Jac Yarrow and More Will Join Alex Newell for 50th Anniversary Pippin Concerts in London | Playbill

London News Jac Yarrow and More Will Join Alex Newell for 50th Anniversary Pippin Concerts in London

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

Jac Yarrow and Alex Newell

Additional casting has been announced for the forthcoming 50th anniversary London concert production of Pippin

Due to scheduling conflicts, the concerts, originally planned for April 1–2 at the London Palladium, will now be presented April 29–30 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. (Ticket holders will be contacted by LW Theatres to confirm seats for the new dates and venue.)

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

As previously reported, Alex Newell—the first openly non-binary performer to win a Tony in an acting category for their role as Lulu in Shucked—will be the Leading Player. Newell will be joined by the newly announced Jac Yarrow (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) in the title role; Olivier winner Patricia Hodge, who created the role of Catherine in the original 1973 West End premiere of Pippin, as Berthe; Lucie Jones (Wicked, Waitress) as Catherine; current Guys and Dolls Olivier nominee Cedric Neal as Charlemagne; Zizi Strallen (Mary Poppins) as Fastrada; Ryan Heenan as Theo; and Idriss Kargbo as Lewis with Amonik Melaco, Jak Allen-Anderson, Sally Frith, and Gleanne Purcell-Brown as Players.

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

The upcoming concerts will also have choreography by Joanna Goodwin, set and costume design by Polly Sullivan, lighting design by Jamie Platt, sound design by Adam Fisher, orchestrations by Simon Nathan based on original orchestration by Larry Hochman, and casting by Jane Deitch.

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

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

The upcoming concerts will be produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment and Carter Dixon McGill Productions. 

Visit LWTheatres.co.uk.

Look back at the original Broadway production of Pippin below.

Production Photos: Pippin on Broadway in 1972

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