Monday, December 29, 2014



You may feel compelled to take an acrobatics class, try balancing on a giant ball, jumping through a high flying hoop or practicing for a knife-throwing act before heading off to the Bushnell Performing Arts Center in Hartford to see the all-new circus-inspired production of "Pippin."  Now four decades after it was originally composed by Stephen Schwartz, with book by Roger O. Hirson, it has been re-imagined by Diane Paulus and transformed into a three ring circus of spectacular pageantry.

From Tuesday, January 6 to Sunday, January 11, the Bushnell will be afire with color and high flying hi-jinxs as it tells the incredible tale of a young, naive sweet and innocent prince Pippin who desperately wants to follow his destiny.  He is ready and willing to leave the home he knows, as the privileged son of King Charlemagne, to seek adventure and a life of meaning.

Kyle Dean Massey is the vulnerable and impressionable lad who wants to soar like an eagle and fly free, hoping to find his "corner of the sky."
Not content with the small life he feels he is trapped in, he seeks change and experiences.  Sasha Allen, with top hat and cane, plays the Leading Player, the temptress/narrator who has the power to control the directions and misdirections that Pippin pursues.

Along the way, Pippin will encounter the advice and counsel, both good and bad, from his father Charles, a role played by John Rubinstein who was the original Pippin in 1972, Sabrina Harper as his step-mother Fastrada, Kristin Reese as Catherine, a woman who has the power to heal and Lucie Arnez as Berthe, his grandmother.  This production began long, long ago as an after-school project by Stephen Schwartz, whie he attended college.  Called "Pippin, Pippin," it was originally an historical melodrama.  These first seeds have taken root and blossomed into the wildly different and fantastic fable it is today.

Noted for sensational songs like "Magic To Do," "Corner of the Sky," "Glory," "No Time At All," "Morning Glow" and "Love Song," it is sure to astonish and amaze.  For tickets ($21-80), call the Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford at 860-987-5900 or online at Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

With the Montreal-based circus company Les 7 doigts de la main (7 Fingers), prepare to soar in spirit and spectacle in a colorful creation of music and magic.

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