As part of their triptych, A Stephen Schwartz Celebration, Magnormos presents their second production: Pippin. Pippin started out as a college project and ultimately became a Tony Award winning musical that has been presented around the world. Described as a hip and anachronistic fairy tale with soaring ballads and a pop-influenced score, it features a stellar cast including Luigi Lucente, Rohan Browne, Mike Snell and Chloe Dallimore.
Chloe Dallimore is well known to musical theatre audiences after being propelled to fame in 2005 with her award-winning role of Ulla in The Producers. She has performed in many productions including, Crazy For You, Chicago, Sweet Charity, Annie, The Wizard of Oz, Shout!, Oliver!, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Addams Family and Gypsy. Dallimore took some time out of Pippin rehearsals to talk about this upcoming one-night-only performance.
Rehearsals are intense. With just one week of rehearsals, it makes The Production Company look mild in comparison. However, a considerable amount of preparation work has been done by all the cast in order to have as much under their belts as possible in preparation for the full direction in rehearsals. Being a one-off performance the production is scaled right back in terms of the set design, but Dallimore comments that often paring back a production allows you to focus on the actual content in more detail.
What has made this fast rehearsal period particularly exciting for the cast and crew has been the presence of composer Stephen Schwartz. Dallimore described working with Schwartz as a “mind blowing experience” and at times she had to put aside the fact she was working with him … and the thought he will be in the audience for the performance.
This Magnormos production is the recent Broadway revival of Pippin. It has been tweaked and edited – and improved. Schwartz commented to the cast that Pippin is finally at its best. It focuses on the original Fosse style and has a circus feel. Dallimore said she felt like a kid again sitting in the audience watching the ensemble perform and listening to the richness of the orchestrations of this musical. This will be a unique presentation and a rare opportunity to see this musical presented by some of our best performers.
Dallimore plays the role of Fastrada, the step-mother of Pippin. Fastrada is determined to get her self-obsessed biological son to the throne at any cost. Dallimore describes Fastrada as being "not a very nice person," but tries to justify her actions as being a mother who wants the best for her child. It's a fascinating experience for Dallimore to perform this role as she considers the people who have behaved this way through history. Ultimately, the story asks what is most fulfilling in life and celebrates the simple joys of life.
Pippin is playing at The Melbourne Recital Centre on Monday 16th September for one performance only.
Tickets are available at http://www.melbournerecital.com.au/events/2013/pippin/?book=true