PLAYBILL VIDEO WEEK IN REVIEW: Passion, Motown, Pippin and More

By Playbill Staff
March 17, 2013

In our new series Playbill Video Week in Review, Playbill.com recaps our weekly coverage of Broadway performances, celebrity interviews, web series and opening nights – in case they were missed the first time around.



Click through to check out our exciting videos from the week of March 11.

A Sneak Peek At The Sounds Of Motown: The Musical

Founded in 1960 by songwriter Berry Gordy, Detroit's Motown Records primed such iconic acts as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye and the Jackson 5 for music industry glory — despite the racially turbulent era. Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, with book by Gordy himself, Motown: The Musical uses the songs of the legendary Motown catalogue to chart the rise of the music mogul and the stars he created. Here, the cast runs through classics "Do You Love Me," "My Girl" and "I Want You Back" for a recent media day. The musical began previews March 11 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

 

Sneak Peek at the New Broadway Pippin

The cast and creatives of the Broadway revival of Pippin met the press to preview the production fresh from its critically-acclaimed run at A.R.T. in Cambridge, MA. Directed by Diane Paulus, the classic Stephen Schwartz-Roger O. Hirson musical finds a troupe of medieval performers telling the story of Pippin, a monarch's son who longs for an extraordinary life. Chet Walker (a member of the original Broadway company) choreographs the production in the style of Bob Fosse, flavored with circus-movement from Gypsy Snider (Cirque du Soleil, Off-Broadway's Traces). Here, Matthew James Thomas (Pippin), Patina Miller (the Leading Player), Terrence Mann (Charles) and the cast run though several of the show's numbers, including "Corner of the Sky," "Glory" and "Simple Joys."

 

Highlights From Ann on Broadway

Known for her strong, salty roles on TV's "Two and a Half Men" and "Bosom Buddies," actress Holland Taylor was inspired to write about a personal hero and subsequently wound up on Broadway with her first play, the one-woman show Ann. Taylor stars as outspoken Texas Governor Ann Richards, a woman known for her sense of humor and down-home logic. Rising to national prominence after giving the keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention, Richards became a voice for women's rights in the American political landscape. Benjamin Endsley Klein directs the production at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.

 

Berry Gordy's Motown Troupers Revel in Music History

Based on his 1995 memoir "To Be Loved: The Music, the Magic, the Memories of Motown," Berry Gordy’s Motown: The Musical charts his rise to the top of a Detroit-based record empire that defined the music of the 1960s. Charles Randolph-Wright directs the new Broadway show, which stars Brandon Victor Dixon as Gordy, Valisa Lekae as Diana Ross, Charl Brown as Smokey Robinson and Bryan Terrell Clark as Marvin Gaye. The production features classic Motown hits as well as several new songs written by Gordy. Here, cast and creatives meet the press to chat about constructing a world that echoes real life.

 

Bob Fosse's "Cabaret" Film Turns 40 With Joel Grey, Michael York and Marisa Berenson

With the release of a new digitally remastered Blu-ray Disc and a 40th anniversary to celebrate, the cast of director Bob Fosse's 1972 feature film version of "Cabaret" met the media. Revamped from the Kander and Ebb stage musical, the Liza Minnelli star-making vehicle featured new songs that replaced others cut in order to keep the musical performance "on stage" and steeped in realism. The film also revisited the original texts that inspired the stage musical and re-focused the story along more personal lines. Here, stars Joel Grey, Michael York and Marisa Berenson are joined by the director's daughter Nicole Fosse to chat about the history and legacy of the groundbreaking cinematic musical.

 

Highlights From Stephen Sondheim's Passion Off-Broadway

Classic Stage Company presents a freshly conceived staging of Passion, the 1994 Tony-winning musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. Based on the 19th-century Italian novel "Fosca" (and a subsequent film), Passion tells the story of army captain Giorgio (Ryan Silverman) separated from his beloved Clara (Melissa Errico) by the call of duty. When Giorgio meets Fosca (Judy Kuhn), the ill cousin of his commanding officer, he begins to grow fascinated by her, coming to realize no one has ever loved him as deeply. John Doyle directs the production, using an all-male cast except for Kuhn and Errico. Musical direction is by Rob Berman.

 

In Rehearsal With It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman

From the songwriters of Bye Bye Birdie, It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman, a satiric musical look at the DC Comics hero, ran for 129 performances on Broadway in 1966. City Center Encores! brings back the Charles Strouse (music) and Lee Adams (lyrics) musical March 20-24 for a concert version that will keep the swingin' '60s sound and the frisky humor intact. Stars Edward Watts (Superman/Clark Kent), Jenny Powers (Lois Lane) and cast, along with director John Rando and choreographer Joshua Bergasse ("Smash"), met the media to preview three tunes — "It's Superman," "You've Got Possibilities" and "It's Super Nice" — and chat about bringing the campy musical oddity out of obscurity and down to earth.

 

Highlights From Breakfast at Tiffany's

The world-premiere production of Breakfast at Tiffany's, adapted by Tony Award winner Richard Greenberg, conjures New York City in the 1940s at Broadway's Cort Theatre. Directed by Sean Mathias, this new take on the Truman Capote novel about a young writer and the woman-child who lives below him in his apartment building, stars Emilia Clarke (HBO's "Game of Thrones") as fun-loving Holly Golightly, Cory Michael Smith as writer Fred and George Wendt as bartender Joe Bell. For more information on Breakfast at Tiffany's, click here.

 

*Mitchell Jarvis and Wesley Taylor's "It Could Be Worse": Episode 7

In Episode 7, struggling actor Jacob (series co-creator Wesley Taylor) has a successful audition for sexy new musical The Ice Queen, whose leading lady Veronica Bailey (Alison Fraser) has taken a very special interest in him. When Jacob visits his troublesome and coked-up agent (series co-creator Mitchell Jarvis), he learns the role is his. With this new lease on life, will Jacob now have the courage to leave his uber-needy boyfriend Philip (Gideon Glick) and pursue his new love interest (Adam Chanler-Berat)? Watch from Episode 1.


*Includes adult situations and language. Viewer discretion is advised.