Theater Review - Pippin (NY)

Despite bearing two of my favorite songs, “Corner of the Sky” and “Spread a Little Sunshine,” I have always found the show “Pippin” a little skimpy.  The genius Director Diane Paulus of the American Repertory Theatre in Boston has reinvented this musical; now it explodes with energy and color, using a circus theme with startling acrobatics created by Gypsy Snider and the Montreal company  Les 7 Doigts de la Main. So much better than Cirque de Soleil, there is character development, beautiful songs and warmth.  Matthew James Thomas is a delight as the hero Pippin who is searching for a lifestyle.  He displays a beautiful voice and a sensual innocence, which carries throughout the show. 


Of course, Andrea Martin's performance is incredible. It is much like Judy Kaye's last year in “Nice Work If You Can Get It” whereshe swung from a chandelier. Sixty-six year old Martin plays the granny who, when she strips off her dowdy mumu, reveals a beautiful figure in a form-fitting costume, leads the audience in the great number, “No Time at All,” all while balancing upside down atop a couple of guys and a rope!    Unforgettable!!  She is nominated by the Outer Critics, the Tony's and the Drama Desk for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.


“Pippin” has been nominated for 11 Outer Critics Circle awards: Andrea Martin; Matthew James Thomas for Outstanding Actor in a musical; Patina Miller, Outstanding Actress in a Musical; Kenneth Posner, Lighting, Terrence Mann, who is a terrifically charming King Charlemagne is nominated for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.  Among his many roles, he scared the heck out of me as Javere in “Les Miserables.”  His wife in real life is Charlotte D'Amboise, who plays his wife on stage and Pippin's sexy self-involved mother and is nominated for Featured Actress in a Musical.  What a dynamite couple!   Diane Paulus for her direction; Chet Walker for Choreography; Dominique Lemieux for Costume Design, which was spectacular and Outstanding Musical Revival.


At the Music Box Theatre, “Pippin” where you will see the most amazing stunts you have ever seen- simply wonderful!

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