Monday, August 10, 2009

Dark Monday - Pippin

pippin
pippin

This was the first Broadway show I ever saw. While in high school, we took our sophomore class trip to NYC to do dinner and a play. We went to Mama Leone's [tourist trap that impressed kids form Smyrna, Delaware] for dinner, and then to see 'Pippin'. I was astounded by this wonderful musical, directed by the icon Bob Fosse.

pippin,ben vereen pippin,john rubinstein,jill clayburgh
pippin,irene ryan
Scans from my Original Cast Album

The cast was amazing. They were Eric Berry, Jill Clayburgh, Leland Palmer, Irene Ryan (Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies), Ben Vereen, and John Rubinstein. Ann Reinking was in the chorus. Music and lyrics were by Stephen Schwartz, who also gave us Godspell and Wicked, as well as several Disney animated flicks. There was lots of skin showing, at least for a boy from Delaware. And John Rubinstein delivered a line I will never forget, 'Why'd the Goddamned duck have to die.' He cussed! And was often without a shirt!

pippin,playbill pippin

But the real star of the show was the choreography of Fosse. It wasn't really dancing as I knew it as much as movement of the body. It was completely something I had never seen, and blew me away. Here is the opening number, "Magic To Do".



There was also "Glory", a show-stopper with the choreography only Fosse could deliver.



From this experience, I was hooked on live theater. Now, I can't sing worth a damn, but I appeared in high school musicals, my biggest role as the mute king in 'Once Upon A Mattress'. I worked behind the scenes in college, and moved to NYC and worked for 4 seasons at the off-Broadway theater Circle Repertory Theatre Company in the Village. And got to work on some great theater, as well as go to many shows before I left NYC after 10 years.

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