We all want to live an extraordinary life. It’s challenging when things like taxes, delayed subway trains, and burnt coffee exist, but we try. Starting March 23rd, Broadway’s 31st longest-running show Pippin is returning to Broadway since its 1977 close, and bringing with it a whole new surge of inspiration to live an extraordinary life – which means you’re totally not off the hook this year. Having just returned from the open press rehearsal, here are a couple of things to know about the show ahead of time.
1. Since Stephen Schwartz (composer/lyricist of Wicked) is the man behind Pippin’s music, please do expect to walk in already knowing the show’s ‘70s pop anthem “Corner Of The Sky,” and/or singing it on your way out.
2. Pippin, played by Matthew James Thomas (former Spider-Man in Turn Off the Dark), resembles a bit of a 20-something, very attractive Peter Pan, which is slightly disconcerting, but somehow condoned when he sings and takes his shirt off.
3. The dance moves choreographed by the show’s original director/legend Bob Fosse are well-preserved and impeccably performed by the animated Patina Miller (starred in Sister Act), who’s the show’s "Leading Player" character.
4. Since the title character’s quest for an extraordinary life is told by a performance troupe, you will see lots of the following: dancers doing flips through hula hoops, human pyramids, Patina swaying across the stage mid-hula hooping, and impossibly-toned abs.
Previews begin March 23rd at the Music Box Theatre. Pippin opens April 25th.
Just a day after Julie Taymor announced that she’s suing the production for a million bucks, the Phantom of the Foxwoods Theater caught another poor actor in his tangled web. Matthew James Thomas, who performs the role of Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark at Wednesday and Saturday matinees, mysteriously injured himself yesterday.
Playbill offers the news but has no details about what happened to Thomas, only that he was injured backstage while transitioning between scenes at the end of the first act. He "was taken to the hospital, where he received stitches, and the production was stopped for approximately 10 minutes." There haven’t been any injuries in a while, so the ten minute break was surely a fun moment in the middle of what critics have called "a bore."
Luckily for the Wednesday matinee crowd, Spider-Man star Reeve Carney just happened to be in the building and took over for Thomas while was at the hospital. Crazy coincidence, huh? What’s stranger: the fact that the show has a separate actor playing the title role during the matinee performances (something that is usually reserved for roles that require crazy talents that would otherwise strain the vocals of the star, such as the upcoming revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Evita), or that Carney was around, possibly UP TO NO GOOD? Could he have knocked his rival Spidey out of commission so that we could have something to do on Wednesday afternoon?
Well, it’s not likely, but a conspiracy theory certainly spices up this long-winded, boring mess of a show. Matthew James Thomas will be back in the show by Saturday.