Theater review: Flippin’ over ‘Pippin’

It’s impossible to avoid being lured into the dangerously enticing web of Patina Miller, front, in “Pippin.”

It was unsurprising when the American Repertory Theater announced that its current production, “Pippin,” was heading to Broadway this spring. Few who see it will expect anything less than a shelf full of trophies for director Diane Paulus and company in the upcoming award season.

Paulus collaborated with Gypsy Snider of the circus troupe Les 7 Doigts de la Main and choreographer Chet Walker for this revival of the Stephen Schwartz musical. The result is an unprecedented theatrical spectacle.

Normally, incredible gymnastic feats and contortions would be a distraction for a sweet story like “Pippin.” But this troupe has found a balance that makes it so seamless you’d swear the aerialists and jugglers were in the original script.

Though the score boasts musical theater staples like “Corner of the Sky” and “Magic to Do,” it’s the contagious enthusiasm of the ensemble that wins over the crowd. It’s impossible to avoid being lured into the dangerously enticing web of Patina Miller as she dazzles the room as Leading Player.

Andrea Martin nearly stops the show with a riotous rendition of “No Time at All” while Terrence Mann is perfectly imperious as Charles. Matthew James Thomas is charming and engaging in the title role, while Charlotte d’Amboise lights up the stage as Fastrada. And in a mere moment, young Andrew Cekala as Theo delivers the “wow” that solidifies the magic of “Pippin.”

‘Pippin’
Through Jan. 20
American Repertory Theater
64 Brattle St., Cambridge
$25-$100, 617-547-8300
www.americanrepertorytheater.org



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Apple says its systems not to blame for…

By Edwin Chan and Christina FarrSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The week before a crucial launch of its new iPhone, Apple Inc said intimate photos of…

Local

Tallest residential building planned for lower Manhattan

A residential tower planned for lower Manhattan will soar 1,356 feet in the air -- just 12 feet shy of 1 World Trade Center. When…

Local

Bronx man commits suicide by decapitation

A Bronx man committed suicide Monday morning in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx by decapitating himself. According to the NYPD, the 51-year-old man…

Local

Top cops enroll in Twitter course at John…

NYPD officers are reportedly getting a lesson on the best way to use 140 characters or less. The New York Post reported Tuesday top officers…

Arts

Pop culture and prostitutes: New Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit at…

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec documented the cult of celebrity and the rise of pop entertainment in his prints, posters and lithographs — now on display at MoMA.

Arts

PHOTO: Extreme artist Eskil Ronningsbakken balances unicycle on…

Extreme artist’ Eskil Ronningsbakken balances on the edge of a cliff face at 4,600 feet – on a unicycle. The Norwegian travels across the globe, balancing over vertiginous ravines, tall…

Music

Hear two previously unreleased Adele songs

Missing some Adele in your life? Two previously unreleased songs from the singer have appeared online.

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

NFL

10 storylines to watch for the Giants this…

The Giants rebounded from an embarrassing 0-6 start last season, but not well enough to make the playoffs.

NFL

Michael Vick set to be weekly guest with…

Mike Francesa may need to backtrack from his harsh commentary of Michael Vick now that the Jets backup quarterback will be a weekly guest on his show.

NFL

Jets expect to make playoffs after sitting on…

The same pundits who predicted the Jets would be woeful a season ago are now eying the playoffs for this revamped team.

NFL

Antonio Allen returns to practice after concussion

Antonio Allen was cleared to practice again following his concussion two weeks ago.

Parenting

In defense of making a mess during playtime

"Recipes for Play" authors Rachel Sumner and Ruth Mitchener think playtime should involve the five senses and making a mess is part of the fun.

Wellbeing

Jason Hope helps push anti-aging efforts forward

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article When it comes to age-related illness, the direction of modern medicine seems more reactive than proactive. In…

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…