The first major musical to return to the stage since March also happens to be an acrobatic, exhilarating Tony Award winner. And with it comes a star-studded cast to match. The role of Pippin, the young, confused protagonist, will be played by Ainsley Melham, who you may remember as Aladdin, when the Disney production made its way across Australia three years ago. (He also played the part in the Broadway production.)
Others joining him on stage include actress, singer and TV presenter Kerri-Anne Kennerley as Pippin's saucy grandmother Berthe, and Broadway star Gabrielle McClinton, who'll reprise her role as the charming Leading Player and ultimate ringmaster of the show from the Broadway production.
Simon Burke (Les Misérables) will play Charles, Pippin's demanding father; Lucy Maunder (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Beautiful) will take on the role of Catherine, a widow and mother who falls in love with Pippin; Leslie Bell (Broadway's Chicago and Ragtime) will play Pippin's stepmother Fastrada; and Euan Doidge (Les Misérables, Kinky Boots) will perform the role of her son Lewis, Pippin’s half-brother.
A fictionalised story based on two historical figures, Pippin the Musical is the story of a young man, who must decide whether to follow the footsteps of his father or strike out on his own. It's a play within a play, with the story told by a travelling troupe of actors and acrobats, directed by a mysterious Leading Player.
To be successful in their auditions, some of the performers had to be a quadruple threat, able to sing, act, dance and perform circus skills.
With a book by Roger O. Hirson and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (composer of Wicked, Godspell) this new production is the winner of four Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival and Best Direction of a Musical.