“I’ve been waiting a long time to direct this one,” beams The Legacy Theatre’s Artistic Director, Mark Smith.
Smith is speaking of Pippin, the 1970’s rock musical about a young man on a desperate search to find meaning in his life. Winner of 5 Tony Awards and with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, the composer of such hits as Wicked, Godspell and The Prince of Egypt, Pippin not only guarantees audiences a wonderful night of musical theatre with familiar songs and intricate choreography, but also a timeless story that may ultimately, says Smith, make you think.
“When you get to the bare bones of this musical, it’s really a musical that we can all relate to. At the center of the story is a young person dealing with parental conflicts, war, love, politics, and spirituality. I think that when the audience leaves they will have a little more insight into what’s truly important in their own lives.”
The Legacy has often presented large dance-centric shows on their stage (Song and Dance, High School Musical 2), but Pippin is the first to feature choreography by the great director/choreographer, Bob Fosse, whose hits include the original productions of Chicago, Cabaret and Sweet Charity. In fact Fosse won the Tony Award for best choreography and direction for Pippin in 1973. Choreographer Bethany Hayes Smith states that “this show is a piece of dance history that audiences are not privileged to see in most theatrical productions today.” Bethany goes on to stage that she is not only thrilled to be re-staging Fosse’s signature dance moves, but she is also thrilled by the incredible talent the theatre has obtained to perform it. “The nine actors we have obtained for this show are true triple threats. They can sing, dance, and act. You have to have that for a show as complicated and challenging as Pippin.”
One of the actors is a comedic favorite returning to the Legacy stage, Dave Dorrell (Greater Tuna, Tuna Christmas). Dave will be doing double duty in Pippin, portraying Pippin’s father as well as his grandmother! Returning as well will be audience favorite Michael Stiggers (Mitch Mahoney in Legacy’s Spelling Bee) as The Leading Player, Pippin’s guide on his journey and a role made famous by musical theater icon, Ben Vereen. Playing the role of Pippin will be newcomer to the Legacy, Bentley Black, who recently played the role of Ren in Footloose: The Musical at Memphis’ Playhouse on the Square.
Pippin is intended for more mature viewers due to some adult subject matter. Pippin runs September 30 to October 23 on Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sundays at 3 p.m. Reserve your tickets by calling 404-895-1473 or go online at http://www.thelegacytheatre.org/. Season tickets are now on sale for $100! Shows remaining in the Legacy’s 6th season include The Andrews Sisters: A Christmas Swing, Jane Eyre, Nunsense, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.