Sunday, March 16, 2014

theatre review PIPPIN, Phoenix Theatre, March 7

Paul Stovall, Anthony Johnson and ensemble
To read my entire review at Talkin' Broadway for the Phoenix Theatre's production of Pippin, just click on this link.

"The original 1972 Broadway production of Pippin was highly identified with Bob Fosse, who directed it and added his sleek and stylized signature choreographic moves to just about every moment of the show. An updated revival of the show opened to great success on Broadway last year and now the Phoenix Theatre is presenting their own re-imagined take on this musical. Setting the show within a circus, this production is somewhat similar to the current Broadway revival, which also adds a circus theme, though the Broadway production is more in line with the highly stylized acrobatics of a Cirque du Soleil show with a considerable heightened sense of sensuality as well. While the Phoenix Theatre production does have a considerable amount of circus elements, they are more in line with a traveling group of carnival performers. And, unlike the Broadway production, they don't overdo the sexual hijinks or rely on many of the original Fosse moves, reimagining the choreography as well. For the most part this colorful, high energy re-do of the show works.

Is Pippin a perfect show? No, but it is one with many magical and memorable moments, including some excellent songs by Schwartz. With the circus theme of the Phoenix Theatre's reimagining and Trisha Hart Ditsworth's excellent portrayal of Catherine, most of the show's shortcomings are overcome, turning this musical into a joyful and dazzling story of self-discovery.
Pippin runs through March 30, 2014, at the Phoenix Theatre at 100 E. McDowell Road in Phoenix. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling (602) 254-2151

Photo: Tamara French/Phoenix Theatre


No comments:

Post a Comment