Pippin [1972 Original Broadway Cast]

Pippin [1972 Original Broadway Cast]

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by Ben Vereen
     
 

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Following the success of his off-Broadway musical Godspell and his collaboration with Leonard Bernstein on Mass, songwriter Stephen Schwartz made his Broadway debut with Pippin, which he had actually begun writing in college. It was based, very loosely, on Pepin (aka Pippin), the eighth century Frankish king. InSee more details below

Overview

Following the success of his off-Broadway musical Godspell and his collaboration with Leonard Bernstein on Mass, songwriter Stephen Schwartz made his Broadway debut with Pippin, which he had actually begun writing in college. It was based, very loosely, on Pepin (aka Pippin), the eighth century Frankish king. In the musical, Pippin (played by John Rubinstein) is a young man who is seeking meaning in life, not unlike the generation that came of age in the 1960s, of which Schwartz was a member, and not unlike the Jesus of Godspell. Pippin is led through life experiences by the Leading Player (played by Ben Vereen), a skeptical character not unlike the Judas of Godspell. It is the contrast between ingenuousness and archness represented by the two main characters that gives Pippin its dramatic structure, and onstage that contrast played out in the distinction between Schwartz's sweet pop
ock score and director/choreographer Bob Fosse's tart staging. It made for a successful combination; opening on October 23, 1972, Pippin ran more than four and a half years, for a total of 1,944 performances. Theater professionals, as ever hostile to the incursions of rock music on the Great White Way, tended to credit Fosse with the show's popularity and to disparage Schwartz's score. At Tony time, Fosse won two awards, while Schwartz lost the best score trophy to Stephen Sondheim and A Little Night Music. Nevertheless, the score was one of the show's major assets. Motown Records invested in Pippin and had its artists cover songs from it. The Supremes had a minor pop chart entry with "I Guess I'll Miss the Man," and the Jackson 5 made the R&B Top Ten and the pop Top 20 with "Corner of the Sky" shortly after the show opened. The cast album, Motown's first venture into show music, spent two and a half months in the charts, the only cast album to reach the charts at all in 1973. It deserved to do even better. Schwartz's piano- and guitar-based melodies were as catchy and appealing as any of the soft rock that was dominating the charts in the early '70s, and the cast was accomplished, especially Vereen, and, in "No Time at All," a spry ode to senior citizenship, Irene Ryan, best known as Granny Clampett on the television series The Beverly Hillbillies. On September 26, 2000, Decca Broadway reissued the Pippin cast album with the Supremes and Jackson 5 hits as bonus tracks, along with Michael Jackson's 1973 cover of "Morning Glow," the best of the pop versions of songs from the show.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/26/2000
Label:
Decca Broadway
UPC:
0601215961324
catalogNumber:
159613
Rank:
5834

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ben Vereen   Primary Artist,Track Performer
John Rubenstein   Track Performer
Edward Strauss   Piano,Soloist
Leland Palmer   Track Performer
Jackson 5   Track Performer
Michael Jackson   Track Performer
Supremes   Track Performer
Jill Clayburgh   Track Performer
Irene Ryan & Gang   Track Performer
Original Cast Recording   Indexed Contributor

Technical Credits

Phil Ramone   Producer,Engineer
Stephen Michael Schwartz   Producer
Ralph Burns   Orchestration
Gene Page   Arranger
David Blumberg   Arranger
Greg Calbi   Mastering
Bob Gaudio   Producer
Deke Richards   Producer
John Berkman   Dance Arrangement
Bob Fosse   Director,Choreographer
Tony Walton   Cover Art
Stanley Lebowsky   Musical Director
Abe Jacob   Sound Design
Stephen Schwartz   Producer
Brian Drutman   Reissue Producer
Brown   Mastering

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