Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pippin, Pippin: We Really Do Know Ye

 Pippin, old and new...
Stephen Schwartz wrote the original draft 
(when it was called Pippin, Pippin) 
with Ron Strauss,
while attending Carnegie Mellon back in the late 1960s.
However, SS has stated that "not one single note" of that original show
made it into the final version that landed on Broadway in 1972.

 Ben Vereen as the Leading Player in
Bob Fosse's interpretation,
and below, Patina Miller in the same role some 40 years later.
Both Vereen and Miller won Tonys
for their portrayals;
they are the first pair of actors of different sexes to
receive a Tony for the same role.

 Above center is Irene Ryan, the original Berthe,
who died just a few months into the run, at the age of 70,
was given a posthumous Tony.
Below, Andrea Martin, who played the part at 66,
with sexier clothes and swinging on a trapeze,
won one, too, but she was alive to receive it!

 Above, Pippin the 1st...John Rubenstein,
and below, Pippin the 2nd...
Mathew James Thomas.

From Bob Fosse's "surreal and disturbing" version
(so said Clive Barnes, the NYTimes)
to the revival's circus-ful reincarnation,
brought to us by director Diane Paulus.
Stephen Schwartz says he thought Diane "did it better",
but then again Fosse had Stephen tossed out of his rehearsals,
back in the 70s, 
so Stephen WOULD say something like that.
(BTW: Fosse was the first to bring Broadway commercials to television.)

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