According to the New York Times, an upcoming Menier Chocolate Factory production of Stephen Schwartz's PIPPIN could be headed to the Great White Way in the near future. Schwartz, who wrote the music and lyrics for the show, has chosen to 'pursue' this West End revival first, instead of the Diane Paulus-helmed production, which was aiming for a Broadway run in 2012-13.
This production is inspired by virtual reality games, as opposed to the circus concept proposed by Paulus. The Menier Chocolate Factory production, to be directed by Mitch Sebastian, will include the original choreography by Bob Fosse and will open November 22.
Schwartz told the NYT: "I found it to be a fascinating concept, even if I have no idea if it will be workable or not. Just as the original ‘Pippin' dealt with concerns of a young man coming of age at that time, this idea seemed to bring the enactment story into the present day without undercutting the tale that takes place around 800 A.D. The idea actually required very little change, just a couple of words here and there. It felt like it was worth a shot."
He continued, "If it works out, the Chocolate Factory will make its own determination about the future of the show. And if it doesn't work out, I've told Diane and Barry that if they're still interested, we'll pursue a ‘Pippin' with them. There's no bad blood. Everyone seems in agreement with just seeing what happens."
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Pippin is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Roger O. Hirson. Bob Fosse, who directed the original Broadway production, also contributed to the libretto. The musical uses the premise of a mysterious acting troupe, led by a Leading Player, to tell the story of Pippin, a young prince on his search for meaning and significance.
The protagonist, Pippin, and his father, Charlemagne, derive their characters from two real-life individuals of the early Middle Ages, though the plot presents very little historical accuracy regarding either. The show was partially financed by Motown Records. As of July 2011, Pippin is the 31st longest-running Broadway show. Pippin was originally conceived by Stephen Schwartz as Pippin, Pippin, a student musical performed by Carnegie Mellon's Scotch'n'Soda theatre troupe.