By: Diana Brang-Scott
PIPPIN is back on Broadway for the first time since it thrilled audiences 40 years ago… the show the New York Times declared “ASTONISHING. A PIPPIN FOR THE 21ST CENTURY.” It won the Tony Award for BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL! With a beloved score by Tony nominee STEPHEN SCHWARTZ (GODSPELL, WICKED), PIPPIN tells the story of the son of Charlemagne (who is leader of the Holy Roman Empire) as he struggles to find meaning in his life.
The original Broadway production combined suggestions of medieval times in sets and costumes with the themes of sexual experimentation and political upheaval present in the American 1970s. The show was originally choreographed and directed by the inimitable Bob Fosse and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. This captivating new production is directed by Tony winner DIANE PAULUS .This new version has kept some aspects of Fosse’s original staging and choreography — which used a touring theatrical troupe to tell Pippin’s story — Paulus decided to turn that troupe into the cast and crew of a circus acrobatics LES 7 DOIGTS DE LA MAIN, the creative force behind the nationwide sensation TRACES.
I recently spoke to Sam Lips the actor who plays Pippin, and he is no stranger to Michigan, he is a Graduate of the University of Michigan and is 24 years old. I asked Sam how he could personally relate to his character of Pippin. He said, “Pippin and I are at very similar points in our lives. I have been out of collage for almost 3 years now, but I am still trying to figure out where I fit in this world, and that feeling of what is next is still very fresh in my mind. Pippin and I also deal with things in the same way. We are both very driven; we go for what we want. Obviously, Pippin is more of the extreme, he just puts blinders on and goes for whatever he sees in front of him, but I can definitely relate to that.”
This role of Pippin is a very physical one, what did you do to prepare for it? Sam said, “By being the understudy for the Broadway production I actually got to take my time to really get those acrobatic skills down. I do still work out and practice every day to keep my body healthy and flexible; it really is an ongoing process.” I asked d him if there was a particular stunt or trick that he was nervous about learning once cast as Pippin? He said,” There is this backflip that I do where a guy launches me into the air and I perform a backflip off of his hands, that probably was the biggest trick I have to do and took the longest to learn. He laughed and said, “and when it goes well, it’s really fun.”
PIPPIN is a high-flying, death-defying hit musical full of extraordinary acrobatics, wondrous magical feats. Will Pippin choose a happy but simple life? Or will he risk everything for a singular moment of glory?
Experience the thrilling 2013 Tony Award®-winning musical PIPPIN! Described as “An eye-popping, jaw-dropping, VISUALLY STUNNING extravaganza and THE THRILL OF THE SEASON!” by NY1.
PIPPIN will appear at Detroit’s Fisher Theatre, June 9 – 21. Tickets are available now
www.ticketmaster.com or in person.
Purchase tickets in person at the Fisher Theatre box office, where Ticketmaster and service fees do not apply. Box office hours are Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The box office is open evenings and weekends only when performances take place. You may also purchase tickets in person at all Ticketmaster outlets, including Macy’s. Ticketmaster convenience fees and service charges apply when purchasing tickets at Ticketmaster outlets.