The Tony-Award-winning Broadway musical, Pippin, has just opened at the SHN Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco, and the critics love it!
“What a cast, what a show, what a thoroughly terrific time you’ll spend in the theater,” says the San Francisco Chronicle. Featuring breathtaking acrobatics and amazing magical feats by a cast of world-class circus-trained artists, Pippin is described by Broadway.com as “an exuberant extravaganza of a show”.
With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell and Wicked) and book by Roger O Hirson, Pippin was originally produced on Broadway in 1972 – directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse. This revival – now on tour across the US – opened on Broadway in 2013, winning four Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival, with Diane Paulus taking the award for Best Director.
Described by the San Jose Mercury News as having “the Midas touch for revivals”, Paulus directed the 2011 revival of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, brought to San Francisco by SHN last year. Choreography for this production of Pippin is by Tony Award nominee Chet Walker – in the style of Bob Fosse – with circus creation by Gypsy Snider, co-founder of Montreal-based circus, Les 7 doigts de la main, and daughter of the founders of San Francisco’s Pickle Family Circus.
Based on a medieval fable, related by a mysterious troupe of traveling performers, Pippin tells of a young and dreamy Prince – who sets out to find passion and adventure. He gets involved in a war, becomes a revolutionary, leaves a trail of broken hearts in his wake, but ultimately realizes that perhaps excitement and freedom aren’t the answer to life, and that peace of mind can be found much closer to home.
Pippin is played by British actor Matthew James Thomas, who originated the role in this 2013 revival, and who “offers a stunning and deceptively nuanced performance” according to the Chronicle. Berthe is played by Lucie Arnaz untll October 5, and from October 7 to 19, Andrea Martin – who played Berthe in the Broadway production – will reprise the role which won her the 2013 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards.
The cast also includes Sasha Allen as Leading Player, and Charles is played by Tony Award winner John Rubinstein (who created the title role in the 1972 original Broadway production), Sabrina Harper (who played Pippin in the original Broadway Revival cast) is Fastrada and Kristine Reese (who appeared in Wicked on tour) is Catherine.
Pippin runs at San Francisco’s SHN Golden Gate Theatre until October 19. For more information and tickets, visit shnsf.com, and tickets are also available from SHN Audience Services at 888-746-1799.