The last show of the ’12-’13 Broadway season, Pippin, opened on April 25, 2013. The buzz for this revival, helmed by Diane Paulus (Hair), and reinvented to live inside a big-top circus, has been strong, and the show was well-received across the board by the critics. The only hold-out from a rave was Ben Brantley of The New York Times. The NY Times can make or break a show, but in the end word-of-motuth is what drives success on Broadway, and the buzz on this show is high. What bothered Ben Brantley was the overwhelming effort the production makes to be loved, seems to be exactly what audiences are responding to as they post their ‘reviews’ on social media. Although the show has been historically considered light on story, it has been a beloved musical in regional theaters and high schools for the past 40 years.
In this re-imagining of the musical, Paulus has collaborated with Gypsy Snider, of the Montreal circus troupe Les 7 Doigts de la Main, on the tumbling and acrobatic elements of the show as well as Chet Walker, who has re-created the Fosse choreography and adapted it to the circus environment. While many of the theater vets gracing the stage in Pippin were singled out for mention, the one star that all mention as being a highlight of the show (and with only one song to her role) is Andrea Martin. (Apparently, she stops the show cold after her number each night). The revival of Pippin, written by Roger O. Hirson, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz is playing at The Music Box Theater.
Here’s our review roundup: