Alex Newell Will Star in 50th Anniversary Pippin Concerts in London | Playbill

International News Alex Newell Will Star in 50th Anniversary Pippin Concerts in London

Jonathan O'Boyle will direct the Stephen Schwartz-Roger O. Hirson musical.

Alex Newell Heather Gershonowitz

Alex Newell—the first openly non-binary performer to win a Tony in an acting category for their role as Lulu in Shucked—will be the Leading Player in a forthcoming 50th anniversary concert production of Pippin at the London Palladium.

Featuring the London Musical Theatre Orchestra and a 50-member choir, the April 1–2 concerts of the Stephen Schwartz-Roger O. Hirson musical will be directed by Jonathan O'Boyle with musical direction by Chris Ma. Additional casting will be announced.

In a statement composer-lyricist Schwartz said, “Although there have been some excellent recent productions of Pippin in the U.K., the show never gets to be heard with a full live orchestra and choir. This concert, with a cast led by the astonishing Alex Newell and produced under the always first-rate auspices of Katy Lipson’s Aria Entertainment and Carter Dixon McGill, promises to be a once-in-a-blue-moon event. I for one cannot wait to experience it!”

Jane Deitch is the casting director.

Bob Fosse directed and choreographed the original 1972 Broadway production of Pippin, imposing his conceptual vision onto composer Schwartz and librettist Hirson's bittersweet fairytale. Ben Vereen was the Leading Player ("Magic to Do," "Simple Joys"), John Rubinstein played the searching Pippin ("Corner of the Sky," "With You"), Jill Clayburgh was his love interest ("I Guess I'll Miss the Man," "Kind of Woman"), Leland Palmer his evil stepmother ("Spread a Little Sunshine"), and Irene Ryan was Pippin's feisty grandmother ("No Time At All"). The show ran 1,944 performances, closing June 12, 1977.

The original production won five 1972 Tony Awards: Best Actor in a Musical (Vereen), Best Scenic Design (Tony Walton), Best Lighting Design (Jules Fisher), and Best Choreography and Best Direction of a Musical, both for Fosse. The 2013 Broadway revival won four Tonys, including Best Revival of a Musical.

The concerts will be produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment and Carter Dixon McGill Productions. Priority tickets for Pippin in Concert are now on sale; tickets will go on sale to the general public February 1.


Production Photos: Pippin on Broadway in 1972

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