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Broadhurst Theatre (New York, NY)
235 W. 44th St.

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Fosse is a three-act musical revue showcasing the choreography of Bob Fosse. After 21 previews, the original Broadway production, conceived and directed by Richard Maltby, Jr. and Ann Reinking and choreographed by Reinking and Chet Walker, opened on January 14, 1999 at the Broadhurst Theatre, where it ran for 1093 performances.



Fosse - 1999 Broadway Page 148


Denver Center Theatre Company Presents RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH, 3/23-5/13
by BWW News Desk - Mar 9, 2012

The Denver Center Theatre Company presents the musical revue RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH created by Richard Maltby, Jr. and conceived by William Meade, playing The Stage Theatre March 23 - May 13 (opening night Thursday, March 29). Tickets can be purchased now, by calling 303.893.4100 or www.denvercenter.org. (more...)

Theatre Memphis Opens CHICAGO, 3/9
by BWW News Desk - Mar 9, 2012

Theatre Memphis will open Broadway's longest running American musical, Chicago, on the Lohrey Stage March 9, 2012. (more...)

Diane Paulus-Helmed PIPPIN Plays A.R.T. in December; Is Broadway Next?
by BWW News Desk - Mar 8, 2012

American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) has announced that it will present the musical Pippin as part of its 2012 - 13 Season. The production will be directed by Diane Paulus with choreography by Gypsy Snider of the Montreal-based circus company Les 7 doigts de la main, also known as 7 Fingers. Performances will begin in December 2012 at the Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge. (more...)

Good Theater Closes 10th Anniversary Season With LITTLE ME, 3/8-4/1
by BWW News Desk - Mar 8, 2012

Little Me, the musical comedy by Neil Simon (book), Cy Coleman (music), and Carolyn Leigh (lyrics) will be presented by Good Theater March 7 - April 1 at the St. Lawrence Arts Center. Little Me is directed by Brian P. Allen with musical direction by Victoria Stubbs, leading the three-piece band, and choreography by Tyler Sperry. (more...)

Photo Flash: Behind the Scenes of the Broadway Dreams Foundation TV Test Shoot!
by BWW News Desk - Mar 8, 2012

Tigerlily Media and Freestyle Picture Company began test shooting this week for a hopeful new reality show that will go behind the scenes of The Broadway Dreams Foundation (BDF), America's premier performing arts training program. Each year BDF provides training to thousands of young performers all around the country through a series of intensive programs lead by a faculty of Broadway stars, directors, casting directors and agents. (more...)

Village Theatre's 2012-13 Season to Include BIG RIVER, CHICAGO and More
by BWW News Desk - Mar 7, 2012

Village Theatre's complete 2012-2013 Season schedule includes the following. (more...)

Ginger Newman Stars As 'Mama Rose' To Highlight Keeton Theatre's 2012-13 Season
by Jeffrey Ellis - Mar 7, 2012

First Night Award-winning actress-cabaret artist, music director, conductor, all-around theater personality-Ginger Newman tackles the role of "Mama Rose" in the musical theater classic Gypsy to highlight the 2012-13 season at The Keeton Theatre, which celebrates its tenth year with shows to appeal to both theater and movie aficionados alike, featuring several local premieres heretofore unproduced by Nashville area companies. (more...)

Sally Struthers Joins Pittsburgh CLO's ANNIE; Creative Team Announced
by BWW News Desk - Mar 6, 2012

Pittsburgh CLO has announced the creative team for the 2012 Summer Season, running June 5 through August 5 at the Benedum Center. Three Pittsburgh CLO veterans and one newcomer highlight this group selected to helm the organization's 66th year of bringing Broadway's best to Pittsburgh's Cultural District. The season includes the National Tour of Come Fly Away (June 5-10), A Chorus Line (June 15-24), Annie(June 29-July 8), Fiddler on the Roof (July 13-22), Sunset Boulevard (July 24-29) and the National Tour of The Addams Family (July 31-August 5). (more...)

Photo Flash: Theatre Memphis Presents CHICAGO
by BWW News Desk - Mar 6, 2012

Theatre Memphis will open Broadway's longest running American musical, Chicago, on the Lohrey Stage March 9, 2012, to run through April 1, 2012. (more...)

Broadway Dreams Foundation Hoping to Get Reality Show
by BWW News Desk - Mar 5, 2012

Tigerlily Media and Freestyle Picture Company will begin test shooting this week for a new reality show that will go behind the scenes of The Broadway Dreams Foundation (BDF), America's premier performing arts training program. Each year BDF provides invaluable training to thousands of young performers all around the country through a series of intensive programs lead by a faculty of Broadway's biggest stars, directors, casting directors and agents. (more...)

Roundabout Welcomes Thomas Mygatt as Director of Marketing & Sales 3/5
by BWW News Desk - Mar 5, 2012

Roundabout Theatre Company has announced Thomas Mygatt will join the company on March 5th, 2012 as Director of Marketing & Sales Promotion. (more...)

Broadway Bound TUCK EVERLASTING to Play Boston June 2013; Shear, Miller, Tysen & Nicholaw on Creative Team
by BWW News Desk - Mar 5, 2012

Producers Broadway Across America (John Gore, Thomas B. McGrath, Beth Williams), Howard Kagan and Barry Brown have just announced that the new Broadway musical TUCK EVERLASTING will have its pre-Broadway world premiere at Boston's Citi Performing Arts Center Colonial Theatre (106 Boylston Street) in June of 2013. With a book by Tony Award nominee Claudia Shear (Dirty Blonde), music by Chris Miller (The Burnt Part Boys), lyrics by Nathan Tysen (The Burnt Part Boys) and directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon), TUCK EVERLASTING is based on the novel by Natalie Babbitt. Broadway production details, design team and casting for TUCK EVERLASTING will be announced at a later date. (more...)

Edward Gero and Patrick Andrews Lead John Logan's RED Thru 3/4
by BWW News Desk - Mar 4, 2012

Edward Gero and Patrick Andrews star in Red at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, produced in association with Goodman Theatre. (more...)

Neile Adams Set for MY HUSBAND, MY FRIEND Book Signing; STEVE MCQUEEN Film Series, 3/31
by BWW News Desk - Mar 30, 2012

Neile Adams (Mrs. Steve McQueen from 1956 - 1972) will appear on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. for a book signing of her autobiography, "My Husband, My Friend," and a Q&A prior to a screening of the film, "The Great Escape" starring Steve McQueen at the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre; 6712 Hollywood Boulevard; Los Angeles, CA 90028. (more...)

SOUND OFF: Ute Lemper lanza Paris Days Berlin Nights
by Fernando Solla Rosell - Mar 30, 2012

Paris Days, Berlin Nights es el sugestivo título con el que Ute Lemper ha bautizado su último trabajo. El número 23 si no tenemos en cuenta las bandas sonoras de películas o musicales en los que ha participado. El lanzamiento, el pasado 20 de marzo, coincide con el inicio de una gira norteamericana que empezó hace unos días en el Kennedy Center de Whasington y terminará el 6 de abril en Quebec, deleitando también a los asiduos que la cantante tiene en ciudades como Vancouver, Los Angeles, Toronto y, por supuesto, Nueva York. (more...)

Joel Grey, Liza Minnelli et al to Appear at 2012 TCM Film Festival
by BWW News Desk - Mar 28, 2012

Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Debbie Reynolds and 'Baby Peggy' Diana Serra Cary, along with film noir leading ladies Peggy Cummins, Rhonda Fleming and Marsha Hunt are the latest stars scheduled to appear at the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival. (more...)

Ben Vereen Headlines Black History Month at CCNY, 2/27
by BWW News Desk - Mar 27, 2012

The City College of New York Black Studies Program invites the public to a Black History Month presentation by Broadway legend Ben Vereen 5:30 p.m. Monday, February 27, in Aaron Davis Hall. The event is free and open to the public; however, because space is limited, attendees should RSVP to 212-650-8117 or212-650-5352 to reserve seats. (more...)

Emanuel Abruzzo, Colin Bradbury, et al. Set for Chet Walker-Helmed HEATWAVE
by BWW News Desk - Mar 27, 2012

Casting has been announced for the world premiere of HEAT WAVE: THE JACK COLE PROJECT, a new musical entertainment set to debut at Queens Theatre (14 United Nations Avenue South in Flushing Meadows Corona Park) with performances starting on May 3rd 2012. (more...)

BLUE MAN GROUP Closes at Calgary
by BWW News Desk - Mar 25, 2012

NETworks Presentations, LLC and Blue Man Productions have announced a new theatrical touring production will stop in Calgary through March 25, 2012. (more...)

Harbor Lights To Offer a Master Class With Richard Maltby 3/24
by BWW News Desk - Mar 24, 2012

The Harbor Lights Theater Company, Staten Island's own professional theater company, announces the first session of its 2012 master class series. (more...)

Denver Center Theatre Company Presents RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH, 3/23-5/13
by BWW News Desk - Mar 23, 2012

The Denver Center Theatre Company presents the musical revue RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH created by Richard Maltby, Jr. and conceived by William Meade, playing The Stage Theatre March 23 - May 13 (opening night Thursday, March 29). Tickets can be purchased now, by calling 303.893.4100 or www.denvercenter.org. (more...)

Joffrey Ballet Concludes Season with SPRING DESIRE, 4/25-5/6
by BWW News Desk - Mar 22, 2012

The Joffrey Ballet's season concludes with a spring mixed repertory program of three sensual, neo-classical works in "Spring Desire," presented in ten performances only at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 East Congress Parkway, April 25 - May 6. (more...)

San Diego Civic Theatre Presents CHICAGO Starring Christie Brinkley, 5/8-13
by BWW News Desk - Mar 21, 2012

After her critically-acclaimed debut as Roxie Hart on Broadway and in London's West End, Christie Brinkley will make her Broadway tour debut this spring as she reprises her killer role in the six-time Tony Award-winning musical smash hit CHICAGO. Also joining the cast is star of 'Seinfeld' and 'Family Feud', John O'Hurley as Billy Flynn. This killer show will play at the San Diego Civic Theatre May 8-13, 2012. Tickets are available now! (more...)

BLUE MAN GROUP Comes to Calgary March 20-25
by BWW News Desk - Mar 20, 2012

NETworks Presentations, LLC and Blue Man Productions have announced a new theatrical touring production will stop in Calgary March 20 to 25, 2012. (more...)

Paradise Theatre Presents SWEET CHARITY, 3/2-18
by BWW News Desk - Mar 2, 2012

Paradise Theatre presents SWEET CHARITY March 2-18, 2012. Book by Neil Simon; Music by Cy Coleman; Lyrics by Dorothy Fields. Based on an original screenplay by Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Plaiano. Produced for the Broadway Stage by Fryer, Carr and Harris. Conceived, Staged and Choreographed by Bob Fosse. Directed by JEFF RICHARDS. Musical Direction by VICKI KNICKERBOCKER. Choreography by VICKI RICHARDS. (more...)

Robert LaFosse to Direct David Drake In MY TAWNY VALENTINE At Beechman
by BWW News Desk - Mar 2, 2012

Obie Award-winning playwright/performer David Drake makes his long-awaited return to New York with the premiere of MY TAWNY VALENTINE. (more...)

SWAN LAKE 3D Special Interview: Nina Goldman
by Pat Cerasaro - Mar 19, 2012

Today we are continuing BroadwayWorld's exclusive three-part series on SWAN LAKE 3D - an unprecedented movie theater presentation of Matthew Bourne's Tony Award-winning new 3D film adaptation of Tchaikovsky's legendary fairy tale ballet in Fathom-equipped movie theaters for one night only on March 20 - with prima ballerina and Broadway standout star Nina Goldman. (more...)

Photo Coverage: Mo Rocca, Karen Mason, Lisa Lampanelli et al. Join Jamie deRoy & Friends at the Metropolitan Room
by Stephen Sorokoff - Mar 19, 2012

On March 18, cabaret performer Jamie deRoy hosted an evening of her Multi MAC Award-winning variety show, Jamie deRoy & Friends at the intimate cabaret hot-spot Metropolitan Room. Joining Jamie on this spring evening were classical violinist Daisy Jopling, comedy's lovable Queen of Mean, Lisa Lampanelli, ten-time MAC Award winner and three-time Bistro Award winner Karen Mason (Wonderland, Mamma Mia!); Tony Award nominee Valarie Pettiford (Fosse, Sophisticated Ladies), writer/comedian/political satirist and CBS & Food Channel personality Mo Rocca and award-winning songwriter (The River, Garth Brooks; Nobody Wants To Be Lonely, Ricky Martin & Christina Aguilera) and recording artist, Victoria Shaw. Ron Abel served as musical director and Barry Kleinbort directed. Check out photo coverage below! (more...)

Paper Mill Playhouse's DAMN YANKEES to Play The 5th Avenue Theatre, 4/21-5/20
by BWW News Desk - Mar 19, 2012

Damn Yankees is headed to The 5th Avenue Theatre! This musical comedy is the story of an aging baseball fan who makes a deal with the Devil so his beloved hometown team can beat the Yankees in the race for the pennant. From the songwriting team of The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees is filled with hit songs including "Two Lost Souls" and the sultry favorite, "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets." The Paper Mill Playhouse production will slide into Seattle this April. The creative team includes direction by Mark S. Hoebee (Paper Mill's Producing Artistic Director), music direction by Ben Whiteley, and choreography by Denis Michael Jones. (more...)

Paradise Theatre's SWEET CHARITY Closes
by BWW News Desk - Mar 18, 2012

Paradise Theatre presents SWEET CHARITY through March 18, 2012. Book by Neil Simon; Music by Cy Coleman; Lyrics by Dorothy Fields. Based on an original screenplay by Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Plaiano. Produced for the Broadway Stage by Fryer, Carr and Harris. Conceived, Staged and Choreographed by Bob Fosse. Directed by JEFF RICHARDS. Musical Direction by VICKI KNICKERBOCKER. Choreography by VICKI RICHARDS. (more...)

Top Stories You Missed on BWW This Weekend
by - Mar 18, 2012

Hottest Articles on BroadwayWorld.com from this weekend Sunday, March 18, 2012 - Sunday, March 18, 2012. (more...)

Yonekura Ryoko to Star as 'Roxie' in CHICAGO This July
by BWW News Desk - Mar 18, 2012

According to the Tokyo Graph, actress Yonekura Ryoko will join the hit revival of John Kander, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse's Tony Award-winning musical CHICAGO this July. She is set to star as Roxy Hart, making her the first Japanese woman to star on Broadway since the 1958 production of Flower Drum Song starring Nancy Umeki. Ryoko will also be the first Japanese performer to portray a lead American character in a long-running Broadway musical. (more...)

Jamie deRoy & Friends Perform At The Metropolitan Room 3/18
by BWW News Desk - Mar 18, 2012

Cabaret performer Jamie deRoy will host an evening of her Multi MAC Award-winning variety show, Jamie deRoy & friends, on Sunday, March 18th (7PM) at the Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street ~ btw. 5th & 6th Avenues). (more...)

Review - Damn Yankees & Through The Eyes of Eak
by Ben Peltz - Mar 18, 2012

With its funny, sexy and sentimental book by master craftsman George Abbott and a catchy and clever score by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, Damn Yankees is a textbook example of the kind of big and brassy musicals that made Broadway's Golden Age glitter.  Paper Mill's terrific new production is packed with boisterous comic performances and, as the song says, miles and miles and miles of heart. (more...)

Jen MacQueen to Choreograph THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at Milton, 3/14-17
by BWW News Desk - Mar 17, 2012

Rehearsals have begun at Milton High School for their production of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE. This show will perform March 14-17, directed by Renee Denney and music directed by Leigh Ann Shaw. The cast is full of experienced high schoolers, some of whom also appeared in Milton's successful production of HAIRSPRAY in spring 2011. It will feature choreography by the Off-Broadway choreographer and acclaimed tap dancer Jen MacQueen, who choreographed the recent Atlanta production of A Chorus Line at Aurora Theatre, for which she received a BroadwayWorld (Atlanta) Award Nomination for Best Choreography in a Musical. (more...)

Ben Vereen Plays Bristol Riverside Theatre, 4/20-22
by BWW News Desk - Mar 16, 2012

Bristol Riverside Theatre concludes its season-long series of special performances with Steppin' Out Live with Ben Vereen, a weekend of appearances by legendary Broadway star Ben Vereen on April 20-22. Performances are Friday, April 20 at 8 PM, Saturday, April 21 at 2:00 and 8:00 PM; and Sunday, April 22 at 3:00 PM. Tickets starting at $50 are available by visiting brtstage.org or calling the BRT Box Office at 215-785-0100. All performances are at Bristol Riverside Theatre (120 Radcliffe Street in Bristol, PA). (more...)

BWW Interviews: A Big Step for SMASH Choreographer Joshua Bergasse
by Naomi Serviss - Mar 15, 2012

Joshua Bergasse, choreographer of NBC's musical drama SMASH, has found an outlet for the sort of work inspired by the old MGM musicals he grew up watching. "Those old shows used dance as part of the story,' he said, 'and I try to make the dance sequences part of the SMASH story." (more...)

Neile Adams Set for MY HUSBAND, MY FRIEND Book Signing; STEVE MCQUEEN Film Series, 3/31
by BWW News Desk - Mar 15, 2012

Neile Adams (Mrs. Steve McQueen from 1956 - 1972) will appear on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. for a book signing of her autobiography, "My Husband, My Friend," and a Q&A prior to a screening of the film, "The Great Escape" starring Steve McQueen at the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre; 6712 Hollywood Boulevard; Los Angeles, CA 90028. (more...)

Photo Flash: Chita Rivera, Carol Lawrence, et al. in DO40 Cares Benefit
by BWW News Desk - Mar 15, 2012

Dancers Over 40 (DO40) presented its second-ever song and dance concert entitled 'DO40 CARES: It's Not Where You Start…' to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Project Achieve/Columbia University and the NYC HIV Vaccine Trials Network on Monday March 12, 2012. (more...)

University of the Arts Presents CHICAGO, 3/22-25
by BWW News Desk - Mar 15, 2012

The long-running hit musical Chicago will be performed by students at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia at the Merriam Theater on March 23, 24 and 25, 2012. In addition to evening performances on Friday March 23 and Saturday March 24 at 8pm and matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday at 2pm, there will be a preview performance on Thursday night March 22 at 8pm. (more...)

Jen MacQueen to Choreograph THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at Milton, 3/14-17
by BWW News Desk - Mar 14, 2012

Rehearsals have begun at Milton High School for their production of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE. This show will perform March 14-17, directed by Renee Denney and music directed by Leigh Ann Shaw. The cast is full of experienced high schoolers, some of whom also appeared in Milton's successful production of HAIRSPRAY in spring 2011. It will feature choreography by the Off-Broadway choreographer and acclaimed tap dancer Jen MacQueen, who choreographed the recent Atlanta production of A Chorus Line at Aurora Theatre, for which she received a BroadwayWorld (Atlanta) Award Nomination for Best Choreography in a Musical. (more...)

Chita Rivera, Carol Lawrence & More Set for DO40 CARES, 3/12
by BWW News Desk - Mar 12, 2012

Dancers Over 40 (DO40) will present its second-ever song and dance concert entitled 'DO40 CARES: It's Not Where You Start…' to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Project Achieve/Columbia University and the NYC HIV Vaccine Trials Network on Monday March 12, 2012. (more...)

STAGE TUBE: Wendy Wasserstein on the Tony Honored TDF Open Doors Program
by BWW News Desk - Mar 12, 2012

As previously reported, the Tony Award's Administration Committee has announced that Theatre Development Fund's Open Doors program will be among those honored with a special 2012 Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre. (more...)

Fred Barton Returns to Metropolitan Room with Lee Roy Reams, Tari Kelly, Natasha Williams, Karen Wilder
by BWW News Desk - Apr 9, 2012

Fred Barton returns to the Metropolitan Room on Sunday, April 15, at 7:00 PM with his show FRED BARTON PRESENTS - AND THINKS YOU'RE GONNA LOVE IT! - in which he hosts, sings and plays with his 9-piece Broadway Band, presenting classic Broadway show tunes, with some of his favorite performers. This is Barton's last show until later this summer. (more...)

Pamela Anderson to Join CHICAGO?
by BWW News Desk - Apr 7, 2012

According to parezhilton.com, Pamela Anderson is headed to Broadway. The actress is set to star in the hit revival of John Kander, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse's Tony Award-winning musical CHICAGO. (more...)

BWW Interviews: Triple Threat Donna McKechnie Talks S.T.A.G.E. Benefit Original Cast 3
by Don Grigware - Apr 5, 2012

Tony Award winning triple threat Donna McKechnie will always be remembered as Cassie in A Chorus Line, and of course for her solo within it 'The Music and the Mirror'. This vet of Broadway, TV and film is currently teaching a musical comedy class at HB Studio in New York and in our chat offers some choice anecdotes from her career. She will appear in Original Cast 3, this year's S.T.A.G.E. (Southland Theatrical Artists Goodwill Event) benefit for APLA (Aids Project Los Angeles) Saturday April 28 at the Saban Theatre. (more...)

Northern Stage's CHICAGO Opens 4/11
by BWW News Desk - Apr 5, 2012

Northern Stage, the pioneering New England theater company, announces its new production of Chicago. The company obtained special permission from the show's creators to produce an intimate ensemble-based version of the hit musical, directed by Northern Stage Producing Director Catherine Doherty and award-winning New York director-choreographer Connor Gallagher, who also developed original choreography for the show. (more...)

LOS OTROS Premiere Cast Announced, Michele Pawk and Julio Monge to Lead
by BWW News Desk - Apr 4, 2012

The cast has been set for the world premiere of the chamber musical LOS OTROS, with book and lyrics by Ellen Fitzhugh and music by Michael John LaChiusa. LOS OTROS will run May 23 through July 1, 2012, with the opening scheduled for June 3. Tony Award-winner Michele Pawk has been cast to play the role of Woman and Julio Monge will play the role of Man. (more...)

Queens Theatre Hosts HEAT WAVE Opening Night Gala, 5/9
by BWW News Desk - Apr 3, 2012

Queens Theatre, a home of world-class theatre, dance and cultural programming in the borough of Queens, presents its annual Gala on Wednesday, May 9, 2012. The event-the organization's largest fundraiser of the year-celebrates the world premiere of Heat Wave: The Jack Cole Project, a new musical tribute to legendary Hollywood choreographer Jack Cole. Tickets are on sale now at queenstheatre.org or by calling 718.760.0064. (more...)

BWW Reviews: Highland Park "Pippin" Is Very Well Danced and Sung, Pretty Well Acted
by Paul W. Thompson - Apr 2, 2012

The 1972 Bob Fosse dance spectacle and play-within-a-play "Pippin" (which produced a legendary Motown Records cast album, no less) opened in Lakeview this past October, courtesy of the Bohemian Theatre Ensemble. And now we have a "Pippin" for the north lakeshore, as The Music Theatre Company of Highland Park has mounted an enjoyable revival of its own, opening last weekend and running through May 6, 2012.Stephen Schwartz, one of the most popular Broadway composer-lyricists of the last 40 years, is riding high these days, with the continued mega-success of "Wicked," a late-career surprise for a guy who made his first big impact when he was just out of college in the very early 1970s. There's a revival of his "Godspell" playing on Broadway right now, directly adjacent to where "Wicked" is still selling out after 8 years, and two rival revivals of "Pippin" have been vying for Main Stem viability in recent months. Here in Chicago, we had a re-working of "Working" last spring, in a major production at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, and a Schwartz career retrospective revue called "Snapshots" premiered at the Northlight Theatre in Skokie last fall. Schwartz himself was in town for both productions, rumored to be in love with our Chicago acting scene. The 1972 Bob Fosse dance spectacle and play-within-a-play "Pippin" (which produced a legendary Motown Records cast album, no less) opened in Lakeview this past October, courtesy of the Bohemian Theatre Ensemble. And now we have a "Pippin" for the north lakeshore, as The Music Theatre Company of Highland Park has mounted an enjoyable revival of its own, opening last weekend and running through May 6, 2012. Directed and choreographed by the company's founder and artistic director, Jessica Redish (how many hats IS that?), and music-directed by her "Merrily We Roll Along" partner, Ian Weinberger (their production of that problematic Stephen Sondheim show was very well received last year), this production utilizes Equity leads and a non-Equity ensemble, to interesting advantage. Many of the dance sequences look great, especially the opening number, "Magic To Do," the "Glory" sequence, the thrilling "Morning Glow" and several opportunities where Fosse trios are utilized (a lead dancer in front, flanked by a supporting dancer on each side). The women of the ensemble (Sasha Kostyrko, Kristin O'Connell, Emily Rogers and Lucy Zukaitis) are especially sexy, and the men (Brian M. Duncan, Tommy Rivera-Vega and Jeremy Sonkin) dance their socks off and carry out their small acting bits with verve. And the leading characters are played by actors with formidable singing chops, made all the more impressive by the fact that the cast is entirely unamplified. Leading Player Joey Stone has an extremely impressive, beautiful and flexible R&B voice, all runs and trills and idiomatic inflections that are very satisfying throughout (he's worked all over town since landing here five years ago, and it's easy to hear why). His stage presence is unmistakable, and you need to hear him sing these songs. You really do. The titular hero of the piece is embodied by the elfin, vaguely quirky-looking Andrew Keltz, who looks to be about 15 until you spy a little chest hair poking its way out of his shirt collar. His is not the most resonant vocal instrument, but he sounds entirely conversation and convincing every time he sings, and he too works all over the place. And he is not a conventional juvenile lead, but he plays them constantly, gifted with the innate ability to convey a searching, restless contemporary spirit, adrift in a society he doesn't understand. James Rank is the Charlemagne here, enacting all the hoary bluster and inner struggle of a man who is admittedly not a brain type of guy. His singing is a combination of exemplary Gilbert and Sullivan patter and baritonal bravado. However, he is saddled with the thankless number, "Welcome Home," which seems to always drag down the action with tons of exposition and not enough flash, so that all "Pippin" productions struggle in the early going. Thankfully, his prayer scene was remarkably nuanced. The veteran Peggy Roeder, playing Berthe until April 13 (she will be replaced by Cindy Gold, faculty member at Northwestern University and recently in "Show Boat" at Lyric Opera of Chicago), is hilarious and sings like the character actress she is, every note and word perfectly produced. And Angie Stemberg (Fastrada) and Jess Godwin (Catherine) are providing a school for contemporary musical theater singing in this production, with personalized stylings couched within perfectly placed belt techiques. If Zach Zube is not the ideal physical type for the character of Lewis, he nonetheless brings energy, focus and excitement to the role. However, young Theo is here portrayed by the pleasant commitment of young Isabelle Roberts, in a fascinating bit of pre-pubescent gender-bent casting. The orchestra of five, conducted by Weinberger and playing his orchestral reduction of the score, plays as softly as one could imagine a pop-rock score could be played, to their credit and the credit of sound designer Christopher Kriz. In addition to the songs I've already mentioned, I loved "On the Right Track," for its perfect blend of choreography, acting moments, use of the playing space and the singing of the two male leads, the lovely and still "Love Song" by Keltz and Godwin, and, especially, Roeder and Company's delivery of "No Time At All," complete with audience sing-along and hitting all the right showbiz mastery this number requires. Can I discuss the ending of the show for a bit? I know this show's coup de theatre ending is supposed to be a secret surprise, but it's over 40 years old, and fairly well known to the readers of BroadwayWorld. So, here I go. When the Leading Player proposed to Pippin that he should end his life in a glorious blazing bonfire and Pippin refuses, prompting the Leading Player to order the removal of all "theatrical" elements (lights, costumes, music) from Pippin and Catherine, I'm never quite sure that it ever truly works. First of all, is Pippin the character rebelling, or is the unnamed actor playing him in the Leading Player's troupe rebelling? And why does the L.P. get so upset? This is not set up very well by bookwriter Roger O. Hirson (was it Fosse's idea?), nor is it really explained--this oversized, childish reaction to an actor (or character) refusing to follow the script. If you don't know it's coming, it's shocking and unique and interesting. But once you think about it, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It makes a point, but it isn't as perfect an ending as I wish it were. Oh, well. Small quibble. That being said, this particular production handles it pretty well. The lights and flashiness of the show do indeed reach their peak just before the unforeseen turn of events, and the final image of Pippin, Catherine and Theo in their underwear does carry the meaning it is intended to convey. Actually, the lighting for this show (by Charles Cooper) is one of its best aspects. The lights change constantly, directing the eye and conveying the mood and creating the time and place. I was extremely impressed. I don't think the workable scenic design (Stephen M. Carmody), properties design (Nick Heggestad) or costume design (Jessica Snyder) of this production would come off near as well, were the lighting not so perfect. So, kudos to Reddish and TMTC for a fun, meaningful and stylistically appropriate "Pippin," with moments of real creativity. The level of vocal excellence here is not always heard in other small, intimate theaters, and speaks to the priorities of this still-young company. If you love that legendary cast album, you'll enjoy this production, even with a small orchestra. And the show's theme of staying true to oneself, while looking for love and finding joy and meaning in the simple things of life, is a timeless one, well worth revisiting. Applause for the company of "Pippin!" The Music Theatre Company's production of "Pippin," by Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson, plays March 22-May 6, 2012 at the Karger Center, 1850 Green Bay Road in Highland Park, directed and choreographed by Founding Artistic Director Jessica Reddish. Tickets are available by calling 847.579.4900 or by visiting www.themusictheatrecompany.org. PHOTOS: (top) Andrew Keltz as Pippin with (L to R) Emily Rogers, Lucy Zukaitis and Sasha Kostyrko in "Pippin" at The Music Theatre Company; (bottom) Joey Stone as the Leading Player with cast members of "Pippin" at The Music Theatre Company PHOTO CREDIT: www.jonathansportraits.com (more...)

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Thanksgiving Special!
Turning the Tables
BWW TV LAST MINUTE with Randy Rainbow Congas to ON YOUR FEET!
  Chewing the Scenery with Randy Rainbow
Randy Rainbow Checks in w/ Liza to Chat HAIRSPRAY, Pence & More!
KID CRITICS
KID CRITICS at BLUE MAN!
BROADWAY SESSIONS
SHUFFLE ALONG Reunites at Broadway Sessions!
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