Experience the thrilling 2013 Tony Award-winning musical Pippin – described as “An eye-popping, jaw-dropping, Visually Stunning extravaganza. The Thrill Of The Season!” by NY1 as it comes to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts March 31 through April 12. The tour goes on to make two stops in Central Florida: in Tampa at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts from April 14-19 and in Orlando at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts from April 21-26.
Pippin follows 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. Pippin tells the story of a young prince on a death-defying journey to find meaning in his existence. Will he choose a happy but simple life? Or will he risk everything for a singular flash of glory.
This captivating new production is directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus (Hair and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess). It features sizzling choreography by Tony Award nominee Chet Walker in the style of Bob Fosse and circus creation of breathtaking acrobatics by Gypsy Snider of the Montreal-based circus company Les 7 doigts de la main (also known as 7 Fingers), the creative force behind the nationwide sensation Traces.
Pippin is noted for many Broadway standards including “Corner of the Sky,” “Magic To Do,” “Glory,” “No Time at All,” “Morning Glow,” and “Love Song.”
It was a pleasure to sit down with Sam Lips who plays Pippin in the Broadway Across America tour.
You understudied the role of Pippin in the Broadway company. How does that differ from the Broadway Across America production?
When you do it once every now and then you give it everything you have at that time, but when you have to do it eight times a week, you really have to find the stamina and save your energy to get through the week. Also, when you do it eight times a week, you get to dive deep in to the character and find what really works.
What was your first professional role?
The first big touring production I did was playing Fiero in “Wicked.” However, before that I did a few regional productions.
Other than Pippin, what has been your favorite role?
When I was in high school, I played Leo Frank in the musical “Parade.” The reason that’s my favorite is because that was the moment I knew in my heart that acting and musical theater were what I wanted to do with my life.
What’s your favorite song/part in Pippin?
My favorite part is definitely in Act 2, “Love Song.” The show is so high-energy and “Love Song” is the first time I get to take a breath. It’s myself and Kristine Reese with a guitar and we get a tender moment.
What should the Fort Lauderdale audience expect from this production of Pippin?
You should expect to be entertained as I think Pippin has something for everybody: acrobatics, Fosse style dancing and a great message. Definitely a night of entertainment!
This show is so timeless in the issues it tackles. It’s amazing how the issues back when they wrote Pippin in the ’70s still relate to things happening today in our world.
Pippin, the most nominated Broadway show of 2013, won four 2013 Tony Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, seven Outer Critic Circle Awards and a Drama League Award. With a book by Roger O. Hirson and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, Pippin features music supervision and arrangements by Nadia DiGiallonardo, orchestrations by Tony Award-winner Larry Hochman, scenic design by Tony Award-winner Scott Pask, costume design by Dominique Lemieux, lighting design by Tony Award-winner Kenneth Posner, sound design by Jonathan Deans and Garth Helm.
Tickets will be available for purchase online and at the box offices for the respective venues. For more information, visit the venues’ websites directly: browardcenter.org, strazcenter.org and drphillipscenter.org.