Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pippin and the Leading Player

I just finished watching a 1981 recording of the Broadway play Pippin, which debuted in 1972. It's one of my favorite musicals. It's about a guy who is looking for the meaning of his life and goes about his quest with great energy. Unfortunately, although the lyrics and dialogue are actually very deep and beautiful, the show is so campy that much of the meaning is lost while you are distracted by the farce. There's a set of "real" characters and a set of fantasy characters, and the 2 worlds occasionally interact which brings a surreal quality to the dialogue. In the script, the lead fantasy character is simply known as the Leading Player. The original production had Ben Vereen as the Leading Player, and he won a Tony Award for his performance.

The Leading Player is a neutral character, but I've only ever seen the role played by men. I would really like to see a woman play this role someday.

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