember most are:
1) Fastrada sitting on the throne and Lewis was on her lap kissing her on the neck.
2) As Fastrada gets up to walk around, Lewis follows her like a dog on all fours, and she occasionally bumps his head with her butt.
3) At the end of all that, for some reason that I don't remember, Fastrada is lying on the stage floor when Lewis and some of the other players do something to end up on top of her.
There might've been a couple of other things, but that performance is a bit of a blur at this point.
"After speaking to someone in the production, Charlottes dance was cut from a few performances, due to her nursing an injury. It was back in the entire last week of the Cambridge run, and will be in the show on Broadway."
Good to know, and glad she recovered. I hope they all can stay healthy during their Broadway run.
Posted by lenstersf 2013-01-23 00:09:10
In Sunday's performance, those three things happened between Lewis and Fastrada.
Posted by After Eight 2013-01-23 06:43:49
The circus element was fresh and winning. By far the best thing about the show. The design was also excellent. Paulus has done a fine job, just as Fosse did. They both had magic to do, and they did it.
But neither Fosse nor Paulus are alchemists; they couldn't turn dross into gold. And that's what Pippin is: dross --- sophomoric, simplistic, and pretentious, with some catchy songs. It's quite a bore, actually. It's very much a product if its time, or actually, a by-product of its misbegotten time, with its mindset of self-centeredness and self-indulgence. Who cares about Pippin's "journey" to self-realization? Certainly not the audience.
So thank heavens for the circus!
Posted by Trish2 2013-01-23 07:09:40
After Eight, I can't help but to totally agree with you ! You hit the nail on the head with your concise, abbreviated review. This is exactly why the show has not been revived for thirty plus years. It's book is problematic, and yes, boring. I hate to even add to your review as I think it's perfection, but aside from some wonderful songs ( there are equally as many poor ones) theres not enough magic in this circus to make this cynical musical less than a downer. Lots of frosting, but not much cake.
Posted by After Eight 2013-01-23 07:23:22
Thank you most kindly, Trish. It's obvious: great minds think alike. :)
And I'm glad you appreciate concision.
Some people here just go on and on and on. If only they would just cut to the chase and make it easy on all of us!
Posted by FindingNamo 2013-01-23 09:20:11
"with its mindset of self-centeredness and self-indulgence."
Which it critiques and upends and shows for its emptiness.
Posted by HoldThatThought 2013-01-23 09:56:09
"In Sunday's performance, those three things happened between Lewis and Fastrada."
Excellent! Good to know. Thanks lenstersf.
Posted by lenstersf 2013-01-23 11:21:26
To be fair, I don't think people are lauding the book, but rather this particular production of Pippin. The direction, acrobatics, staging, costumes, acting, singing, set, and dancing are all fantastic. I doubt most people will watch this show and experience something revelatory (not universal, as my friend came out crying, particularly touched by the message that one can have an ordinary life and still be happy). For me, this production has numerous magical moments that make it special. It's clear that the book is flawed, and yes, even boring at times. But Paulus did a remarkable job with the material, and the result is something worth experiencing.
Posted by dtzumbrunnen 2013-01-23 13:24:40
I've found watching the video recording very "meh."
I was exhilarated throughout this performance, largely driven by what lentstersf just stated.
I also prefer more frosting than cake.