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

Monday is the deadline to register for Pennsylvania…

If residents want to vote in the May primary, which includes a vote for a new City Council member, today is the deadline to register.

National

Miss America thinks school should reconsider discipline of…

A Pa. student was suspended for asking Miss America to prom.

Local

Aria Health Torresdale workers caught selling prescription drugs

Two Aria Health at Torresdale employees were fired amid accusations they sold prescription drugs out of the Northeast Philadelphia campus.

National

Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter died Sunday from prostate cancer…

Former U.S. professional boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who spent 19 years in prison for murder and then was released after it was determined he did not get a fair trial,…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Books

Poems from prison: 'How to Survive a Bullet…

Celebrate National Poetry Month with, "'How to Survive a Bullet to the Heart."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

MLB

Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.