’Pippin’ cast for Broadway has familiar faces

Updated at: 02/04/2013 11:38 AM
By MARK KENNEDY

(AP) NEW YORK - The folks who brought magic to the new "Pippin" in Massachusetts are coming south to Broadway.

Producers on Monday said Matthew James Thomas will star this spring as Pippin, Patina Miller will be the Leading Player, Terrence Mann will be Charles, Charlotte d’Amboise plays Fastrada, Rachel Bay Jones will be Catherine and Andrea Martin plays Berthe.

All starred in the show that ended its run last month at the American Repertory Theater outside Boston. Diane Paulus, who runs the theater, also directs the revival. Her revivals of both "Hair" and "The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess" also went to Broadway and each won Tony Awards for best musical revivals.

A whimsical coming-of-age story about the son of the first Holy Roman Emperor, "Pippin" boasts pop-rock music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Roger O. Hirson. Schwartz’s other hits include "Wicked" and "Godspell."

"Pippin" opened in 1972 under the direction of Bob Fosse and ran for five years, winning five Tonys. It became a favorite with schools, summer stocks and community theaters across the country.

Performances on Broadway begin March 23 at the Music Box Theatre.

Directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, the Broadway original version starred Ben Vereen as the Leading Player, an emcee-like role that won him a best-actor Tony. John Rubinstein played Pippin and the cast also included Jill Clayburgh and Ann Reinking.

In the new revival, the Vereen role is being filled by Miller, the Tony-nominated star of "Sister Act." Thomas’ credits include "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," Mann was in "Cats," Jones was in "Hair," d’Amboise has been in "Chicago" and "A Chorus Line," and Martin was in "Young Frankenstein" onstage and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" on film.

Schwartz wrote the show while a student at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh and his success with "Godspell" helped get it on Broadway. Its breakout songs include "Magic to Do," "No Time at All," "Corner of the Sky," "No Time at All" and "Kind of Woman."

Gypsy Snider, an ex-Cirque du Soleil member who founded the Montreal-based collective known as 7 Fingers, has choreographed the circus parts of the show, and Chet Walker, who was in the original "Pippin," has choreographed the dance parts in a Fosse style.

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Online: www.PippinTheMusical.com

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(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)