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Northwestern to Stage Tony Award-Winning Musical 'Pippin'

January 23, 2007 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The mischievous and magical musical “Pippin” is the imaginary coming-of-age story of legendary medieval King Charlemagne's eldest son.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, the composer of the Broadway and Chicago hit musical “Wicked,” and book by Roger O. Hirson, “Pippin” will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26; 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27; 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28; 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31; 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1; 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2; 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, at the Josephine Louis Theatre, 20 Arts Circle Drive, on Northwestern University's Evanston campus.

A surprise waits around every corner as the young Prince begins his search for the meaning of life. Along the way Pippin is challenged and tempted by war, sex, politics and wealth until he finally comes to the realization that life is really about the love one person can have for another. Dazzling and imaginative, “Pippin” won six Tony Awards in 1972 and features show-stopping ballads and dance numbers and Schwartz's pop-influenced score. A three-time Oscar Award-winning composer/lyricist, Schwartz also wrote the music and lyrics for the stage musicals “Godspell” and “Children of Eden.”

Director Dominic Missimi, who is a big fan of  “comedia del'arte” and the traveling band of “players” who tell the fast-moving story of “Pippin,” first directed the Schwartz musical 25 years ago, shortly after he joined Northwestern University's theatre faculty.

“While the show will reflect my love of that classic art form, I plan to bring a contemporary edge to the look of the show by giving it a “Project Runway” sensibility,” said Missimi. “The costumes will have a cutting-edge, often outrageous funky fashion sense that's sleek, stylish and fun, and the set will feature four movable tower units that can be configured to create all the various locations of the story.”

Almost a ballet, the movement on stage rarely stops thanks to the imprint of Bob Fosse, the musical's original director and choreographer, and Northwestern seniors Nancy Braun and Rachel Frankenthal, who choreographed the Northwestern University production.

Single tickets are $25 for the general public; $22 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for students. For more information or to order single or group tickets by phone, call the Theatre and Interpretation Center Box Office at (847) 491-7282.

Online ticket sales for Mainstage productions also are available through TicketWeb.com by going to Northwestern's Theatre and Interpretation Center Web site at http://www.tic.northwestern.edu/tickets.html and clicking the TicketWeb icon.

Topics: Campus Life