This Ain’t Your Mamma’s “Pippin”

PippinBUT she and  the entire family will love it!  Although the story, music, and Bob Fosse’s choreography remain intact, this amped up, high-flying, death-defying revival of the 1970s era musical by Stephen Schwartz is a joyride you won’t soon forget.  The acrobatics are stunning — it’s like watching a science fiction movie on stage.  You’ll leave wondering — how did they do that?! Can someone really do that with their body?!

All this to say, don’t miss the Broadway tour of Pippin. It’s every bit as good as the Broadway production. In the title role,  Kyle Dean Massey is a quadruple threat! His voice is flawless! It should be illegal for one person to possess this much talent.

At 63 you won’t believe what Lucie Arnaz (Berthe) does on a trapeze. She’s the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in real life and Pippin’s grandmother in the show.

During my interview with Kyle Dean Massey (available on demand below), he mentioned that Pippin is the first show he’s been in where the ensemble is without a doubt as integral as the main characters.  He’s right – there are no tangential roles in this Pippin.

I’m not sure if anyone can top Patina Miller, who won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actress in a musical for her performance as the Leading Player in the Broadway revival of Pippin. It isn’t Sasha Allen, who was in the top 5 on Season 4 of NBC’s The Voice. She does not have “the voice” for this role. After the disastrous performances of  American Idol  wannabes Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, I’m beginning to think “making it” on a reality show doesn’t  necessarily mean you’re cut out to be on the Great White Way.  Ms. Allen is an excellent dancer.  She’s probably better suited for Dancing with the Stars.

Pippin is on stage through Sunday, January 18th at RBTL’s Auditorium Theatre in Rochester, New York.  Tickets available at RBTL.org.  The entire tour schedule is at Pippinthemusical.com/tour.

 

Pippin’s Kyle Dean Massey has Magic to do on Stage Notes

Kyle oneKyle Dean Massey Joins the Broadway tour of PIPPIN straight from the Broadway production where he was in the title role. He jumped onto Stage Notes  to talk with host Robert Hammond about this extraordinary role, as well as his vast Broadway Career, including leading roles in Wicked,  Next to Normal, Xanadu, and Altar Boyz. (Bio below.)  Full interview with Kyle will air throughout the country in January.

Starring Kyle Dean Massey as Pippin, Lucie Arnaz as Berthe, John Rubinstein (the original Pippin in the Broadway production), and Sasha Allen from  The Voice, The National Broadway Tour of PIPPIN is on its way to your city.  Don’t miss it!

Pippin Continue reading “Pippin’s Kyle Dean Massey has Magic to do on Stage Notes”

Sometimes F’uped is Next to Normal

next_to_normal

Rarely do I leave a musical or straight play in utter disdain.  In my view, there’s nearly always at least one positive take away.   Keeping that in mind,  there are three musicals that  continually affect me personally and professionally.  They’re stand outs—above the fray.  I’m drawn to the soundtracks regularly.  Hearing a single note from a song can instantly take me on a journey … some are delightful … some are dreadful.  That is what theatre is all about, and sometimes f’uped IS next to normal.  The suspense is over: A Chorus Line, RENT, and Spring Awakening.  I add a fourth:  Next to Normal.

I didn’t  see Next  to Normal on Broadway.  It doesn’t matter!  If I could turn back time (call me Cher!)  and the  production now on stage at Geva Theatre Center was magically transplanted to the Booth Theatre in April 2009, I suspect it would receive the same accolades and awards. 

Next to Normal, on stage at Geva Theatre Center through February 10th, is a triumph! Don’t miss this groundbreaking, Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical. Congratulations to Geva; Scott Schwartz, director; and the entire, amazingly gifted cast and crew. Information about the show and its cast and crew is available at gevatheatre.org.   My full interview with Scott Schwartz  (director) is available below.

Click above to hear Robert’s full interview (including music) with Scott Schwartz

Stage Notes Gets “Next to Normal” with Scott Schwartz

Join host Robert Hammond for an in-depth look at the groundbreaking musical Next to Normal, with its director Scott Schwartz. The son of Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin), Scott Schwartz will talk about the cast, music and storyline of Next to Normal, on stage at Geva Theatre Center through February 10th.

Featuring an electrifying contemporary score of more than 30 songs, this groundbreaking, Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical is an emotional powerhouse. Captivating and ultimately hopeful, Next to Normal aims right for the heart with its story of a suburban family coming to terms with its past and bravely facing its future. The New York Times raves “It is much more than a feel-good musical; it is a feel-everything musical.”

SCOTT SCHWARTZ (Director) returns to Geva Theatre Center where he directed the world premiere of ROOMS: A Rock Romance. Broadway credits include Golda’s Balcony and Jane Eyre (co-directed with John Caird). Off-Broadway credits include Bat Boy: The Musical; Tick, Tick…Boom!; Rooms: A Rock Romance; The Foreigner starring Matthew Broderick; Franz Kafka’s The Castle; Miss Julie and No Way to Treat a Lady. Mr. Schwartz also directed Golda’s Balcony in London, on tour in Los Angeles at the Wadsworth Theater, and in San Francisco at A.C.T. Recent credits include Séance on a Wet Afternoon at New York City Opera, A Room With a View at the Old Globe, the rolling world premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s What We’re Up Against at the Alley Theatre, and Arsenic Old Lace starring Tovah Feldshuh and Betty Buckley at Dallas Theater Center. Regional theaters include Arizona Theatre Company, Asolo Rep, Berkshire Theater Festival, Cleveland Playhouse, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center, La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, Pasadena Playhouse, PCPA, Prince Theater, Rubicon, Signature Theater, TheatreWorks, Virginia Stage Company, Westport Country Playhouse. Mr. Schwartz is an Associate Artist at the Alley, member of SDC, and a graduate of Harvard University.