Following on from Sunday in the Park with George, Little Shop of Horrors, La Cage aux Folles, A Little Night Music and Sweet Charity, the Menier Chocolate Factory is currently presenting Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson's Pippin. Pippin began previews on Tuesday, 22 November, opens officially on 7 December, and will run through 25 February, 2012. Buzz about West End and Broadway transfers of the production has already begun, with Stephen Schwartz fully supportive of both ideas. Below, BroadwayWorld brings you a first look at Pippin at Menier Chocholate Factory!
It was recently announced that both Louise Gold and Caroline Quentin will take on Pippin's grandmother Berthe this holiday season. Gold joins the cast now through January 8, and Quentin from January 10-22.
Pippin, directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, opened on Broadway in 1972, won 5 Tony Awards and ran for just under 5 years. The Broadway production was mounted in the West End in 1973. Director and choreographer Mitch Sebastian leads the creative team for this high-concept revival incorporating Fosse's original Tony Award-winning choreography. Timothy Bird returns to the Chocolate Factory for the first time since winning the Olivier Award for Sunday in the Park with George to design the set and projections. Lighting design is by Tony Award winner (for Chicago) Ken Billington, costume design by Jean-Marc Puissant, orchestrations and music supervision by Simon Lee and sound design by Gareth Owen.
This is a colourful, imaginative and darkly humorous coming-of-age story. Pippin, heir to the throne of Charlemagne, is searching for beauty, glory, fame and magic but in doing so has to come to grips with lust, sex, war, politics and religion.
Pippin is one of Stephen Schwartz's most melodic scores. He is currently represented in the West End by the long-running international hit Wicked. His other credits include Godspell (about to be revived on Broadway), The Baker's Wife, Rags, Working and Children of Eden. His first opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, was recently produced by New York City Opera. Tony Nominee Roger O Hirson has enjoyed a varied career working as a writer in film, television and theatre.
Mitch Sebastian started his career as a dancer and appeared in over 12 West End shows. His first West End production as choreographer and director was The Ratpack Live from Las Vegas, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award. Other directing/cheographing credits include The Pirates of Penzance, Oklahoma! and Little Shop of Horrors, all at Kilworth House Theatre.
Ken Billington's recent Broadway credits include the Menier Chocolate Factory of Sunday in the Park with George, The Scottsboro Boys, Sondheim on Sondheim and The Drowsy Chaperone, as well as the upcoming Hugh Jackman - Back on Broadway.
Pippin is being presented at the Chocolate Factory in conjunction with Michael Jackowitz/Arlene Scanlan and Adam Blanshay/Natalie Macaluso.
Photo Credit: Tristram Kenton
Harry Hepple and Carly Bawden
Frances Ruffelle and Company