John Rubenstein Celebrates Pippin's 50th Anniversary On MUSICAL THEATRE MELODIES Next Week

The program will be streamed worldwide on the 96.5 Inner FM Radio website on Tuesday, October 25th, 2022

By: Oct. 21, 2022

John Rubenstein Celebrates Pippin's 50th Anniversary On MUSICAL THEATRE MELODIES Next Week

The next broadcast of Rob Morrison's Musical Theatre Melodies will pay tribute to the 50th Anniversary of Steven Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson's Tony Award winning musical PIPPIN, featuring interviews with Tony Award winner John Rubenstein and songs from the original Broadway cast recording with special narration by Tony Award nominee Walter Willison. The program will be streamed worldwide on the 96.5 Inner FM Radio website on Tuesday, October 25th, 2022

John Rubenstein made his Broadway debut in the title role of PIPPIN, for which he received a Theatre World Award, and received a Tony Award for his performance in CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD. His other Broadway appearances include FOOLS, HURLYBURLY, THE CAINE MUTINY COURT MARTIAL (Drama Desk nomination), M. BUTTERFLY, GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER, RAGTIME, the revival of PIPPIN, this time as Pippin's father, Charlemagne (also touring the US and Europe), and CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. Off-Broadway appearances include COUNSELOUR-AT-LAW for which he received the Outer Critics' and Drama League Awards. His vast list of regional appearances includes an eighteen-month stint as The Wizard in WICKED at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. Mr. Rubenstein starred in the TV series "Family" (Emmy nomination), and "Crazy Like a Fox", and over 300 episodes. He appeared in twenty-four films, including Being the Ricardos, and has composed, orchestrated and conduction the musical score for five feature films, including Jeremiah Johnson and The Candidate, and over 50 television films, as well as the weekly themes for "Family" and "China Beach". He is currently starring in his first one-man show, the World Premiere of Richard Hellesen's EISENHOWER: This Piece Of Ground, directed by Peter Ellenstein, at Theatre West in Los Angeles.

Walter Willison, who was the original standby for Pippin, received a Tony Award nomination and Theatre World Award the previous year for his Broadway musical debut in Richard Rodgers and Martin Charnin's TWO BY TWO. His other Broadway appearances include the Tony Award winning GRAND HOTEL, NORMAN, IS THAT YOU, WILD AND WONDERFUL, A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Madison at Madison Square Garden, and he played both The Celebrant and the First Rock Singer in Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Schwartz' MASS which opened The Kennedy Center. He has starred in and/or directed productions Off-Broadway, on the West Coast, and in regional theatres around the country. Television appearance include starring in the NBC series McDuff, The Talking Dog, Days of Our Lives, Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy on PBS, and his films include Mike Frankovich's Emmy winning Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women, and Rick McKay's Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age, in which he shares the screen with his PIPPIN castmates John Rubenstein, Candy Ann Brown, Pamela Sousa, and Ben Vereen. Mr. Willison is producing and directing PIPPIN: The 50th Annual Original Broadway Cast Reunion Concert at 54 Below in February of 2023.

The original production of PIPPIN opened on Broadway on October 23, 1972, garnered five Tony Awards, and was nominated in eleven categories, including Best Musical. The show, with music and lyrics by Steven Schwartz (Tony Award nomination) and a book by Roger O. Hirson (Tony Award nomination) opened on October 23, 1972, starring John Rubinstein, Ben Vereen (Tony Award winner), Jill Clayburgh, Eric Berry, Leland Palmer (Tony Award nominee) and Irene Ryan (Tony Award nominee), with Candy Brown, Roger A. Bigelow, Christopher Chadman, Cheryl Clark, Kathryn Doby, Gene Foote, Roger Hamilton, Richard Korthaze, John Mineo, Jennifer Nairn-Smith, Ann Reinking, Paul Solen, and Pamela Sousa. Produced by Stuart Ostrow, with scenery designed by Tony Walton (Tony Award winner), Costumes by Patricia Zipprodt (Tony Award nominee), Lighting by Jules Fisher (Tony Award winner), musical direction by Stanley Lebowsky, Orchestrations by Ralph Burns, dance arrangements by John Berkman, sound by Abe Jacob, and was directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse (Tony Award winner). This was the landmark year that Fosse won the triple crown; two Tonys for PIPPIN, an Emmy Award for "Liza With a Z", and an Academy Award for Cabaret.

Musical Theatre Melodies is the long-running weekly broadcast hosted by Australian radio personality Rob Morrison (not to be confused with the New York based actor of the same name), which pays tribute to the best of Broadway, London's West End, the Australian stage, and the occasional European operetta, in a two-hour program celebrating significant anniversaries in the world of Musical Theatre. Recent guests have included Karen Akers, Leslie Bricusse, Ted Chapin, Joan Fagan Marshall, Peter Filichia, Daisy Eagan, Harry Groener, Sheldon Harnick, Cady Huffman, Tom Jones, Elaine Joyce, Michael Lavine, Karen Morrow, Denise Nettleton Jacobs, and Frank Wildhorn. A selection of Rob's past archived interviews from Musical Theatre Melodies can be found on the Theatre Heritage Australia website.

Broadcast from Melbourne, Australia, A 50th Anniversary Tribute to PIPPIN will stream on the 96.5 Inner FM website, and can be heard in New York at 6am EST; on the West Coast at 3am PST; in the UK at 11 am BST; and in Australia at 9 pm local Melbourne time, on Tuesday, June 28th, 2022.