Sunday, June 09, 2013

Tony Awards Tonight - Behind the Scenes With Stephen Schwartz and Pippin

Tonight the 2013 Tony Awards will be presented at Radion City Music HAll.  Pippin has received 10 nominations, so I thought it appropriate to share some behind the scenes Pippin information, courtesy of The Stephen Schwartz Scene newsletter.  Carol de Giere is the official biographer of Stephen Schwartz's remarkable career as composer, lyricist, producer, director, singer/songwriter.  She also edits a quarterly newsletter for fans of Mr. Schwartz and his work.  The current edition has just been published, and I am pleased to share excerpts with readers of The White Rhino Report.  I encourage you to click on the link at thew bottom of the page, and to subscribe to the newsletter.  Through our common love for Pippin and other things Schwartzian, Carol and I have become friends over the past few months, and I have come to appreciate the terrific job that she does in chronicling the many creative endeavors of Mr. Schwartz.

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The Schwartz Scene Newsletter 50 – Spring 2013

THE SPARK OF CREATION: Stephen Schwartz Update and Events

Stephen Schwartz and Scott Schwartz in 2009June 1, 2013
pippin-marquee-music-box-theatre-new-york-smTomorrow evening is a listening party of the new Broadway PIPPIN album for the cast, who I think will be pleased to hear how good they sound. It was fun to do a new cast album for several reasons: First and foremost, the new cast are all such good singers. I also think the new orchestrations by Larry Hochman are very imaginative, and it’s nice to be able (with the longer time available on CD versus vinyl) to be able to include more of the dance music. On the original cast album back in 1972, it was so challenging to squeeze all the songs onto one disc, we had to compress “Morning Glow” greatly and slightly speed up “Spread a Little Sunshine” (to Leland Palmer’s understandable annoyance.) It felt like such a luxury to be able to get over an hour of music onto this CD. . . . 

Publicity photo of Pippin by Joan Marcus. . . And as far as the new Broadway production itself is concerned, to quote my friend Glinda, “I couldn’t be happier”. I had a wonderful time working with its creative and imaginative director, Diane Paulus, who managed to keep her cool through acrobatics, magic tricks, Fosse dancing, and literal fire. The result is a show that, in my opinion, is not only breathtakingly well staged and superbly performed, but which has a clarity of story-telling and a wellspring of emotion superior to the original. The whole experience was so positive that I found myself telling a friend after a rehearsal during previews in New York, “I worked on a Broadway show today and actually had fun!” (to which the reply was, “Who ARE you and what have you done with Stephen!?”)
Pippin playbill
–Stephen Schwartz

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I encourage you to take the time to check out the full issue of the newsletter.

The Schwartz Scene Newsletter

BUY the Pippin album here: Pippin at iTunes or pre-order the Pippin Cast Album CD  
Editor’s note: if you’re wondering what his comment “Who ARE you and what have you done with Stephen” means, find out by reading  Defying Gravity. This creative biography includes the many challenges of Schwartz’s previous Broadway experiences.

The Schwartz Scene Newsletter

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