Pippin in the center ring: razzle-dazzling!

Sep 25

<i>Pippin</i> in the center ring: razzle-dazzling!

Now this is how you revive a musical.Sure, you could set Les Misérables or Sunday in the Park with George in a circus with results that would likely be as baffling as they are entertaining. But when Diane Paulus was inspired to set her revival of Pippin under the big top, she was going for something more than a bright and shiny gimmick. Working with "circus creator" Gypsy Snier of the acclaimed Montréal-based theatrical circus company 7 doigts de la main, Paulus crafted a physical production that mirrored the emotional journey of the show's central character.

It's a brilliant concept and one that reenergizes the 1972 show and features its score by Stephen Schwartz and book by Roger O. Hirson off to their greatest advantage. Pippin still feels a little like a hippy '70s musical (a good thing in my book), but this production finds something even more universal...

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Review: `Stephen Schwartz and Friends’

Nov 08

Out of the ruins and rubbleOut of the smokeOut of our night of struggleCan we see a ray of hope?One pale thin ray reaching for the dayWe can build a beautiful cityYes, we can; Yes, we can … Friday night at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center, Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz diverged from his set list after opening his show, Stephen Schwartz and Friends, with...

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`Wicked’ witches swarm Union Square

Sep 27

Green-faced fans of all kinds swarmed San Francisco’s Union Square on Friday, Sept. 26 – Wicked Day in San Francisco, according to a proclamation from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom – at a party celebrating Wicked’s return to the city that gave it birth next January. Photos by J. Lynne McVey   San Francisco has often been compared to the Emerald...

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`Wicked’ witches head west, Taylor Hicks follows

Sep 15

Wicked, the hit musical positively rolling in green, had its world premiere at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre before heading to Broadway ‘s Gershwin Theatre, where it has broken the house record 18 times and regularly grosses more than $1.4 million each week. Now one of the most successful shows in Broadway history (3.6 million people have seen it on...

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Review: `Snapshots’

Jun 22

Opened June 21, 2008 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts The cast of TheatreWorks’ Snapshots creates scenes from the life of a married couple set to recycled Stephen Schwartz songs. Photos by David Allen   Stephen Schwartz songbook turns into Snapshots revue««« The idea of a musical revue was green before we even knew what green...

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Stephen Schwartz shares musical `Snapshots’

Jun 18

In terms of Broadway composers, Stephen Schwartz is up there with Sondheim and Lloyd Webber as one of the latter-day saviors of modern musical theater. From his first show, Godspell, right up through his most recent hit, Wicked, Schwartz has been up, down and in between, but his work has been constant. Some of that work has been for movies as well. He won Oscars...

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