April 7 at 8 p.m., Givens Performing Arts Center presents Pippin as the final show in this season’s Broadway and More Series. The show is a Broadway musical that features songs from the composer responsible for Wicked. The show first premiered on Oct. 23, 1972 at the Imperial Theater. It was directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse. It was a success and ran until June 12, 1977, with a total of 1,944 performances.
The show was revived in March 2013 by The American Reparatory Theater before moving to Broadway. The production received four Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival, and a total of ten nominations in 2013. The Broadway revival closed on Jan. 4, 2015, and the show is now touring the United States. This production is directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus, who is well known for her work on Hair and The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
Pippin takes place in a surreal and undefined world of circus and theater. Throughout the show, performers demonstrate incredible physical talent. The choreography harkens back to the original Bob Fosse style and the acrobatics are designed by LES 7 DOIGTS DE LA MAIN, or The 7 Fingers. This group is well known for their work on the show TRACES. TRACES is a mixture of street performance, dance and circus combined to create a poetic, non-linear narrative. The intense acrobatics are showcased in an urban apocalyptic setting.
The 7 Fingers is a collective created in 2002 by seven circus artists. Each performance artist acts as an artistic director. They work together on a variety of projects like Broadway shows, original productions, Olympic ceremonies and custom designed events. They champion diversity and often mix genres to better explore the human condition. The company is based in Montreal, but they are very active internationally. Their acrobatic work and fearless creativity plays well with the surreal and existential nature of Pippin. It is an exciting show full of incredible talent and heart pounding acrobatics perfectly choreographed to accompany energizing songs.
The story of Pippin follows a new actor joining a troupe. He is searching for fulfillment. His existential quest is the central conflict of the show. He tries several different paths for fulfillment before finding contentment in a life with Catherine, his love interest. This version of Pippin includes an extended ending that suggests dealing with existential crisis is cyclical.
Standard tickets vary from $41 to $36. There are discounts available for Alumni, students, children, and faculty. The show may be inappropriate for children 12 and under. For more information or to purchase tickets online, please visit the website http://www.uncp.edu/giving/advancement/givens-performing-arts-center/broadway-and-more-series.