The Missouri Rep’s artistic director Eric Rosen is supposedly re-inventing Stephen Schwartz’s 1972 Musical “Pippin” into a modern-day rock fable with new choreography by 29-year-old choreographer Chase Brock. Brock has some very big shoes to fill, the original broadway production was choreographed by the legendary, late, great Bob Fosse, who won a Tony for his choreography of this show.
Pippin was nominated for 11 Tony awards in 1973, of which it won five.
- Best Actor in a Musical: Ben Vereen (in his Broadway introductory role)
- Best Director of a Musical: Bob Fosse
- Best Choreographer: Bob Fosse
- Best Scenic Design
- Best Lighting
You may not recognize the name Stephen Schwartz, but I bet you know his music. He has been composer and lyricist for several hit Broadway shows including, Godspell (1971), The Magic Show (1974) and Wicked (2003) among others. He also wrote lyrics for several animated movies including, among others, Pocahontas (1995) and Enchanted (2007). Schwartz has won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics, three Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards and has been nominated for six Tony Awards.
In 2003, Miramax acquired the feature film rights for Pippin, following the success of the film version of the musical, “Chicago”. No details about the production, including casting or release dates, were announced. As of 2012, a film version has still not been produced. I can’t wait to see a film version.
Pippin tells the story of a young prince on a search for meaning and significance in his life. I think this is a great play for young men to see. I think they can easily relate to Pippin’s journey of self discovery and search for meaning in life and his place in the world, (at least I did). I saw this musical in the late 70’s while I was in high school and it had a profound effect upon me, both emotionally and mentally, it spoke to me. I can’t wait to take my 17-year-old son to see it, who just so happens to be the same age now as I was when I first saw it. It will be fun to see if it has the same effect on him, and to see if it affects me in the same way that it did 30+ years ago.
I’m excited to see how Eric Rosen updates this material to make it seem modern and relevant in this new millennium. I’m sure it will be great! I’ve yet to be disappointed by a production at the Rep.
Pippin is playing on the Spencer Theatre Stage on the campus of UMKC, September 14th through October 7th, 2012.
Click HERE for tickets!Spencer Theatre