Countdown to PIPPIN with The 'Pippin' Profiles: Bob Fosse protégé Chet Walker

July 4th, 2015

The ‘Pippin’ Profiles: Bob Fosse protégé Chet Walker

by John Moore | Aug 14, 2014

Choreographer Chet Walker believes the legendary Bob Fosse "had a style, not a technique."

Choreographer Chet Walker believes the legendary Bob Fosse “had a style, not a technique.”

Bob Fosse has been gone for 27 years, but protégé Chet Walker still refers to the icon of modern dance exclusively as “Mr. Fosse.”

“He deserves that respect,” Walker said.

When Walker met Fosse in 1972, “I was the size of a peanut,” he said. Walker was 16 and auditioning to join the cast of Fosse’s TV concert, Liza with a Z. Two years later, he was added to the company of Pippin, playing a peasant. That led to several impressionable years “behind the table” assisting and observing Fosse, who died in 1987. Walker then conceived the Broadway tribute Fosse, which won the 1989 Tony Award for best musical.

Walker doesn’t know the driven, oversexed hothead many people remember as the semi-fictional character Roy Scheider played in the Fosse-directed film, All that Jazz. The mentor Walker knew never raised his voice or got angry. He says the primary lessons Fosse taught him were “humanity, how to be with people and how to listen.”

Wait … not technique?

‘That’s the thing: Mr. Fosse didn’t have a technique,” said Walker. “What he did have was incredible style.”

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When Pippin Director Diane Paulus knew she wanted to bring Pippin back to life and set it in the athletic and sensuous world of circus acrobatics and gymnastics — “we knew we had to bring back the Fosse, too,” she said. “It’s just too connected.”

Paulus also knew there was only one man for the job of “bringing back the Fosse”: Choreographer Chet Walker.

“He had worked with Fosse for years, and so having Chet was so important to me,” she said.

When Paulus told Walker she wanted to transplant Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hinson’s quintessential musical search for meaning inside the world of the circus, she got all the confirmation she needed that she was on the right path from Walker. “He told us about Fosse’s fascination with all things (Federico) Fellini and clowns,” Paulus said. “And really that’s all over even the original choreography. It’s almost inside the DNA of the original production.”

When they got into the rehearsal room, Pippin Circus Creator Gypsy Snyder says Walker “was the holder of all things Fosse.” But the goal was not – except in certain circumstances, to merely re-create Fosse’s signature choreography. It was to tell the story “in the style of Mr. Fosse,” Walker said.

In a wide-ranging interview, Walker talks about being “the keeper of the Fosse flame,” and what exactly “the style of Mr. Fosse” really means. And take our word for it – it ain’t “jazz hands” ….

John Moore: What goes through your mind when you’re told, ‘You are the only person for this job’?

Chet Walker: It’s interesting because I didn’t know exactly what ‘my job’ was going to be in the beginning, or how it was all going to work. You had what Gypsy was doing with the circus, and then you had Diane’s vision, and then there was this question of how to incorporate Mr. Fosse’s work — or the work that would be in his style. We knew we should not just try to repeat Mr. Fosse’s work, because the concept of this show is very different. So … it was daunting, I can tell you that. To be honest, I didn’t really know how to do it at first. But Diane is such an amazing director, and she was very clear as to the possibilities. So we literally looked at all the possibilities of how the circus and dance and acting could all work together, and I think we ultimately got it to be very seamless. But I don’t think we knew exactly how to do that in the beginning.

John Moore: That had to be the fun of it though, wasn’t it — the not knowing?

Chet Walker: Oh, yes. But you have to understand that back in the 1970s, we didn’t question anything. We did what Mr. Fosse said to do. He was a Svengali in a very positive way. You see, I wasn’t in the original Pippin cast. I came in when everyone went to Chicago, about two years after it first opened. Back then, our entire version of Pippin was based on Mr. Fosse’s vision of that show. When you look at this new version of the show, very little has changed in the script, and nothing at all has changed in the music. And yet nevertheless … it’s a whole different show. It’s amazing that after 40 years the same story can be told in a whole different arena. It’s not really a revival, per se … I believe it is truly a new show.

John Moore: What were your first impressions of meeting Mr. Fosse?

Chet Walker: Oh my gosh, I was a mere child. I went to the audition for Liza with a Z. I had my tights on, my white little socks, my ballet shoes and a black and green and white striped shirt. I was the size of a peanut. It was a Saturday, and it was raining, and I really don’t know why I even showed up. But I did. I was this embryonic little person surrounded by all of these men. But the way that Mr. Fosse responded to me was not like he responded to anybody else. He allowed me to stay. He was kind, and so generous. The whole time, my eyes were just … open. I had not been around a male figure like that before. A lot of my dancing teachers were female, so I had never really been around a dominating male figure who was that charismatic. I mean, let’s face it: The guy was charismatic.

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John Moore: What did you learn from him?

Chet Walker: His teaching wasn’t like teaching. It was like observation. It was like being in a lab and being able to observe everything from many different points of view. A lot of the people who were around him were muses, or people he was creating things for. I was really a different person in the room. Yes, I was a performer for him, but my relationship was always behind the table, talking about why, when, how this and that. And that made my relationship with him so different. So when people talk about him the way they do, I don’t recognize this person that they talk about.

John Moore: After spending so many years over his shoulder, what was it like when it was your time to step forward?

Chet Walker: Well, his passing made that happen. When he passed away while we were doing Sweet Charity, I figured I would just be a dancer for as long as I could dance, and that would be it. On his passing, yes, mine was one of the shoulders it was put on. I would go out and do all kinds of things that were related to Mr. Fosse. But I had created what we now know as (the musical) Fosse long before it was called Fosse.  It started with a TV show that I brought to him back in 1985. And it took me 15 years to finally get it to where it was a Broadway show. That was a huge responsibility — but it was one that I wanted to have. When you want to have a responsibility, it’s not such a hardship. And boy, you think you know someone … until you start to really do the work. I remember on my first meeting with him about the show, I brought all my research to him. And he looks at it and says, ‘Well you know, this is not everything I’ve done.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh no?’ He would always have that smirk because he would tell you things and you would say, ‘Oh my God, you’re kidding me — You did that, too?’ It was interesting. The whole process of knowing this man and knowing his work and watching how he worked in the business … you can’t go to school for that.

John Moore: I mean this next question in all sincerity, although it’s going to sound provocative. But I think you have made quite a legacy for yourself when a man from the dance world, which is not widely known by the general public, is identifiable by the mere saying of the words … ‘Jazz hands.’ Everyone knows you are talking about Bob Fosse.

Chet Walker: Well I never equate that to Mr. Fosse, because ‘jazz hands’ is a position. And in Mr. Fosse’s world, those hands in a dance would have ended up being some sort of imagery. It’s funny because people go, ‘I’m a Fosse dancer,’ and I always go, ‘Well, that’s interesting, because if you didn’t actually work with Mr. Fosse, then you are not a Fosse dancer. It’s sort of like, ‘You’re not a Balanchine dancer unless you have worked with Mr. Balanchine. Now, you may have learned from other Balanchine dancers, which is just phenomenal, but … it’s not the same thing. Mr. Fosse would never have called what he did ‘Fosse.’ Do you know what I mean? He would never have said, ‘OK everyone, today, we are going to do Fosse.’ What he did was all imagery. It’s weird because people like to say, ‘Oh, I am going to teach the technique of Bob Fosse,’ and I say, ‘But he didn’t have a technique.’ He had an incredible style. I don’t believe that there is any one person other than Jack Cole who had a specific, ‘Wow pow, oh my gosh’ moment like Mr. Fosse. Now, Jack Cole had both a technique, and a style. But Mr. Fosse didn’t have a technique per se. He had a style that was amazing.

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John Moore: And how would you describe that style?

Chet Walker: Well, it’s unlike anyone else’s. Other choreographers use many kinds of styles. And many of those styles were unbelievable. But Mr. Fosse’s? When you see that walk, or you see those arms —  it is just kind of breathtaking. It really is, because it’s not something that you see all the time. There is such acting in it. There is such imagery in it. It’s not just dance movement. There is drama, there is humor, there is entertainment. If you look at any musical that Mr. Fosse ever had his hand in, there was always something that I call ‘the underbelly.’ There’s always an underneath side of what’s going on. He totally could entertain you, but if you look beyond the entertainment aspect of it, he’s probably saying something else. And in Pippin — most definitely. When Mr. Schwartz wrote this with Roger O. Hinson in the 1970s, there were a lot of things going on that pertained to the piece — Charles Manson, the war, what our government was doing. Things were not always as they appeared. Mr. Fosse was very much an advocate of making it show business, and making it so that you can see the show of it. So we have a whole war section in Pippin. And then there’s this whole business of The Manson Trio. That’s an iconic piece of vaudeville as we are tap-dancing through the war. And if you relate that back to Vietnam or any other war that this country has ever gone through, there’s a lot that seems to be a cover-up. There is a lot of not wanting to actually see it for what it is. There is a lot of show business to it. Mr. Fosse was such a patriotic man.

Anthony Wayne, Patina Miller and Andrew Fitch perform Bob Fosse's iconic "The Manson Trio" in the 2013 Broadway revival of "Pippin." Photo by Joan Marcus.

Anthony Wayne, Patina Miller and Andrew Fitch perform Bob Fosse’s iconic “The Manson Trio” in the 2013 Broadway revival of “Pippin.” Photo by Joan Marcus.

John Moore: You have said Mr. Fosse called the signature Manson Trio dance that because the Leading Player is a bit of a charismatic cult leader, as was Charles Manson. That he liked the juxtaposition of song-and-dance with people being killed. So will we see The Manson Trio in the new Pippin?

Chet Walker: Absolutely. The Manson Trio is all his. That’s Mr. Fosse’s. That’s not mine. There would be no way I could have ever created anything more perfect than that.

John Moore: When you see any Fosse show today, you still know instantly who originally choreographed it. Can you talk about how Mr. Fosse lives on in what you’ve done?

Chet Walker: Well, thanks that you think that. I think when you look at what we have created in Pippin, you will see a sense of showmanship to the circus, and to the theatrical. Hopefully I have paid homage to him well, and that you probably have never seen anything quite like it before.

John Moore: We’ve all seen wonderful Broadway shows that play well in front of 1,000 people, and then they go out on the road and get swallowed up in these large, 3,000-seat roadhouses. But here the dancing and the circus element and the aerials actually allow Pippin the unique opportunity to actually grow into the space and take advantage of the larger canvas.

Chet Walker: This show can be played to a huge audience or to a small audience, and I think it works for both. There’s going to be an intimacy to it no matter what, because the story is intimate. But the story is also huge. It is small, but it’s also so impactful. And then when you see all that we have happening on that stage, I think that’s what makes it so powerful.”

John Moore: Considering the gymnastics and high-flying and the muscular nature of this new Pippin, do you think if these performance techniques were available in the 1970s, Mr. Fosse would have done this same thing himself?

Chet Walker: Oh, I think so. He absolutely loved clowns, and he collected all kinds of things about clowns. You never can really know what people would have thought, but if someone had come up with the idea of doing this in 1972, I think Mr. Fosse would have jumped on the bandwagon. He would have gone for the challenge and wanted to see what that was all about. Totally.

John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

Note: “The Pippin Profiles” is a series of interviews by Arts Journalist John Moore with the “Pippin The Musical” cast and creative team leading up to the launch of the first national touring production in Denver on Sept. 6. Dallas Summer Musicals is re-posting these on the DSM Blog to countdown the Opening Night of PIPPIN at the Music Hall at Fair Park – July 7-19!


Pippin_MusicHallSiteHeader

PIPPIN is presented by Dallas Summer Musicals July 7-19 at Music Hall at Fair Park. TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Just go to http://tinyurl.com/og2sxh7. For more details, click here.

Want a chance to win tickets to opening night? Download our mobile app and take our quick trivia quiz! To download our app, Apple users click here and Android users click here!


Countdown to PIPPIN with The 'Pippin' Profiles: John Rubinstein, the first prince, is now his father

July 3rd, 2015

The ‘Pippin’ Profiles: John Rubinstein, the first prince, is now his father

by John Moore | Aug 29, 2014

John Rubinstein originated the title role in 'Pippin' on Broadway in 1972. When the new national touring production launches in Denver 42 years later, he will be playing Pippin's father, King Charlemagne. Photo by John Moore.

John Rubinstein originated the title role in ‘Pippin’ on Broadway in 1972. When the new national touring production launches in Denver 42 years later, he will be playing Pippin’s father, King Charlemagne. Photo by John Moore.

 

Stephen Schwartz talks about it like a giddy teenager.

“Isn’t that the best? I mean, isn’t that the best … ever?” he asks rhetorically.

The legendary composer is talking about one of those wonderfully quirky little creative coincidences that come around once in, oh, about every 40 years.

John Rubinstein was the first actor ever to play Pippin in the iconic 1972 Bob Fosse-Stephen Schwartz musical of the same name. Remarkably, he is now performing in the new national touring production of Broadway’s 2013 Tony Award-winning revival that launches in Denver on Sept. 6.

Rubinstein is no longer a kid acting out the young prince’s search for meaning in his existence. Now, he is a seasoned pro playing Pippin’s disapproving father, King Charlemagne.

Isn’t that the best … ever?

“We would not have done it if we didn’t feel that John was the best choice for the role,” Schwartz said. “But the idea of it was irresistible.”

Gypsy Snyder, one of the key creators of this new version of Pippin, said watching Rubinstein audition for the role of Charlemagne was like … maple syrup. “It was just so sweet and so right and so juicy to see,” she said.  “It was incredible. It was mind-blowing.”

The new Pippin is significantly changed from the 1972 original also starring Ben Vereen, Jill Clayburgh and Irene Ryan. The story is now a yarn being told by a troupe of circus performers who impart it while performing death-defying acts of aerial and acrobatic skill. Vereen’s dynamic, enigmatic Leading Player is now being played by a woman. And the ending of the show has been changed to better illuminate universal truths about any young person’s quest to live an extraordinary life.

“The feeling of the show is bigger and brighter and faster,” Rubinstein said.

He compares revisiting Pippin at this stage of his life to revisiting a childhood home.

“It’s like you lived in a house,” he said. “You were there when they built it; you were the first family to live in it, and you grew up in it. Then you go back to that house 40 years later, and there it is: Same house. Same place. Same birds singing in the trees outside. But it’s all different now. They’ve redecorated the living room, and they have added a more modern feel to the old dining room where you all spent so many years eating together. Outside the window, they have added a swimming pool where there used to be a flower garden. You don’t feel like you are in the same place. But you are. That’s sort of what it is like. On the hot days, we used to have to turn on the hose and pour it over our heads. Now we can jump into this beautiful new swimming pool. But you sort of miss the old flower garden, too.”

Rubinstein has enjoyed a steady career in TV and film, but the son of internationally acclaimed pianist Arthur Rubinstein is also an accomplished composer himself. He scored the music for the iconic 1970s Robert Redford films Jeremiah Johnson and The Candidate.

“One of the great thrills of my life, still to this day, was watching the Oscars when The Candidate won for best screenplay,” Rubinstein said. “I was watching on the TV, and when Jeremy Larner walked up to the podium, they played my theme. I almost fainted.”

Rubinstein won the 1980 Tony Award for his portrayal of James Leeds in Children of a Lesser God. Other Broadway appearances include Hurlyburly, M. Butterfly and Fools. His films include 21 GramsSomeone to Watch Over Me and The Boys from Brazil. His 150-plus TV credits include Family (as Jeff Maitland),Crazy Like a FoxStar Trek: Enterprise, and the series finale of Friends. (He played the doctor who delivered Monica and Chandler’s babies.)

But Pippin, Rubinstein said, will always be one of the seminal moments of his career.

“Doing your first Broadway show, at a time when I was having my first two kids? It was absolutely a gigantic moment in my life … one that lasted 2 1/2 years.”

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Please enjoy the following excerpts of our expansive conversation with John Rubinstein just before the cast shifted its base to Denver, where the national touring production of “Pippin” opens in the Buell Theatre on Sept. 6. Rubinstein had been temporarily added to the Broadway cast as part of his preparation for the tour:

Pippin Profile 4 - Photo 3John Moore: So you have been rehearsing all day with the touring cast, and then performing at night with the Broadway cast. How weird is that?

John Rubinstein: Well, it’s a little weird. I have been doing the show for nine weeks now, so I have a rhythm going with the Broadway cast. And we’re all developing our rhythm together as a touring cast. It’s not as hard as it seems. It’s just long hours. It will be lovely to get out there to Denver and just focus on that.

John Moore: OK, but let’s be honest: You have been doing this show for a lot more than nine weeks.

John Rubinstein: Ha-ha, yes … but with a very substantial break in between.

John Moore: Yes, like 40 years.

John Rubinstein: Exactly.

John Moore: Why was this something you wanted to do at this point in your life?

John Rubinstein: Well, it doesn’t take a lot of convincing for me. I have a lot of children. I had my first child a week after I learned that I got the part in the first Pippin. My second child was born during Pippin on a matinee day. And I’ve had three other kids since. I now have two kids in college. And my youngest is now 8. So pretty much anybody who wants me, gets me (laughs).

John Moore: When you heard Pippin was coming back, take me through the audition process. Were you thinking, ‘What a perfect way to complete a circle of life?’ Or did someone from Pippin call you and say, ‘You have to come in for this’?

John Rubinstein: It was a little bit of both. I live in Los Angeles, but I happened to be in New York to speak at my 50th high-school reunion. I delivered this big speech on that Friday. Rather late that day, my agent called and said, ‘Hey, John, is there any way you can get yourself to New York?’ And I said, ‘Hey … I’m here!’ And then he said, ‘On Monday morning, they want you to audition to take over for Terrence Mann as King Charlemagne in Pippin.’ And I thought that would be really fun. I hadn’t been on Broadway since I did Ragtime in 1999. I had been looking for a reason to spend some time in New York again, so I said, sure. On Monday morning, I went in and auditioned, and there was good old Stephen (Schwartz) and (Book Writer) Roger Hirson and (Choreographer) Chet Walker and a bunch of old friends. I met Gypsy Snider for the first time and (Director) Diane Paulus and some of the other people involved. So I auditioned for them. Then they made me wait around for an hour or so while they got (Producer) Barry Weissler to come down. Then they made me do it all over again, and I flew happily back to California. The next week or so, they called and offered me the tour. And I thought, ‘Gee, I haven’t toured since 1968.’ That was for On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever, a bus-and-truck tour with Howard Keel and John Raitt. Good people. But it was grueling. I remember we went through Denver on that tour.

John Moore: May I read you a quote from Stephen Schwartz about your audition?

John Rubinstein: Sure.

John Moore: He told me:

‘There was this one moment when John read the chapel scene. There is a line where Pippin says, ‘Time has passed you by, father,’ and Charlemagne’s line back is, ‘And YOUR time has come, my son?’  I mean, hearing that from John? I can’t even talk about it. It was just so emotional to hear John Rubinstein say that line. I know it doesn’t have the same resonance for people who are just seeing the show for the first time, but for Roger Hirson and me? That was a pretty emotional moment.’

John Rubinstein: Oh, that’s so moving. Those are very well-written scenes by Roger Hirson. Very actable. To me, the chapel scene is the best actor scene in the play. Now, keep in mind: I was not reading opposite the actor who is now playing Pippin. I was reading with a young lady from the audition team. But nonetheless, yes, to be looking at Pippin and saying that? I felt that resonance, too. When I said that line in the audition — ‘And YOUR time has come, my son?’ with that heavy sarcasm and that feeling of the inevitability of the passage of the baton, yeah, it was a thrill. When I do that scene in the show every night now, I get the chills just kneeling down and talking to Pippin about it.

John Moore: You can’t take a thing from the great Terrence Mann. But for audiences who hear you say that line, it’s just got to be different, given that you were the first Pippin.

John Rubinstein: Well, for audiences who are old enough to have either seen the original production or listened to the original cast album, maybe. I would say that only about 3 percent of the audience has any inkling about that. I’m just the old guy in the beard.

John Moore: Well, we’re going to singlehandedly make it … 6 percent then.

John Rubinstein: OK, then.

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John Moore: We can’t tell people specifically how the ending has changed in this new version of the show, but I think having the original Pippin performing as the new Charlemagne just makes the new ending that much more perfect.

John Rubinstein: Yes, that’s true. Those little magic similarities are beautiful. And they are there for the finding in this show …  if you find them.

John Moore: How different has it been for you as a creative team putting together this new Pippin together without Bob Fosse in the room?

John Rubinstein:  Well, there is a lot of Bob Fosse in the room. No doubt about it. The show was certainly created by Bob and Stephen and Roger, but when you originate a show, whether you are one of the dancers or playing the title role, as I was, you are all creating it together as a team. That may sound ostentatious, but it is not entirely false to say that we all made that show. Bob Fosse was clearly the driving force, and the vision, and the boss. There’s no way, not even 42 years later, that I don’t carry a lot of the inner workings, and the subtext, and the background with me still. They are just there. When I hear the music, I feel them. When I say the words, I am living still with Bob Fosse in the rehearsal studio.

John Moore: In what ways does it feel different to you then?

John Rubinstein: This is a completely new re-imagining of the entire staging. When we first did it, there was plenty of entertainment value in it, for sure — but it was a darker show. What made it spectacular were the dancing and the dancers — every one of them hand-picked by Bob Fosse. And certainly Ben Vereen’s performance as the Leading Player. Not to minimize the work of anyone else, but what really made that staging was the difficult choreography and how amazingly it was executed and interpreted by that particular group of dancers.

Do you still cross paths with Ben Vereen?

John Moore: John Rubinstein: Oh, sure. We’re brothers. He has visited me a bunch of times while I have been doing the show in New York. We’ve eaten together. We’ve cried and laughed together. We love each other.

John Moore: I am curious how he feels about a woman now playing the Leading Player.

John Rubinstein: We haven’t talked about that particular detail. We have just said to each other: ‘This is a different show. It’s not our Pippin revamped and re-mounted. It’s Pippin re-conceived and re-presented. It’s a different show. And there are some poignancies about that, for sure.

John Moore: OK, so when you are sitting in rehearsal, how do resist the urge to tap the new Pippin on the shoulder and say, ‘Let me tell you how it’s done, kid.’

John Rubinstein: No, never, never. I would never dream of doing it. It would be contrary to all etiquette. Aside from that, I don’t need to. These guys are way better playing this part than I ever was.

John Moore: I would think that from the young actor’s vantage point, you would be an incredible resource in the room.

John Rubinstein: He doesn’t need to ask me anything. He really doesn’t, and therefore … he doesn’t. He’s great. He’s amazing. He’s a wonderful actor. He’s full of sensitivity. And he sings like an angel.

John Moore: But wouldn’t that be a little like, say, if you did Jesus Christ Superstar in 1970, and now, 40 years later, Ben Vereen is back playing … Pontius Pilate? There’s a new kid playing Judas and Ben Vereen is right there in the room. I don’t know. I might have to ask him about the hanging scene.

John Rubinstein: You know what? I had that very experience. I’m talking to you by phone from the Union Square Theatre, where we are rehearsing for this tour. And it is in this very same theatre that, back in 1987, I played Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. That is a very difficult, challenging, wonderful masterpiece written by Tom Stoppard in 1966. And the third character in the play is, get this … the Leading Player. That’s no coincidence. Certainly they (Stoppard and Schwartz) got that from Hamlet. The Leading Player brings the acting troupe. And I believe that when Stephen first wrote Pippin, the Leading Player was not supposed be a song and dance person — man or woman. It was supposed to be an old fuddy-duddy, Shakespearean actor, just like he is in Hamlet. The head of a troupe of players. An older guy with a huge repertoire and a big, booming voice. I think it was the combination of Bob Fosse and Stephen and Roger working together that changed that concept, and the Leading Player became … Ben Vereen.

John Moore: Awesome. But back to 1987.

John Rubinstein: I am playing Guildenstern and Stephen Lang is playing Rosencrantz. In the room with us, playing the Leading Player, was the great British actor John Wood, who had originated the role of Guildenstern on Broadway 20 years earlier — and he won a Tony Award for it. Now he is 20 years older and playing the Leading Player in our show, and he is watching me struggle to put Guildenstern together, day after day in rehearsal. So I definitely lived that experience, and it was very daunting. I was like, ‘How do I do this?’ And there is John Wood, standing there watching me do it. But he never said a single word to me — and I never asked him, because that’s just not what’s done.

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John Moore: Stephen Schwartz and I talked about the 1972 production being a real reflection of its times. So I am curious what the original Pippin thinks about why it is still relevant for a teenage boy or girl to experience the message of this show now.

John Rubinstein: It’s a very universal tale. It’s an everyman’s story. It’s got elements of Huck Finn and Candide. The framework is this callow youth who is born into privilege and he has all these choices. He’s slightly narcissistic and slightly arrogant. He’s easily displeased and even spoiled, you could argue. But then he goes on this journey of discovery and self-discovery. And what he discovers is humility and being peaceful and feeling satisfied with a life that is relatively commonplace and relatively mundane. That’s a very moving story, because we all go through this as we are growing up. When we are children, we all want to be a policeman or a fireman; an astronaut or a movie star. We want to be a great athlete or a rich tycoon. We want to be glorious and amazing and accomplished, And then when we hit a certain age, if we are lucky, we realize that we are really happy to have a woman who loves us … and a child who doesn’t hate us …  and a dog who is happy to see us when we come home. And maybe that’s our greatest accomplishment.

John Moore: Bigger than all of those other things.

John Rubinstein: In this country, we are taught from birth that money is the only thing that matters. When they say the United States is about democracy and freedom, they really mean it’s about money. Your worth as a person is only really measured by the amount of money you make, or that you have. It doesn’t matter if you are the Koch brothers, and you never did a lick of work in your life, and you inherited everything from your father. You are still considered a driving force in this country. Because you have money. You are listened to, and you are respected. Now if you are a great human being and you have done amazing things but you don’t have a big bank account? Not so much. Pippin is a story that says your biggest accomplishment is how you find happiness in the little things. In the commonplace. In what we all have within our reach.

John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

Note: “The Pippin Profiles” is a series of interviews by Arts Journalist John Moore with the “Pippin The Musical” cast and creative team leading up to the launch of the first national touring production in Denver on Sept. 6. Dallas Summer Musicals is re-posting these on the DSM Blog to countdown the Opening Night of PIPPIN at the Music Hall at Fair Park – July 7-19!


Pippin_MusicHallSiteHeader

PIPPIN is presented by Dallas Summer Musicals July 7-19 at Music Hall at Fair Park. TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Just go to http://tinyurl.com/og2sxh7. For more details, click here.

Want a chance to win tickets to opening night? Download our mobile app and take our quick trivia quiz! To download our app, Apple users click here and Android users click here!


Countdown to PIPPIN with The 'Pippin' Profiles: Circus Creator Gypsy Snider

July 2nd, 2015

The ‘Pippin’ Profiles: Circus Creator Gypsy Snider

by John Moore | Aug 09, 2014

To lifetime circus performer Gypsy Snider, "circus is like eating and sleeping and family." Photo courtesy Gypsy Snider.

To lifetime circus performer Gypsy Snider, “circus is like eating and sleeping and family.” Photo courtesy Gypsy Snider.

 

In Pippin the Musical, a family of circus performers defies death to tell their story with every flip, tumble and mid-air spin.

The same is true of those actors performing in Pippin the Musical.

And the same has been true of Pippin Circus Creator Gypsy Snider since she began her career as a circus performer at the tender age of 4.

With all respect to Stephen Schwartz, composer of Wicked and Pippin, Snider was defying gravity long before Elphaba was a green twinkle in his orchestral eye.

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Snider’s parents are the founders of San Francisco’s pioneering Pickle Family Circus, an acclaimed alternative circus often cited as a primary influence on the creation of Cirque du Soleil. Snider is the co-founder of Montreal’s 7 Fingers (Les 7 doigts de la main), a pioneering form of live entertainment that has twice brought Traces to Denver. That innovative show used astonishing displays of athletic skill to tell the real-life stories of seven street teens.

Snider embraces circus as its own narrative storytelling form. Her brand of physical theatre requires strength, agility and grace.

Her upbringing was like no other. She grew up around the likes of circus legends Bill Irwin and Geoff Hoyle. She appeared among an entire town of street performers in Robert Altman’s 1980 film Popeye. By 18, she was attending a physical-theater school in Switzerland.

She co-founded 7 Fingers in 2002 and, for her first foray into Broadway, she was called upon by Pippin Director Diane Paulus to help re-tell Schwartz’s iconic story of a young prince’s quest for meaning in life set within the world of circus. Pippin won the 2013 Tony Award for best musical revival. Its first national touring production launches at Denver’s Buell Theatre on Sept. 6.

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Modern audiences who have a familiarity with circus generally think of Cirque du Soleil. But while Snider toured with Cirque and has a deep love for it, she says Pippin should not be mistaken for it. If anything, she said, it should evoke the old days of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

“This is old-school, hard-core circus,” she said.

We’re talking juggling knives and swallowing fire.

“I would say that Cirque du Soleil is like the grandfather, and we are the rebellious teenagers,” she said.

Pippin culminates with a boy becoming a man, having to choose between a life of adventure or family. Snider has never had to pick  between the two – her small children are also embracing the circus life. But Snider’s life turned upside down in 2008, when she were diagnosed with advanced-stage colon cancer.

“It was definitely a life-changing experience,” she said. Much surgery, chemotherapy chemotherapy and radiation followed.

“Suddenly, my work felt trivial and my family became more important than ever before,” Snider said in a previous interview with Broadway Buzz. “I began to question how taxing show business can be and wondered if I should just move to the country and raise my two daughters in a stress-free environment, instead of in the glory of this wonderful but all consuming lifestyle. It was during this difficult time that Diane Paulus reached out to me about the possibility of collaborating on a new production of Pippin.”

And when she did, her charge to Snider was simple:

“Come make this thrilling.”

Here are more excerpts from our recent conversation with Snider for MyDenverCenter.Org. It took place just before rehearsals were to begin for the national touring production of Pippin as Snider and her family were visiting her parents’ family retreat in the Berkshires.

The Broadway cast of "Pippin," above. The first national touring production of the iconic musical, with circus creations by Gypsy Snider, launches in Denver on Sept. 6. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The Broadway cast of “Pippin,” above. The first national touring production of the iconic musical, with circus creations by Gypsy Snider, launches in Denver on Sept. 6. Photo by Joan Marcus.

 

John Moore: When you brought Traces to Denver in 2011, could you have even imagined what your immediate future had in store for you?

Gypsy Snider: Actually, Denver plays a semi-big part in this. When I was working in Denver, I saw all of the other productions that were being staged there at the time. I remember sitting there watching the (Denver Center Theatre Company’s) A Midsummer Night’s Dream. That’s when I knew that I wanted to get back to the States, that I wanted to work in the English language and that I wanted to work in the theatre. I remember saying that to (Denver Center for the Performing Arts President) Randy Weeks afterward. I got really excited about the possibilities from Denver on.

John Moore: How did the Pippin opportunity come about?

Gypsy Snider: My first conversation with (Director) Diane Paulus and (Producer) Barry Weissler coincided with Traces being in Denver. She had just done a Cirque production called Amaluna, so she was really starting to be familiar with the Montreal circus scene. She had already seen tons of videos of things we had done. Barry had been following us for several years. At my first meeting with him in New York, I was like, ‘What am I doing? How did I end up here?’ But Barry said, ‘Look, I don’t know what to do with you. But I know that I love what you do.’ And so, he continued to follow our shows. Later on, when Diane said, ‘I think we need to put circus into the Pippin story,’ Barry said, ‘How about Gypsy? And she said, ‘I totally know who you are talking about.’ And so then they sent me the script.

John Moore: I read somewhere that you had never seen Pippin before.

Gypsy Snider: No, I had not. Maybe I had remotely heard the music, but I didn’t associate it with the story. So I read the book and … it’s a very strange piece of literature. But I fell in love with it. I instantly knew what I wanted to do with it. I read it in one hour in my bed and I just … knew. When I met with Diane, I rambled on and on. I had no idea what I was getting into. But she was sold.

John Moore: Sounds to me like you are the rambling river in that story.

Gypsy Snider: Oh, Diane Paulus is a big river instigator. She saw my enthusiasm. And when she feels someone has an idea that is flowing, she does an incredible job of pushing that flow and guiding that flow.

John Moore: What specifically did you bring to the creative conversation?

Gypsy Snider: At 7 Fingers, we have a way of bringing emotion and texture into acrobatics. In a way, I think the passion and the theatricality that circus brings to it quickly became the backbone of this new project. Of course, Bob Fosse and Stephen Schwartz are the backbone of Pippin. But in terms of rejuvenating it, the circus became the backbone of doing it this way.

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John Moore: What was it like high-flying into the world of the original Pippin choreographer, the late Bob Fosse?

Gypsy Snider: I was fascinated to learn the extent to which Bob Fosse was a huge influence on my career — unbeknown to me. There is a kind of sexuality and a violence in his artwork that I always need whenever I am creating a show. I know that sex and violence sells TV shows, but Fosse really criticized the entertainment industry for the addictive and seductive nature of sexuality and violence in entertainment. I don’t mean to go off on a crazy tangent, but if we are talking about seducing Pippin into a living a more extraordinary life by luring him into something that could be potentially fatal … that’s the entertainment industry. In that way, we are really looking at a retrospective of Fosse’s life. That’s what I found so, so fascinating about it. And then there is the innocent side of Pippin: The loving family man, the “corner of the sky” Pippin. That was absolutely the Stephen Schwartz that I got to know, amazingly, through this production. He’s just so positive and so hard-working.

John Moore: How do you think Bob Fosse would have liked the idea of setting Pippin in a circus?

Gypsy Snider: I feel like Bob Fosse would have wanted us to do this, and that he would have done it himself if this were available to him at the time. Maybe not to this extent, but …  it was there. It was already there in the words.

John Moore: With this reimagined version of Pippin – both setting it in the circus and, more tellingly, in consideration of the life choice Pippin faces in the end – it seems to me as if maybe Diane Paulus is saying that Pippin is you.

Gypsy Snider: I think so. Diane and I are both the same age, and we both have two daughters. We have discussed on a very personal level the seduction of the business and this balance you try to achieve, being professional women who have families. It’s really like we are the Catherines — but we are also being seduced like the Pippins.  It was interesting for both of us how we connected on an emotional level to this musical. Pippin has this choice to make, and one of them it to embrace this simple home life with an older woman and her child living out in the country where there is no magic and there is no makeup — which is something Fosse presented in a very boring, very pejorative manner. And yet here I am talking to you right now while I am out here in the country with my children — and I love it. But I also love my work. I feed on it so much, and I am proud to show my children how passionate I am about my work.

John Moore: For 40 years, both audiences and writers alike have argued whether the ending to Pippin is a tragedy … or a compromise … or a perfect, happy ending. I imagine, given your life story, that you are split right down the middle.

Gypsy Snider: I am split down the middle. For me, circus is like eating and sleeping and family. It’s my brother; it’s my mother; it’s my father. Just talking about it makes me so emotional. There were maybe a few moments in my life when I felt like walking away from it, or perhaps trying something totally different. Circus is a very physically demanding life. It’s a very itinerant life. And when my kids started going to school, I was like, ‘What am I doing?’ But circus is my family, too. Sometimes I like to think of it as the mafia because it’s a very closed, tight-knit circle. But the reason is because there is so much danger and risk and sacrifice involved. True circus people know each other, and there is a whole sort of respect and value system to it that is so honorable and so genuine and so truthful. To true circus people, there is no nonsense. There is no competition. There is no, ‘I am better than you are.’ There is no, ‘I am going to be a star, but you are not going to be a star.’ Each individual circus performer is absolutely unique, and that uniqueness is valued. There is no one way to do anything. Unfortunately, it’s not like dance. To survive in the dance world, you have to sacrifice so much of your individuality and soul. Everyone wants to play Romeo, for example. In circus, that is not ever an issue. People don’t compare themselves. There is somehow a place for everyone.

John Moore: How do you feel about getting the whole Pippin creative team together and doing this all over again with a new cast?

Gypsy Snider: Diane, (Choreographer Chet Walker) and I have been talking about how exciting it is going to be to get back in the room.  I am feeling like this is going to be an incredible reunion for all three of us.

John Moore: Well, then … welcome in advance to Denver.

Gypsy Snider: I am so excited.  There is a place in Denver that sells poutine (gravy fries with cheese curds), so I am definitely looking forward to that.

John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

Note: “The Pippin Profiles” is a series of interviews by Arts Journalist John Moore with the “Pippin The Musical” cast and creative team leading up to the launch of the first national touring production in Denver on Sept. 6. Dallas Summer Musicals is re-posting these on the DSM Blog to countdown the Opening Night of PIPPIN at the Music Hall at Fair Park – July 7-19!


Pippin_MusicHallSiteHeader

PIPPIN is presented by Dallas Summer Musicals July 7-19 at Music Hall at Fair Park. TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Just go to http://tinyurl.com/og2sxh7. For more details, click here.

Want a chance to win tickets to opening night? Download our mobile app and take our quick trivia quiz! To download our app, Apple users click here and Android users click here!


Countdown to PIPPIN with The 'Pippin' Profiles: How Stephen Schwartz ran off with the circus

July 1st, 2015

The ‘Pippin’ Profiles: How Stephen Schwartz ran off with the circus

by John Moore | Aug 20, 2014

Stephen Schwartz

Stephen Schwartz

Stephen Schwartz likes to joke that somewhere, “Bob Fosse is surely looking up and laughing.”

He kids about the direction. But not the director. Fosse was Schwartz’s legendary collaborator on the musical Pippin, which in war-torn 1972 brought a surreal collision of violence, innocence and sexuality to the Broadway stage.

Fosse, known for his provocative choreography and fiery temper, died in 1987. Last year, a significantly re-imagined Pippin won the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, and its new national touring production will launching in Denver on Sept. 6.

“I think Bob would be thrilled with this,” said Schwartz, the composer who 40 years ago openly questioned the darkness and overindulgence that Fosse brought to Schwartz’s sweet story of a naïve boy searching for meaning in his life.

“There were specific choices Bob made that I honestly thought were heavy-handed and crude, and not in a good way,” Schwartz said. But now at age 66, Schwartz added, “I joke that I have ironically become the defender of Bob’s vision.”

Schwartz and book writer Roger O. Hirson have been approached dozens of times over the years by artists wanting to revisit Pippin.

“Frankly, I think merely reproducing the original — if that were even possible —  would have felt quite dated,” Schwartz said. “And none of the new approaches made much sense to us.”

Any revival would bring big challenges. “The Fosse choreography is so iconic, and the performance of Ben Vereen (as the Leading Player) was so indelible, even to people who didn’t actually see it,” Schwartz said. “So it really would need a concept that was going to overcome all that without obliterating the show. And that was quite difficult to come by.”

Enter Diane Paulus, the groundbreaking director who brought the Vietnam musical Hair back to explosive life on Broadway in 2009. Her new idea? The original mysterious troupe would now be a circus family performing the story of Pippin. Now the young prince’s quest for meaning would be a death-defying one, set against live and often breathtaking acrobatics.

Schwartz and Hinson were apprehensive at first. “But I think I can speak for Roger when I say we have been totally won over,” Schwartz said. “Frankly, I think Diane is a better director of scenes and actors than Bob Fosse was. And consequently, I think the story is better told.”

Pippin began as a 17-year-old Schwartz’s spin-off of The Lion in Winter, a play about the foibles of King Henry II in 1183. Over the next seven years, the Pippin project came to reflect Schwartz’s own journey as a young man in his 20s.

Fosse, then 47, agreed to direct and choreograph Pippin on Broadway if allowed to make the story more dark and sophisticated. Fosse brought in Ben Vereen, fresh off his electric performance in Jesus Christ Superstar, to play the Leading Player, a narrator of sorts who leads Pippin down many dangerous roads.

Schwartz says it’s “absolutely accurate” to suggest that, essentially, he is Pippin, “particularly in talking about me at age 24,” he said. “I think more and more that the character of Pippin became a great deal like me at that time.”

But what became intriguingly clear to Circus Creator Gypsy Snyder, who had never seen Pippin before the recent revival, is that Fosse is the Leading Player.

“When you look at the sexuality and the seduction and the violence and the eroticism of the piece,” Snyder said, “ …  then we are really looking at a retrospective of Fosse’s life. And then you have is the innocent side of Pippin: The loving family man, the ‘Corner of the Sky” Pippin. That was absolutely the Stephen Schwartz that I got to know through this production. He’s just so positive and so hard-working and he keeps an innocent eye. That’s Pippin.”

Schwartz concurs.

“Bob’s was the more worldly-wise point of view,” Schwartz said. “And Roger Hirson, who was in his 40s when we opened, may have been the Charlemagne character.”

Read more about this and more in this exclusive, expansive interview with one of the leading figures in American theatre history. Schwartz, who has contributed to Wicked, Godspell, Children of Eden and many more, is a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame and president of the Dramatists Guild. He has three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, four Drama Desk Awards and, shockingly, no Tony Awards.

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John Moore: So where did I find you today?

Stephen Schwartz: I am getting ready to visit Trumbull, Conn., because a high school there has a drama troupe run by a girl who very bravely last year resisted censorship on their production of Rent. And The Directors Guild, of which I am president, has honored her with a courage award. Now her troupe is doing Children of Eden, so it’s kind of come full circle. And so, in appreciation for what she has done, I am taking myself to Trumbull.

John Moore: It meant a lot to the students attending last month’s Jimmy Awards in New York when you stopped by to speak to them.

Stephen Schwartz: Well, Music Theatre International, which represents most of my shows, is very active with the Jimmy Awards, and they asked if I would come and talk with them. And pretty much anything MTI asks me to do, I do —  because they have been very good to me over the years.

John Moore: Well, I  think you have been pretty good to MTI, too.

Stephen Schwartz: (laughing): Well, thanks. I really enjoyed getting a chance to talk to the kids. They were amazing. It was really cool to spend a little time with them.

John Moore What was your message of encouragement to them?

Stephen Schwartz: I am a big believer in — and living proof of — the theory of ‘follow your bliss.’ This is a very difficult and often very mean business. But if this is your dream, and you persevere at it, it is possible for people to make a living, and make a life, in this profession. My advice to them is the same as my advice to my own children: If you pursue what you want to do, you may not wind up where you thought you were going to, exactly, but it will take you somewhere you are more likely to want to be than if you made the ‘safe,’ or perhaps the ‘sane’ choice. If you think, ‘I’ll wait, and at some point I’ll pursue what I actually want do do’ … then I don’t think that necessarily works out for the better.

John Moore: Wait, I didn’t think we were talking about Pippin yet. But apparently we are.

Stephen Schwartz: Well yes. There we are… You know, Pippin, in the end, makes the sane choice.

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John Moore: I am sure you have been told over and over about how your music has changed the course of young peoples’ lives. But for my generation, it was  and Pippin doing the life-changing, and now you have this whole new generation of theatre kids all geeked out because, hey: You’re the guy who wrote Wicked.

Stephen Schwartz: It is sort of strange, isn’t it? But obviously it’s nice that at my … advanced … age, if you will, that I have come up with something – along with my collaborators — that has spoken to people of all ages, but particularly to a young generation.

John Moore: So whose idea was it to revisit Pippin now?

Stephen Schwartz: It was really (Director) Diane Paulus, who had been wanting to do it for quite a while. I was an admirer of her work, particularly on (the Broadway revival of) Hair, which I thought was excellent. I felt Diane had managed to both honor the original but also make it fresh, and that is a quite tricky line to walk. After I really got to see her way of thinking, and her creativity, in a show called Blue Flower at her (American Repertory Theatre) in Boston, I became enthusiastic that she was someone who might be able to pull this off. And, of course, she has proven that in spades. 

John Moore: So what did you think when Diane said, ‘I want to put this in a circus’?

Stephen Schwartz: I had actually heard the idea of a circus before. And it wasn’t something that I thought was a great idea, to be honest, because I was picturing a different kind of circus. But then Diane, who has done work with Cirque du Soleil, told me about this troupe from Montreal called Les 7 doigts de la main, or ‘The 7 Fingers of the Hand.’ I went to see a show of theirs that happened to be touring the States. We discussed it further and I began to have a glimmer of what Diane was talking about. But I have to say that until I saw it, I really didn’t truly understand what she meant, and what her vision was. I just didn’t. I think that’s one of the things about someone who is as gifted and as visionary as Diane. She had these ideas in her head that are difficult to express verbally — but then when you see them, you get them. 

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John Moore: And so now that you have lived in it, how do you articulate to people that this is the winning formula?

Stephen Schwartz: That is a good question. Other than by assertion, I’m not sure that I know how to do that. It’s important for you to understand that Diane did not just overlay circus performance on top of the show as some kind of gimmick. First of all, she integrated the idea of the circus performances into the storytelling. It’s not as if the show grinds to a halt and they do a circus trick, and then the story starts up again. Secondly, the way that she and Gypsy Snider did the circus part of the show, and the way Chet Walker did the choreography, is very special, I think. In some instances, the choreography is a very faithful re-creation of Bob Fosse’s work. And in other places, I think what Chet has done is a very creative interpretation of what Bob might have done under these new circumstances. So it really is a complete re-envisioning of Pippin. This is a revisal as well as a revival of the show — on all levels.

John Moore: How do you think Bob would have liked this new approach?

Stephen Schwartz: I think Bob would be thrilled with this. I think if we had been able to think of some of the changes we have made together, he would have been extremely enthusiastic about them. Just the sheer sort of theatricality of the staging and this presentation, I think would have pleased him very much. 

John Moore: You have said the inspiration for Pippin actually comes from James Goldman’s play The Lion in Winter.

Stephen Schwartz: That’s true. It started as a sort of a medieval court intrigue musical melodrama.  And then it gradually transmogrified into being semi-autobiographical. And then it turned into the story of my generation — as I saw it.

John Moore: So here’s a quick Lion in Winter story: I was reviewing a production by a venerable community theatre for The Denver Post. And as we are leaving, an older audience member sees my notebook and stops me. She says, ‘Now you be sure to put in your review that that was the most understandable Shakespeare play I have ever seen!’

Stephen Schwartz (laughing): That is so great. And you know what? She is right. That is absolutely the best description of The Lion in Winter I have ever heard. I hope you put it in your review. That is perfect.

John Moore: You bet I did.

Stephen Schwartz: That is just hilarious.

John Moore: So getting back to of Bob Fosse … I’ve noticed over the years that whenever you are interviewed, you are so disarmingly honest in your answers. One might even say Pippin-esque —

Stephen Schwartz: Yes, and that gets me into trouble a lot of the time.

John Moore: Well I respect how you’ve openly discussed your initial, honest discomfort with how far Mr. Fosse was taking things. So I am wondering how you feel about this new version in those terms.

Stephen Schwartz: I do feel quite honestly that there were some choices Bob made that I thought were just – well, overindulgent is the best word. That went beyond the concept of the sexuality that he injected into it.

John Moore: And here’s where I think the real danger lies: It’s not whether Broadway gets it right, or the national touring production, because you control that. But you can’t know how that indulgence expresses itself in local productions across the country that might not have someone to reign it in. I have seen productions of Pippin where they take that Bob Fosse element and they times it by 10.

Stephen Schwartz: Yes, I know — and that’s so not the show. And it really misses the tone that Bob was going for, and I think largely succeeded with. What I like about this new production, is that, yes, it is still a very sexy show. And a lot of those elements that Bob created remain in the show intact. But I think Diane, with her intelligence — and frankly with her taste — never lets it go over the line. Even in the famed ‘sex ballet’ section, it doesn’t go over the line, I feel.

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John Moore: You may get a kick out of the headline of my essay after having seen the new revival on Broadway last October. It read: “Broadway wins over a Pippin pessimist.” 

Stephen Schwartz: Well you know what? That could MY headline on this one, too.

John Moore: You’re kidding … Really?

Stephen Schwartz: Oh, yeah. Because Roger and I resisted for so long going forward. I don’t know if we were pessimistic, but we certainly had trepidation about it. And I think I can speak for Roger when I say we have been totally won over. I am just a huge fan of this production.

John Moore: I never had any question about Pippin the character, or his story, because it’s so clearly universal. I wrote, ‘You don’t have to be 17 and coming of age to feel this show in your open heart and rambling bones. You just have to have come of age.’ That has to be somewhat true of any 17-year-old of any century. But my first Pippin was a very small community theatre production in 1986, and I remember feeling that it felt like this was a signature work for its time – which was the 1970s. So at first, I wasn’t sure how revisiting it in 2012 could really work, or why it was even necessary – not without turning it into a whole new modern, hipper theatre experience. But I think what impressed me the most about this new version was how muscular it was. I mean, this show is a true physical display of athletic and acrobatic skill.  I also thought it was just charming in how self-deprecating it was in its telling.

Stephen Schwartz: I agree with all of that. So much of Pippin was of its time. It was written in the time of the Vietnam War and the Generation Gap and ‘Don’t trust anybody over 30.’ And in that whole context, frankly, I think merely reproducing the original — if that were even possible —  would have felt quite dated. That’s one of the reasons I was optimistic when Diane approached me, because that’s one of the things she achieved with Hair. It was of its time, but it had a contemporary sensibility. It was like living in the moment, and then looking at the moment at the same time — and I thought that was a pretty remarkable achievement. Pippin is certainly less specifically of its time than Hair was of its, but I still think that’s part of what Diane has achieved here.

John Moore: I’m glad you brought up the Vietnam War, because I am of the generation that just missed most of that, so I did not grow up thinking of war as a universal. But now, everyone who is Pippin’s age in America has lived their entire conscious lives with their country in a state of military conflict.

Stephen Schwartz: Exactly.

John Moore: … So maybe young people today will take a perspective into this new Pippin that’s more in line with the young people who saw Pippin in 1972. War is a universal for this generation – because, for them, it’s always been there.

Stephen Schwartz: Well, that’s unfortunately a “for sure.” And in that same kind of controversial and divisive way that the Vietnam War was. It’s not like World War II, where everyone was united in thinking this was something that we had to do as a country. Iraq was extremely polarizing and divisive, so … yeah.

John Moore: Let’s touch on a couple of other key elements. First, you have changed the ending. What can we say about that without giving anything away?

Stephen Schwartz: Now, that is something I have no doubt Bob Fosse would have been happy with, if only we had thought of it back then. There are reasons we couldn’t have – reasons that go beyond just that we weren’t smart enough to think of it. But I will say this new ending is so clearly the right ending for the show.

John Moore: Why do you say you two could not have eventually come up with this new idea the first time around?

Stephen Schwartz: It has to do with the fact that, in the original show, the character of Theo was a little boy. He was 6. In this cast, he is a bit older than that.

John Moore: OK, I am going to leave it at that.

Stephen Schwartz: And so will I.

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John Moore: You mentioned Ben Vereen. Obviously a huge change is having your Leading Player be played by a woman.

Stephen Schwartz: I knew one of the problems we would have to overcome in doing any big, commercial revival of Pippin would be memory of Ben Vereen everybody would bring into it. You’d start out with people wanting to see that. And, of course, that’s impossible. So we had to either somehow break that — or overcome that. So when Diane said, ‘Well, what if the character of the Leading Player is a woman?’ — that made us think, ‘Well … then you can’t be sitting there saying, ‘He’s no Ben Vereen!’ —  which is what I think any male performer would have encountered. Oddly enough, I feel like, now that we have done this — If at some point in the future we wanted to go back to a male Leading Player, there are certain things about the way the show is written, and some of the new things that we have added — particularly between the Leading Player and Catherine — that I think would not go down as well if the Leading Player were male. It would seem a little brutal.

John Moore: And before we leave: How great is it that you have John Rubinstein coming on board to play Pippin’s father after having originated the role of Pippin in 1972?

Stephen Schwartz: Is that the best? I mean, is that the best ever? And this was not stunt casting. We walked into the auditions and John Rubinstein’s name was on the list. There were some other really good people, too. Of course, we were amazed and delighted that John was coming in to audition. But he was the best. Frankly, I don’t think we would have done it if we hadn’t felt that he was the best choice. But the idea of it was so irresistible. There was one moment in auditions, and it was only for Roger and me. John read the chapel scene and there is a line where Pippin says, ‘Time has passed you by, father.’ And Charlemagne’s line back is, ‘And your time has come, my son?’  I mean, hearing that from John? I can’t even talk about it. It was just so emotional to hear John Rubinstein say that line. I know it doesn’t have the same resonance for people who are just seeing the show for the first time. But for Roger and me? That was a pretty emotional moment.

John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

Note: “The Pippin Profiles” is a series of interviews by Arts Journalist John Moore with the “Pippin The Musical” cast and creative team leading up to the launch of the first national touring production in Denver on Sept. 6. Dallas Summer Musicals is re-posting these on the DSM Blog to countdown the Opening Night of PIPPIN at the Music Hall at Fair Park – July 7-19!


Pippin_MusicHallSiteHeader

PIPPIN is presented by Dallas Summer Musicals July 7-19 at Music Hall at Fair Park. TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Just go to http://tinyurl.com/og2sxh7. For more details, click here.

Want a chance to win tickets to opening night? Download our mobile app and take our quick trivia quiz! To download our app, Apple users click here and Android users click here!


The road to the 2015 National High School Musical Theatre Awards – Day 6

June 30th, 2015

Hi DSM Fans!

We are back for Day 6 of the 2015 National High School Musical Theatre Awards!

Yesterday was the big day for Chris and Katelyn – they got to perform on Broadway for the very first time! Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the performance here at home. Last night was the Jimmy Awards at the Minskoff Theatre (where THE LION KING calls home). And what an incredible evening! Though neither of them won the award for the night, they both have come away from this experience as a better actors and performers! Check out below to hear about their day and see some awesome videos and photos!

From Chris:

Such a bittersweet feeling leaving! I can’t wait to be with my family in NYC, but also so hard to leave these amazing people I met over this week! Performing on Broadway yesterday was the most incredible feeling! I got to meet Michael Cerveris, one of the Matilda kids, and even got a high five from Robbie Fairchild during the closing number! This was the most incredible and rewarding experience of my life and I’m so great full to be here. Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened 🙂 Thanks Dallas!

From Katelyn:

The second the lights came up for the opening number, my heart began to race, my face lit up, and I felt exhilarated and so much at home all at the same time. After that I got to put a character I’d been working on for almost a year now on the Minskoff stage for some of the biggest names in the business. It will go down as one of the most memorable moments that changed my life.

I got to perform on Broadway at the age of 18. That’s something a lot of people can say at any age. I’m just so grateful I got the opportunity to come together with kids all across the country to pull off something incredible. The magic held in the walls of that building will stay with me forever. The people I met were amazingly talented and gifted in what they do whether they’d been all over Broadway, or a kid here for the first time. 

Check out these videos Chris sent us from backstage!

After Rehearsal on stage in the Men’s Dressing Room:

Here’s Chris when they called places backstage:

Finally, their day was best captured via photos. Check them out in the slideshow below!

 

What a fantastic experience Chris and Katelyn had in NYC. Thanks for tuning in to our blog every day to see their progress and their thoughts. They appreciate all of the love and support they received at home and will never forget this experience! We wish them all the best in their future endeavors and hope to see them back on Broadway soon!

Until next year!

-DSM Amanda


The road to the 2015 National High School Musical Theatre Awards – Day 5

June 29th, 2015

Hi DSM Fans!

We are back for Day 5 of the 2015 National High School Musical Theatre Awards!

Yesterday, Chris and Katelyn had another very full day of rehearsal, but ended the day with their auditions for the National HSMTA Judges! Check out below what they had to say about their day!

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“Running through the entire show before the big day!”

From Katelyn:

Hi Dallas! 

So it’s been a crazy few days so far of non stop rehearsal and fine tuning to put up a great show on Broadway. This place is like musical theatre boot camp. The hours are long, the material is taught fast, and very little breaks in between. But I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else with this time. I’m trying to absorb any and all lessons I’m given and treasure every moment that I’ve been in the presence of a Broadway star. This is the kind of stuff I (along with every other participant) live for.

"Made friends with the MC from CABARET! He thinks I look like Liza Minelli. Us Fosse kids gotta stick together!"

“Made friends with the MC from CABARET! He thinks I look like Liza Minelli. Us Fosse kids gotta stick together!”

Today was the day we performed our solos and medley for the judges of the Jimmy’s, all of which include some of the most famous casting directors of New York (one of them being the casting director of CHICAGO THE MUSICAL’s across the nation,) so you can imagine the pressure I felt while performing 2 different Fosse pieces in front of her. Chris and I did the very best we could and both of us feel no regrets toward our performances. We’ve got high hopes, but no matter what happens, we will leave this place better actors than we were before with some beautiful memories. 

Thanks for all the support!

Can you spot Katelyn and Chris in the group? They're rehearsing the opening number for the Jimmy Awards!

Can you spot Katelyn and Chris in the group? They’re rehearsing the opening number for the Jimmy Awards!

From Chris:

Sunday is done, and tomorrow we perform on Broadway! Today was a long day of cleaning up the opening number, cleaning medleys, and staging and running the closing number. We ran the whole show through, and it’s looking fantastic!

Tonight we performed our medleys and solos for the judges, which was a lot of fun and an incredible opportunity and experience. I’m so grateful to be here amongst these incredibly talented young men!

Final Night at Tisch NYU!

Final Night at Tisch NYU!

Tomorrow’s the big day! We head off to the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway in the morning and spend the day rehearsing to open that night! Tomorrow will be a rewarding day topped off with getting to see, and hopefully meet, our host, Sutton Foster!!! I still can’t believe that’s happening! Can’t wait to be in the theater tomorrow and perform that night!

 

From their chaperone Stacie Smith: "After being judged tonight, they still have smiles on their faces. They both have winning attitudes!"

From their chaperone Stacie Smith: “After being judged tonight, they still have smiles on their faces. They both have winning attitudes!”

Today is the big day for Chris and Katelyn – they get to perform on Broadway for the very first time! Unfortunately we can’t see the performance here at home, the Jimmy Awards are tonight at 7:30pm ET at the Minskoff Theatre (where THE LION KING calls home). Chris and Katelyn will keep us updated about their day, and of course, we will let you know LIVE if anything big happens! We will be back tomorrow morning with our next blog to let you know what happens today. Please help us cheer them on as they compete tonight!

-DSM Amanda


The road to the 2015 National High School Musical Theatre Awards – Day 4

June 28th, 2015

Hi DSM Fans!

We are back for Day 4 of the 2015 National High School Musical Theatre Awards!

Yesterday, Katelyn and Chris sent us a quick video talking about their very challenging (but rewarding) day of rigorous rehearsal. Check it out!

 

Chris also gave us a quick summary of the day. Here it is:

Today was a very crazy, hectic day here in NYC at the Jimmy awards. The morning was spent running everyones contrasting song for Van Kaplan, the direcotr and producer of the Jimmys. I’m feeling confident in my song, and I know I will be proud of whatever happens tomorrow night when we perform our song for the distinguished judges; I’m very excited!

After lunch we began running our medlies, and running our medlies, and running our medlies, and running, and running…..over and over again. The rehearsal process is no joke, but it’s all so our performance on Monday night is perfect and almost second nature.

After dinner we finished blocking and cleaning up the opening number and running that a lot as well. We have been working on the opening since Wednesday, and it has evolved into something i cant wait to put infront of an audience, let alone a broadway audience!

Although we didn’t meet any celebrities or see any shows today, it was still an amazing experience. I’m constantly reminded throughout this process how much I love performing and performing with others. I’m so lucky to work with these talented performers, choreographers, directors, stage managers, and pianists every day on this journey. Every time i see a “National High School Musical Theatre Awards” sign I remember how cool it is to have accomplished this dream of mine. And just waking up every morning and seeing the empire state building outside my window speaks for itself!

Tomorrow is going to be another say of getting the show ready for the Minskoff Theater on Broadway!

Will keep you posted! Thanks for folloing our journey!

-Chris

Be sure to continue to cheer on our Best Actor and Actress Winners – the day they’ve been working and waiting for arrives tomorrow! Check back in the morning for their update on Day 5 in NYC for the 2015 National High School Musical Theatre Awards!

-DSM Amanda


The road to the 2015 National High School Musical Theatre Awards – Day 3

June 27th, 2015

Hi DSM Fans!

We are back for Day 3 of the 2015 National High School Musical Theatre Awards!

Before we give you the update on Day 3, our 2015 Best Actor Winner Chris Clark sent us his thoughts on his 2nd Day in NYC. Take a look:

6/25/15 12am

Tonight we saw An American in Paris on Broadway and it was phenomenal! All of the dancing and set and music and lightings were all so beautiful and was stunning to watch! We were lucky to get a talk back session with many members of the cast including by Tony nominees Leanne Cope, Max Von Essen, and Brandon Uranowitz! They were so much fun to talk to and learn about their experiences with the show and their journeys as performers. It was such a great opportunity to talk to about 15 people from a blockbuster Broadway show we had just seen.

Also today we had Composer, Frank Wildhorn, as our guest speaker. He has written some of my favorite shows like Bonnie and Clyde, Jekyll and Hyde, and the Civil War. It was incredible to talk to some one who is responsible for several of the songs I sing.

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day and I can’t wait to see what’s in store!

-Chris

Chris also filled us in on his experiences yesterday. Check it out:

Today was the longest, hardest, but one of the most rewarding days so far! They started staging the medley today, and that is super exciting! It’s starting to come together and looks incredible; my medley is a lot of ballads from shows like Miss Saigon, Les Mis, Tarzan, and Little Shop. All the guys are super talented, and it’s so humbling working with them.

It was out last coaching session with Michael McElroy today, and I really made a lot of progress on the story telling of my song. I finally feel ready to put it in front of judges on Sunday!

We got to meet the director/choreographer of An American in Paris, Christopher Wheeldon, and ask questions about his experience with the show. It’s so cool to meet all these Broadway professionals.

Another long, hard working, and fun day tomorrow here at the Jimmy Awards in New York City!

-Chris Clark

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Be sure to continue to cheer on our Best Actor and Actress Winners as they are in their final day of rehearsals tomorrow (Sunday)! Check back in the morning for their update on Day 4 in NYC for the 2015 National High School Musical Theatre Awards!

-DSM Amanda


The passion sizzles in DIRTY DANCING – The Classic Story On Stage at Dallas Summer Musicals! #DirtyDancingDSM

June 27th, 2015

Samuel Pergande (Johnny) and the company of the North American tour of DIRTY DANCING – THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

Dallas Summer Musicals and Performing Arts Fort Worth are thrilled to co-present the globally acclaimed production of DIRTY DANCING – The Classic Story On Stage at the Music Hall at Fair Park thru July 5, 2015. The tour will then head to Fort Worth, where it will play at Bass Performance Hall July 7-12. DIRTY DANCING is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance and sensational dancing. Check out what the critics thought of this great stage adaptation of the film.

– DSM Cisco

TV & RADIO INTERVIEWS/PERFORMANCES

WFAA ABC8 – Good Morning Texas does the Walk Down with Nicole Spencer (Swing)

WFAA ABC8 – Daybreak’s Brian Glenn learns some dance moves from Rachel Boone (Ensemble)

CW33 – NewsFix goes behind the scenes with Christopher Tierney (Ensemble)

REVIEWS

The Dallas Morning News

CBS Radio

The Column

The Flash List

Selig Film News

Real Posh Mom

Mercado Bilingue

Theater Jones

The Forney Post

Red Carpet Crash

The Clubhouse Podcast

– Rob’s written review

– Chad’s written review

– Don’s written review

Dallas Single Mom

Vanna Collins

CAST & CREATIVE INTERVIEWS

KLUV interview with Gillian Abbott (Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman)

Theater Jones interview with Michele Lynch (Choreographer)

Informate DFW interview with Joshua Keith (Ensemble)

Al Dia Spanish interview with Emily Rice (Lisa Houseman)

Uptown Latino Magazine Spanish interview with Emily Rice (Lisa Houseman)

PREVIEWS & FEATURED ARTICLES

The Dallas Morning News: Arts Lead

The Dallas Morning News Top Theater Picks Video Blog

The Dallas Morning News Feature Article

KLIF 570 AM & The Flash List

KPAX

The Flash List

Live Be Dallas

Star Local Media

Brandon Does Dallas

Travel Lady

My Crazy Savings

Genpink

Digital Mom Blog

The Frugal Mom

Dallas Observer

Southlake Style

DIRTY DANCING is on stage NOW thru Sunday, July 5 at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Click here for details and tickets.

Join us and Have The Time of Your Life!


The road to the 2015 National High School Musical Theatre Awards – Blog 2

June 26th, 2015

Hi DSM Fans!

We are back for round 2 of the 2015 National High School Musical Theatre Awards. This time Chris and Katelyn sent us some neat little videos they capture of their journey from day 2 in NYC. Take a look below.

Here is a sneak peek of their adventures from day 3.

2015 NHSMTA

Getting an exclusive talkback with the cast and creative of An American In Paris!

2015 NHSMTA

Had to leave the building for a short alarm break.

2015 NHSMTA

At a meeting with our distinguished coaches during lunch. Telly Leung, Julia Murney, Adam Kantor, Eden Espinosa, and Michael McElroy.

2015 NHSMTA

With our AMAZING coach Michael McElroy!

Check back tomorrow for a recap of their third day as Chris and Katelyn take NYC!

-DSM Cisco


DSM's Best Actor & Actress on the road to the 2015 National High School Musical Theatre Awards

June 25th, 2015

Hello DSM Fans!

It’s that time of year when after countless hours of searching for the best of the best we get to experience the National High School Musical Theatre Awards through the eyes of our very own 2015 DSM HSMTA Best Actor (Chris Clark) and Best Actress (Katelyn Cave) as they spend a whole week preparing to compete in the nationals. Check out what their experience has been like after arriving yesterday in the Big Apple.

2015 NHSMTA

Here’s what Chris and Katelyn had to say after their first full day in NYC:

Hello Dallas!

Though I miss you dearly, New York has been an experience of a life time! I’m writing you now as I’m on my way to see an American in Paris, my first Broadway show I’ll ever see. The rehearsals are intense but Chris and I are pushing forward and soaking up every bit of knowledge we can. So far we’ve already met a Broadway producer, the president of the Broadway League, the famous composer of Jekyll and Hyde, and there’s bound to be more that we haven’t even noticed in our rehearsals! It’s all been a dream come true and I’m so grateful for the experience thus far.

– Katelyn

Today was Day 2 in NYC! We learned the opening number vocals last night, and it’s going to sound amazing! There are so many Broadway shows represented in the music and it’s a blast to sing with the other nominees who are sooooo talented!

Today was Katelyn and I’s first coaching session with our coach, Michael McElroy. He is so amazing and is so much fun to work with! We are on our way to Sardi’s for dinner and then An American in Paris! This is such an amazing experience!

– Chris

2015 NHSMTA

2015 National High School Musical Theatre Awards Best Actor & Best Actress Nominees!

2015 NHSMTA

A photo from our first meeting last night! Lots of important people up here. We just met the president of the Broadway League.

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2015 NHSMTA

2015 NHSMTA

About to watch An American In Paris at the Palace Theatre in NYC!

If you are as excited as we are to have these two wonderful up and coming actors representing us in the nationals, make sure to check back and follow our daily blog as Chris and Katelyn make their way to the 2015 NHSMTA competition.

– DSM Cisco


PIPPIN – Four Time Tony® Award-Winning Musical Comes To North Texas!

June 22nd, 2015

FOUR-TIME TONY® AWARD WINNER

PIPPIN

IS COMING TO NORTH TEXAS JULY 7-19 AT THE MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK AND JULY 21-26 AT BASS PERFORMANCE HALL

Dallas, TX – Experience the thrilling 2013 Tony® Award-winning musical PIPPIN – described as “An eye-popping, jaw-dropping, VISUALLY STUNNING extravaganza. THE THRILL OF THE SEASON!” by NY1.

PIPPIN is back for the first time since it thrilled audiences 40 years ago… With a beloved score by Tony nominee Stephen Schwartz (WICKED, GODSPELL), PIPPIN tells the story of a young prince on a death-defying journey to find meaning in his existence. Will he choose a happy but simple life? Or will he risk everything for a singular flash of glory. This captivating new production is directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus (HAIR and THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS). It features sizzling choreography by Tony Award-nominee Chet Walker in the style of Bob Fosse and circus creation of breathtaking acrobatics by Gypsy Snider of the Montreal-based circus company Les 7 doigts de la main (also known as 7 Fingers), the creative force behind the nationwide sensation TRACES.  PIPPIN is noted for many Broadway standards including “Corner of the Sky,” “Magic To Do,” “Glory,” “No Time at All,” “Morning Glow,” and “Love Song.”   PIPPIN, the most nominated Broadway show of 2013, won four 2013 Tony® Awards including Best Revival of a Musical, four Drama Desk Awards, seven Outer Critic Circle Awards,  and the Drama League Award.

This thrilling production continues to dazzle audiences on tour across the U.S.!

With a book by Roger O. Hirson and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, PIPPIN features music supervision and arrangements by Nadia DiGiallonardo, orchestrations by Tony Award-winner Larry Hochman, scenic design by Tony Award-winner Scott Pask, costume design by Dominique Lemieux, lighting design by Tony Award-winner Kenneth Posner, sound design by Jonathan Deans and Garth Helm. Barry & Fran Weissler and Howard & Janet Kagan present the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) production of PIPPIN with Lisa Matlin, Kyodo Tokyo, Stephen E. McManus, A&A Gordon, Tom Smedes/Peter Stern, Broadway Across America, Independent Presenters Network, Norton Herrick, Allen Spivak, Rebecca Gold, David Robbins/Bryan S. Weingarten, Philip Hagemann/Murray Rosenthal, Hugh Hayes/Jonathan Reinis/Jamie Cesa, Jim Kierstead/Carlos Arana/Myla Lerner, Ben Feldman, Just For Laughs Theatricals, Square 1 Theatrics, Sharon A. Carr/Patricia R. Klausner, Wendy Federman/Carl Moellenberg,  Infinity Theatre Company/Michael Rubenstein, and Michael A. Alden/Dale Badway/Ken Mahoney.

Join us… for this magical, unforgettable production The New York Times declared “Astonishing!  A PIPPIN for the 21st Century.”

Single tickets for PIPPIN, from $25-$98 (pricing subject to change), are now on sale online at DallasSummerMusicals.org, by phone at 1.800.514.ETIX (3849), and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas, TX.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating, and many more benefits. Please call 214.426.GROUP (4768) or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

For Fort Worth tickets: Single tickets are now on sale from $44-$132 (pricing subject to change) and are available online at www.basshall.com, over the phone at 817.212.4280 or in person at the Bass Hall Box Office.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 10% discount. For group sales, call 817.212.4248 or email groupsales@basshall.com.

Dallas Summer Musicals’ highly anticipated 2015-2016 Season has been announced kicking off with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE SOUND OF MUSIC, November 3-22, 2015; followed by ELF The Musical, December 8-20, 2015; THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, February 2-14, 2016; DSM’s production of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID, March 11-27, 2016; WICKED, April 20 – May 22, 2016 as a season add-on; RAGTIME, May 24 – June 5, 2016; BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, June 14-26, 2016; and closing the season will be 42ND STREET, June 28 – July 10, 2016.

Dallas Summer Musicals’ seven-show season tickets, starting at $134, are now on sale online at DallasSummerMusicals.org, in person at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas or by phone at 214-346-3300. In addition, season ticket buyers have the option to add on WICKED, April 20 – May 22, 2016, to their season subscription for an 8-show package starting at $174.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount. For WICKED, groups of 15 or more save on select performances. All groups receive priority seating and many more benefits. Please call 214-426-GROUP (4768) or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

Performing Arts Fort Worth’s 2014-2015 Season will continue as follows: JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, Sept. 18-20; and KINKY BOOTS, Oct. 27-Nov. 1.

Performing Arts Fort Worth’s 2015-2016 Season kicks off with the Fort Worth debut of THE BOOK OF MORMON Dec. 1-6, 2015, followed by MOTOWN THE MUSICAL Jan. 13-17, 2016, Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID March 29-April 3, 2016, THE WIZARD OF OZ June 7-12, 2016, 42ND STREET July 12-17, 2016, THE SOUND OF MUSIC Aug. 17-21, 2016 and, closing out the season, the spectacular new production of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Oct. 20-30, 2016.

Broadway at the Bass season tickets are on sale online at www.basshall.com, over the phone at 817-212-4280 and in person at the Bass Hall Box Office. Seven-show season ticket packages start at $275. For more information, call 817-212-4280 or visit www.basshall.com.

Dallas Summer Musicals and Performing Arts Fort Worth will co-present three of these titles: Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID, 42ND STREET and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. The shows will play in Dallas for two weeks, then head to Fort Worth for limited, one-week runs.

 

About Dallas Summer Musicals:

Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. (DSM) is the preeminent nonprofit presenter of Broadway theatre in North Texas. DSM produces, presents and promotes excellence in live musical theatre with year-round performances for diverse audiences of all ages, impacting the lives of children and families through community outreach and education, and enriching the cultural landscape of Dallas/Fort Worth, North Texas and the Southwest Region.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, DSM relies on a variety of funding sources to bring the Best of Broadway to Dallas at affordable ticket prices, as well as to preserve the beautiful historic theatre, educate young audiences and create important community programs. DSM’s Seats for Kids program provides a meaningful arts education experience to thousands of low income, at-risk and special needs children. DSM provides positive incentives for youth that are at risk for gang membership through the Stage Right program. In addition, The Dallas Summer Musicals Academy of Performing Arts offers professional theatre arts training and scholarships to talented students in need. DSM’s High School Musical Theatre Awards are patterned after Broadway’s Tony® Awards and celebrates the power of the arts to significantly improve all areas of education. Hear Us Now!™ is DSM’s newest initiative. Since 2010 the experts at DSM have made significant changes and upgrades to its acoustical systems to improve the sound quality of the productions for all its patrons, including the hearing impaired. It is so unique that a trademark has been allowed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Coming this fall, Seats for Vets will serve war veterans and their families by providing them with a unique theatrical experience and thanking them for their service. Ticket sales alone do not sustain these endeavors. Only support from committed businesses, foundations and individuals make these programs possible.

Dallas Summer Musicals is presented by Texas Instruments and gratefully acknowledges the support of our season sponsors and partners The Dallas Morning News, WFAA TV Channel 8, American Airlines, and The Original Cupcakery.

For more information about Dallas Summer Musicals, please call 214.421.5678 or visit our website at DallasSummerMusicals.org.

About Performing Arts Fort Worth:

Performing Arts Fort Worth, the nonprofit organization that oversees management of Bass Performance Hall, presents national Broadway touring product under the Broadway at the Bass banner. Bass Performance Hall is the crown jewel of a city which boasts the nation’s third largest cultural district. It is also an important symbol of one of the most successful downtown revitalization efforts in the country.

The 2,056-seat multipurpose Hall is characteristic of the classic European opera house form. An 80-foot diameter Great Dome tops the Founders Concert Theater while two 48-foot tall angels grace the Grand Facade. Since the Hall opened in May 1998, the angels have become preeminent cultural icons of the Dallas-Fort Worth community. The Hall itself is renowned for its superb acoustics, exceptional sight lines and ambience on level with the great halls of the world.

Bass Performance Hall is located on a full city block encompassed by Commerce, Calhoun, 4th and 5th Streets in the historic Sundance Square district of downtown Fort Worth.

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Top 5 Reasons to See #PippinDSM!

June 18th, 2015

Pippin_MusicHallSiteHeader

PIPPIN comes to Dallas July 7-19, and we can’t think of a better show to close our 75th Anniversary Season! We hope you will come celebrate with us, so here are the TOP 5 REASONS to come and see this modern and professional musical!

#1
Winner of FOUR 2013 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical!

#2
PIPPIN is a completely re-imagined version of the story you know and love – this revival is like nothing you’ve ever seen before! Check out this quick look at the show:

#3
This cast of highly entertaining characters will make you laugh out loud! Click here to see the full list of the talented cast coming to the Music Hall!

#4
Awe-inspiring acrobatics and show-stopping numbers will keep you on the edge of your seat! The breathtaking acrobatics are by LES 7 DOIGTS DE LA MAIN, the creative force behind the nationwide sensation TRACES.

#5
The unique twist on this timeless show has an unforgettable score by Tony nominee Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell).

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PIPPIN is a night of theater that will leave you wanting more! Single tickets are ON SALE NOW! For more details and to purchase tickets, click here! We hope you will “join us” for this “extraordinary” show!

-DSM Amanda


North Texas Gives Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA Rave Reviews! #CinderellaDSM

June 13th, 2015

The Cast of the National Tour of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Photo © Carol Rosegg.

Hello DSM Fans,

We are delighted to present the 2013 Tony® Award winning Broadway Musical Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA at the Music Hall at Fair Park through June 21, 2015. The tour will then head to Fort Worth, where it will play at Bass Performance Hall June 23-28. With its fresh new take on the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, this hilarious and romantic fairytale combines the story’s classic elements – glass slippers, pumpkin, and a beautiful ball along with some surprising new twists! Check out what North Texas has to say about this magical production.

– DSM Cisco

TV & RADIO INTERVIEWS/PERFORMANCES

ABC8 – Good Morning Texas: Performance and interview with Paige Faure (Ella)

ABC8 – Midday News: Interview with Kecia Lewis (Marie, The Fairy Godmother)

CW33 – News Fix: A backstage look with Jose Sullivan (Assistant Company Manager)

The Dallas Morning News – Top Theater Picks

Bleeckie The Puppet: Interview with Paige Faure (Ella)

Stage Talk: Interview with Paige Faure (Ella)

570 AM KLIF & The Flash List Podcast

REVIEWS

The Dallas Morning News

Katy Trail Weekly

Theater Jones

Dallas Voice

Al Dia (Spanish Publication)

The Flash List

The Column

Selig Film News

Red Carpet Crash

Irish Film Critic

EDGE Media Network

The Clubhouse Podcast 23 min podcast

The Clubhouse Podcast – Rob

The Clubhouse Podcast – Chad

The Clubhouse Podcast – Don

Travel Lady

Oh So Cynthia

Dallas Mommy Blog

Real Posh Mom

Brandon Does Dallas

Mommy Upgrade

The Frugal Mom

Vanna Collins

CAST & PRODUCER INTERVIEWS

The Dallas Morning News – Cover and three page spread

Dallas Voice – Andy Huntington Jones

Al Dia (Spanish Publication) – Aymee Garcia

Broadway World – Audrey Cardwell

Selig Film News – Andy Huntington Jones

PREVIEWS & FEATURED ARTICLES

D Magazine

Focus Daily News

Uptown Latino Magazine (Spanish Publication)

Advocate Magazine

CultureMap

Broadway World

The Flash List

AXS

Examiner

Dallas Socials

My Crazy Savings

Genpink

Dallas Single Mom

Macaroni Kid SW Dallas

Christian Alexander Fashion

Live Be Dallas

CINDERELLA is on stage NOW thru Sunday, June 21 at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Click here for details and tickets.

Don’t miss out on this dazzling musical and keep checking back for more content!


DIRTY DANCING – The Classic Story On Stage Comes to North Texas!

June 11th, 2015

DIRTY DANCING

IS COMING TO NORTH TEXAS

JUNE 23 – JULY 5

AT THE MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK

AND

JULY 7-12

AT BASS PERFORMANCE HALL

Dallas, TX – DIRTY DANCING – The Classic Story On Stage, comes to life at the Music Hall at Fair Park for a limited engagement from June 23 – July 5, presented by Dallas Summer Musicals. The tour will then head to Fort Worth, where it will play at Bass Performance Hall July 7-12, presented by Performing Arts Fort Worth.

DIRTY DANCING is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance and sensational dancing. Seen by millions across the globe, this timeless love story features the hit songs “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and the heart-stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.” London’s Sunday Express says “This crowd-pleasing stage adaptation hits the jackpot!”

It’s the summer of 1963, and 17-year-old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is on vacation in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents. Mesmerized by the racy dance moves and pounding rhythms she discovers in the resort’s staff quarters, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort’s sexy dance instructor. Passions ignite and Baby’s life changes forever when she is thrown into the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady, both on-stage and off.

DIRTY DANCING began as an eight-week staged workshop in Manhattan in the fall of 2001. It was first performed at the Theatre Royal in Sydney, Australia in November 2004 before embarking upon a hugely successful tour of Australia and New Zealand. A new production opened at the Theater Neue Flora in Hamburg, Germany in March 2006 where it broke records for achieving the highest advance in European history.

The production began performances on London’s West End in October 2006 with an £11 million advance and went on to become the longest running show in the history of the Aldwych Theatre. It closed in July 2011 in advance of a two-year UK national tour and then returned to London for a strictly limited season at the Piccadilly Theatre.

Starring Samuel Pergande (Johnny Castle) and Gillian Abbott (Frances “Baby” Houseman), this North Texas premiere features a company of 26 that also includes Doug Carpenter (Billy Kostecki, Singer), Jerome Harmann-Hardeman (Tito Suarez), Ryan Jesse (Neil Kellerman), Caralyn Kozlowski (Marjorie Houseman), Gary Lynch (Max Kellerman), Scott McCreary (Robbie Gould), Herman Petras (Mr. Schumacher), Emily Rice (Lisa Houseman), Mark Elliot Wilson (Dr. Jake Houseman) and Jenny Winton (Penny Johnson). The ensemble comprises John Antony, Rachel Boone, Amanda Brantley, Josh Drake, Rashaan James II, Joshua Keith, Alexandra Matteo, , Phoebe Pearl, Virginia Preston, Jennlee Shallow, Nicole Spencer, Christopher Tierney, and Paul Victor.

“The company that we have assembled for our North American tour is beautiful and truthful,” says Eleanor Bergstein, screenwriter of the film Dirty Dancing and book writer for the musical. “I originally wrote the movie because I love to dance. And since the movie first appeared, the openhearted audience response has made me believe that everyone has a secret dancer inside them, one they feel could connect them to the physical world in the way they dream. This remarkable cast brings those dreams to life through their extraordinary talent and exceptional skill. It’s been a deep pleasure for us to watch audiences around the country respond as this lovely group of people brings Dirty Dancing home to North America.”

The production’s book is written by Eleanor Bergstein and the North American tour will be directed by James Powell with choreography by Michele Lynch based on the original choreography by Kate Champion. The creative team also includes Stephen Brimson Lewis (set design), Tim Mitchell (lighting design), Jennifer Irwin (costume design), Bobby Aitken (sound design), Jon Driscoll (video and projection design), Bernie Ardia (hair design), Conrad Helfrich (music supervisor and orchestrations) and Alan Plado (music director).

DIRTY DANCING has gone on to perform across the world in markets as diverse as Utrecht, Holland, Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. Most recently, it has been represented by a new UK tour (which launched March 2014 in Bristol), a German tour (which launched April 2014 in Berlin) and a French tour (which is currently playing Paris). The show returned to Australia with a new tour that premiered in late 2014 in honor of the stage production’s 10th anniversary. The current North American tour launched in Washington, DC in August 2014 and is currently booked through the 2015-2016 season.

The North American tour of DIRTY DANCING is produced by Amber Jacobsen, NETworks Presentations LLC, Grove Entertainment, and Col Joye in association with Lionsgate and Magic Hour Productions.

Single tickets for DIRTY DANCING, from $20-$93 (pricing subject to change), are now on sale online at DallasSummerMusicals.org, by phone at 1.800.514.ETIX (3849), and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas, TX.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating, and many more benefits. Please call 214.426.GROUP (4768) or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

For Fort Worth tickets: Single tickets are now on sale from $44-$132. Additionally, DIRTY DANCING is also part of a Choose Your Own Season Ticket Package. Single and season tickets are currently available online at www.basshall.com, over the phone at 817.212.4280 or in person at the Bass Hall Box Office.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 10% discount. For group sales call 817.212.4248 or email groupsales@basshall.com.

Dallas Summer Musicals 75th Anniversary Season will close a wonderful year with PIPPIN, July 7-19, 2015.

Performing Arts Fort Worth’s 2014-2015 Season will continue as follows: PIPPIN, July 21-26; JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, Sept. 18-20; and KINKY BOOTS, Oct. 27-Nov. 1. 

About Dallas Summer Musicals:

Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. (DSM) is the preeminent nonprofit presenter of Broadway theatre in North Texas. DSM produces, presents and promotes excellence in live musical theatre with year-round performances for diverse audiences of all ages, impacting the lives of children and families through community outreach and education, and enriching the cultural landscape of Dallas/Fort Worth, North Texas and the Southwest Region.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, DSM relies on a variety of funding sources to bring the Best of Broadway to Dallas at affordable ticket prices, as well as to preserve the beautiful historic theatre, educate young audiences and create important community programs. DSM’s Seats for Kids program provides a meaningful arts education experience to thousands of low income, at-risk and special needs children. DSM provides positive incentives for youth that are at risk for gang membership through the Stage Right program. In addition, The Dallas Summer Musicals Academy of Performing Arts offers professional theatre arts training and scholarships to talented students in need. DSM’s High School Musical Theatre Awards are patterned after Broadway’s Tony® Awards and celebrates the power of the arts to significantly improve all areas of education. Hear Us Now!™ is DSM’s newest initiative. Since 2010 the experts at DSM have made significant changes and upgrades to its acoustical systems to improve the sound quality of the productions for all its patrons, including the hearing impaired. It is so unique that a trademark has been allowed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Ticket sales alone do not sustain these endeavors. Only support from committed businesses, foundations and individuals make these programs possible.

Dallas Summer Musicals is presented by Texas Instruments and gratefully acknowledges the support of our season sponsors and partners The Dallas Morning News, WFAA TV Channel 8, American Airlines, and The Original Cupcakery.

For more information about Dallas Summer Musicals, please call 214.421.5678 or visit our website at DallasSummerMusicals.org.

About Performing Arts Fort Worth:

Performing Arts Fort Worth, the nonprofit organization that oversees management of Bass Performance Hall, presents national Broadway touring product under the Broadway at the Bass banner. Bass Performance Hall is the crown jewel of a city which boasts the nation’s third largest cultural district. It is also an important symbol of one of the most successful downtown revitalization efforts in the country.

The 2,056-seat multipurpose Hall is characteristic of the classic European opera house form. An 80-foot diameter Great Dome tops the Founders Concert Theater while two 48-foot tall angels grace the Grand Facade. Since the Hall opened in May 1998, the angels have become preeminent cultural icons of the Dallas-Fort Worth community. The Hall itself is renowned for its superb acoustics, exceptional sight lines and ambience on level with the great halls of the world.

Bass Performance Hall is located on a full city block encompassed by Commerce, Calhoun, 4th and 5th Streets in the historic Sundance Square district of downtown Fort Worth.

###


Just Announced – 2015/2016 DSM Season!

June 7th, 2015

Season_CreatingMemories

It’s official! We have announced our 2015/2016 DSM Season!

Here are the shows coming to DSM next season:

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s THE SOUND OF MUSIC
November 3-22, 2015
#SoundOfMusicDSM
The classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical returns to Dallas! For more details, click here.

ELF THE MUSICAL
December 8-20, 2015
#ElfDSM
ELF is the hilarious tale of Buddy, who embarks on a journey to NYC to find his birth father and discover his true identity. For more details, click here.

THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY
February 2-14, 2016
#BridgesDSM
THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, one of the most romantic stories ever written, is now an irresistible, two-time Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical. For more details, click here.

Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID
March 11-27, 2016
#LittleMermaidDSM
THE LITTLE MERMAID returns to Dallas with the story about a mermaid who dreams of the world above the sea and gives up her voice to find love. For more details, click here.

WICKED
April 20 – May 22, 2016
#WickedDSM
Back by “popular” demand, long before that girl from Kansas, two girls meet in the land of Oz! For more details, click here.

RAGTIME THE MUSICAL
May 24 – June 4, 2016
#RagtimeDSM
The lives of a family of upper-class WASPs, an African-American couple and some Eastern-European Jewish immigrants intersect as they try to make a success in America. For more details, click here.

BULLETS OVER BROADWAY
June 14-26, 2016
#BulletsDSM
Based on the Woody Allen and Douglas McGrath film, this musical comedy is loaded with big laughs, colorful characters, and the songs that made the 20s roar! For more details, click here.

42nd STREET
June 28 – July 10, 2016
#42StreetDSM
Facing adversity from all directions, the young but talented Peggy Sawyer learns about show business and discovers which relationships are most important in life. For more details, click here.

All performances are at the Music Hall at Fair Park.

For photos from some of the shows, check out our slideshow at the bottom of this post! We hope you will join us next season!

Check out this quick video for a sneak peek at each show:

 

Also, in case you hadn’t heard, we’re partnering up with Performing Arts Fort Worth for 3 of our shows: THE SOUND OF MUSIC, THE LITTLE MERMAID, and 42nd STREET! These shows will play 2 weeks here at DSM in Dallas, then travel to the Bass Performance Hall for a one-week engagement. We are very excited to be working closer with PAFW and hope that this will help bring more people to see live theatre!

Season tickets are now on sale online at www.dallassummermusicals.org, and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas. Subscribers may order by mail or in person at The Box Office, by phoning 214-346-3300 or by faxing 214-691-7386. For groups of 10 or more, please call 214-426-GROUP.

Season subscribers enjoy such benefits as first opportunity to get the best seats available for the season, plus huge savings over single ticket prices and easy payment plans, lost ticket replacement, ticket exchange privileges and a 20% discount on all DSM logo merchandise. Plus, season subscribers have first option on their seats for the following season, and can save up to $101 over the cost of single tickets.

We’re so excited about our upcoming season, and we hope you are too! For more information about each show, season tickets, etc., please visit our website at www.dallassummermusicals.org.

We’ll see you at the Music Hall soon!

-DSM Amanda


RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA COMES TO NORTH TEXAS!

May 18th, 2015

THE 2013 TONY® AWARD-WINNING BROADWAY MUSICAL

CINDERELLA

IS COMING TO NORTH TEXAS

JUNE 9-21 AT THE MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK

AND JUNE 23-28 AT BASS PERFORMANCE HALL

Dallas, TX – RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA, the 2013 Tony® Award-winning Broadway musical from the creators of SOUTH PACIFIC and THE SOUND OF MUSIC, will play at the Music Hall at Fair Park for a limited engagement from June 9-21, presented by Dallas Summer Musicals. The tour will then head to Fort Worth, where it will play at Bass Performance Hall June 23-28, presented by Performing Arts Fort Worth.

With its fresh new take on the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, this hilarious and romantic Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA combines the story’s classic elements – glass slippers, pumpkin, and a beautiful ball along with some surprising twists. More than just a pretty face with the right shoe size, this Cinderella is a contemporary figure living in a fairytale setting. She is a spirited young woman with savvy and soul who doesn’t let her rags or her gowns trip her up in her quest for kindness, compassion and forgiveness. She longs to escape the drudgery of her work at home and instead work to make the world a better place. She not only fights for her own dreams, but forces the prince to open his eyes to the world around him and realize his dreams too.

CINDERELLA has music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, a new book by Douglas Carter Beane and original book by Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical is directed by Mark Brokaw and choreographed by Josh Rhodes. Music adaptation, supervision and arrangements are by David Chase and orchestrations are by Danny Troob.

One of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most popular titles, CINDERELLA was written for television — debuting in 1957 starring Julie Andrews. In 2013, the show made its long-overdue Broadway debut. Along with CINDERELLA, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s legendary musicals include OKLAHOMA!, CAROUSEL, THE KING AND I, SOUTH PACIFIC and THE SOUND OF MUSIC.

Mr. Beane’s book for CINDERELLA blends masterfully with the musical’s cherished score with songs including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” “Ten Minutes Ago” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?”

The creative team includes scenic design by Tony® Award nominee Anna Louizos, costume design by six-time Tony® Award-winner William Ivey Long, lighting design by Tony® Award-winner Kenneth Posner and sound design by Tony® Award nominee Nevin Steinberg.

The CINDERELLA tour is produced by Robyn Goodman, Jill Furman, Stephen Kocis, Edward Walson, Venetian Glass Productions, The Araca Group, Caiola Productions, Roy Furman, Peter May, Sanford Robertson, Eric Schmidt, James Spry and Blanket Fort Productions.

Single tickets for CINDERELLA, from $25-$98 (pricing subject to change), are now on sale online at DallasSummerMusicals.org, by phone at 1.800.514.ETIX (3849), and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas, TX. Mini Packs, which allow all ticket buyers to pick 3 or more shows for as low as $55, are also available online or may be ordered by mail or in person at The Box Office and by phoning 214.346.3300.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating, and many more benefits. Please call 214.426.GROUP (4768) or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

For Fort Worth tickets: Single tickets are now on sale from $44-$132. Additionally, CINDERELLA is also part of a Choose Your Own Season Ticket Package. Single and season tickets are currently available online at www.basshall.com, over the phone at 817.212.4280 or in person at the Bass Hall Box Office. Groups of 10 or more receive a 10% discount. For group sales call 817.212.4248 or email groupsales@basshall.com.

Dallas Summer Musicals 75th Anniversary Season will continue as follows: DIRTY DANCING, June 23–July 5, 2015; and PIPPIN, July 7-19, 2015.

Performing Arts Fort Worth’s 2014-2015 Season will continue as follows: DIRTY DANCING, July 7-12; PIPPIN, July 21-26; JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, Sept. 18-20; and KINKY BOOTS, Oct. 27-Nov. 1.

About Dallas Summer Musicals:

Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. (DSM) is the preeminent nonprofit presenter of Broadway theatre in North Texas. DSM produces, presents and promotes excellence in live musical theatre with year-round performances for diverse audiences of all ages, impacting the lives of children and families through community outreach and education, and enriching the cultural landscape of Dallas/Fort Worth, North Texas and the Southwest Region.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, DSM relies on a variety of funding sources to bring the Best of Broadway to Dallas at affordable ticket prices, as well as to preserve the beautiful historic theatre, educate young audiences and create important community programs. DSM’s Seats for Kids program provides a meaningful arts education experience to thousands of low income, at-risk and special needs children. DSM provides positive incentives for youth that are at risk for gang membership through the Stage Right program. In addition, The Dallas Summer Musicals Academy of Performing Arts offers professional theatre arts training and scholarships to talented students in need. DSM’s High School Musical Theatre Awards are patterned after Broadway’s Tony® Awards and celebrates the power of the arts to significantly improve all areas of education. Hear Us Now!™ is DSM’s newest initiative. Since 2010 the experts at DSM have made significant changes and upgrades to its acoustical systems to improve the sound quality of the productions for all its patrons, including the hearing impaired. It is so unique that a trademark has been allowed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Ticket sales alone do not sustain these endeavors. Only support from committed businesses, foundations and individuals make these programs possible.

Dallas Summer Musicals is presented by Texas Instruments and gratefully acknowledges the support of our season sponsors and partners The Dallas Morning News, WFAA TV Channel 8, American Airlines, and The Original Cupcakery.

For more information about Dallas Summer Musicals, please call 214.421.5678 or visit our website at DallasSummerMusicals.org.

About Performing Arts Fort Worth:

Performing Arts Fort Worth, the nonprofit organization that oversees management of Bass Performance Hall, presents national Broadway touring product under the Broadway at the Bass banner. Bass Performance Hall is the crown jewel of a city which boasts the nation’s third largest cultural district. It is also an important symbol of one of the most successful downtown revitalization efforts in the country.

The 2,056-seat multipurpose Hall is characteristic of the classic European opera house form. An 80-foot diameter Great Dome tops the Founders Concert Theater while two 48-foot tall angels grace the Grand Facade. Since the Hall opened in May 1998, the angels have become preeminent cultural icons of the Dallas-Fort Worth community. The Hall itself is renowned for its superb acoustics, exceptional sight lines and ambience on level with the great halls of the world.

Bass Performance Hall is located on a full city block encompassed by Commerce, Calhoun, 4th and 5th Streets in the historic Sundance Square district of downtown Fort Worth.

###


2015 Tony Awards® Nominations Tomorrow!

April 27th, 2015

2015 Tony Awards

Hello DSM Fans,

This year we are excited to once again syndicate the live webcast of the Tony nominations announcement from our website for everyone to enjoy; click here or on the image above. The live streaming will begin tomorrow Tuesday, April 28 at 8:30 a.m. ET (7:30 a.m. CT) from the Diamond Horseshoe at the Paramount Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Mary-Louise Parker and Bruce Willis will do the honors as the co-host of this year’s announcements. TonyAwards.com will webcast the event in its entirety, and it will be shown on TWC NEWS/NY1 cable. CBS This morning will also cover part of the event.

The 69th Annual Tony Awards®, presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will take place on June 7. The ceremony will be broadcast on CBS live from Radio City Music Hall at 8/7c (delayed PT).

About the Tony Awards®

The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards® are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. At The Broadway League, Robert E. Wankel is Chairman and Charlotte St. Martin is Executive Director. At the American Theatre Wing, William Ivey Long is Chairman and Heather Hitchens is President. Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment are the Executive Producers of the 2015 Tony Awards. Mr. Weiss will also serve as Director of the 2015 Tony Awards.

IBM, the official information technology partner of the Tony Awards®, develops, designs, and hosts the official Tony Awards digital experience across platforms, including www.TonyAwards.com. Carnegie Mellon University is the first-ever, exclusive higher education partner of the Tony Awards. United Airlines is the official airline of the Tony Awards®. Paramount Hotel is the official hotel partner of the Tonys.  City National Bank is the official bank of the Tony Awards®. Porsche Cars North America, Inc., manufacturer of exclusive sports cars, is celebrating dynamic performance as the official sports car of the Tony Awards®.  La Crema, known for elegant Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, is the official wine of the Tony Awards®. USA TODAY is the official media partner of the Tony Awards®. PEOPLE is the official magazine partner of the Tony Awards®. Clear Channel Spectacolor is an official media partner of the Tony Awards® and co-producer of the Tonys Simulcast in Times Square. The Hollywood Reporter is an official media partner of The Tony Awards®.

– DSM Cisco


THE ILLUSIONISTS – Witness The Impossible wows audiences in North Texas! #IllusionistsDSM

April 10th, 2015

THE ILLUSIONISTS - Witness The Impossible

Hello DSM Fans!

We are excited to be presenting one of the most magical, thrilling and mystifying shows to hit Broadway THE ILLUSIONISTS – Witness The Impossible at the Music Hall thru April 19. This mind-blowing spectacular showcases the jaw-dropping talents of seven of the most incredible illusionists on earth. Check out some sneak peeks below and what the DFW Metroplex has to say about it.

PERFORMANCES & INTERVIEWS:

WFAA8 ABC Good Morning Texas – Interview and performance with Adam Trent “The Futurist”

The Dallas Morning News Top Theater Picks – Interview with Kevin James “The Inventor” and Andrew Basso “The Escapologist”

CW33 News FIX – Interview with Kevin James “The Inventor” and Andrew Basso “The Escapologist”

KDFW FOX4 Good Day Dallas – Interview with Jeff Hobson “The Trickster”

WFAA8 ABC Daybreak – Interview with Andrew Basso “The Escapologist”

(Spanish) KXTX Telemundo39 Acceso Total – Interview with Andrew Basso “the Escapologist”

Stage Talk – Interview with Jeff Hobson “The Trickster”

Selig Film News – Interview with Jeff Hobson “The Trickster”

ARTICLES & FEATURES:

The Flash List – Interview with Dan Sperry “The Anti-Conjurer”

Uptown Latino – (In Spanish) Interview with Andrew Basso “The Escapologist”

Selig Film News – Interview with Dan Sperry “The Anti-Conjurer”

The Dallas Morning News Asian Column – Feature of Yu Ho-Jin “The Manipulator”

Broadway World – THE ILLUSIONISTS Feature

AXS – THE ILLUSIONISTS Feature

The Dallas Socials – THE ILLUSIONISTS Feature

Digital Mom – THE ILLUSIONISTS Feature

REVIEWS:

The Dallas Morning NewsReview

Dallas VoiceReview

North Dallas Gazette – Review

The Column – Review

TheaterJones – Review

Selig Film News – Review

The Clubhouse Podcast – Special Edition Review (22:40 in length)

Red Carpet Crash – Review

Real Posh Mom – Review

Irish Film Critic – Review

Vanna Collins – Review

THE ILLUSIONISTS is on stage NOW thru Sunday, April 19 at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Click here for details and tickets.

Don’t miss out on the magic and keep checking back for more content!

– Cisco


Dallas Loves THE KING AND I! #KingAndIDSM

April 3rd, 2015

Hello DSM Fans!

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I is on stage now at the Music Hall thru this Sunday, April 5th only! We are so thrilled with the overwhelming response to this show that we wanted to share with you what people are saying! Also, we’ve included some additional links to give you a sneak peek of the show and inside info with interviews and performances! Enjoy!

 

Articles/Features

Click here for photos with the cast from on stage, behind the scenes, and around Dallas!

CW33 – NEWSFIX behind the scenes look at THE KING AND I production and a mention of the DSM Academy Dance Workshop – Click here.

Lia Chang feature article of THE KING AND I – Click here.

The Dallas Socials featured article of THE KING AND I – Click here.

Digital Mom featured article of THE KING AND I – Click here.

Seniorific News featured article of THE KING AND I – Click here.

Denton Record Cronical featured story on Parker and Madison (The Kings Children) – Click here.

Helene In Between featured article of THE KING AND I – Click here.

 

Interviews/Performances

WFAA8 ABC – Good Morning Texas: Rachel York (Anna) performs “Getting To Know You” – Click here.

WFAA8 ABC – Midday News: Alan Ariano (The King) gets interviewed by Ron Corning – Click here.

The Dallas Morning News – Top Theater Picks Yoonjeong Seong (Tuptim) and Devin Ilaw (Lun Tha) perform “We Kiss in a Shadow.” – Click here.

The Dallas Morning News Asian Column – Interview with Stephanie Lo (Eliza) cast of THE KING AND I – Click here.

SeligFilmNews interview with Rumi Oyama (Angel George/Dance Captain) – Click here.

TheaterJones interview with Glenn Casale, Director of THE KING AND I – Click here.

AXS interview with Devin Ilaw (LunTha) – Click here.

Broadway World interviews Rachel York (Anna) – Click here.

(In Spanish) HOYDallas show review and interview with Sam Tanabe – Click here.

SeligFilmNews interview with Yoonjeong Seong (Tuptim) – Click here.

 

Reviews

Fort Worth Star-Telegram review – Click here.

The Dallas Morning News review of THE KING AND I – Click here.

Dallas Voice review of THE KING AND I – Click here.

TheaterJones review of THE KING AND I – Click here.

SeligFilmNews review of THE KING AND I – Click here.

Real Posh Mom’s THE KING AND I review – Click here.

Vanna Collins THE KING AND I review – Click here.

A special edition of “The Clubhouse Podcast” reviewing this musical that is 24 minutes and 11 seconds in length. The review is on i-Tunes of course but can be listened to on Quicktime by clicking here.

MilkAndCuddles review of THE KING AND I – Click here.

IrishFilmCritic review of THE KING AND I – Click here.

EDGEDallas review of THE KING AND I – Click here.

Red Carpet Crash Musical Review: ‘The King And I’ Is A Well Performed Classic 

BrandonDoesDallas review of THE KING AND I – Click here.

 

THE KING AND I is on stage NOW thru Sunday at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Click here for details and tickets.

We hope you enjoy the show!

-DSM Amanda