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re: Perhaps the difference is, I don't care about the STORY so much as the storyTELLING in this particular case
Posted by: peter3053 03:03 pm EST 01/19/21
In reply to: re: Perhaps the difference is, I don't care about the STORY so much as the storyTELLING in this particular case - Chazwaza 01:50 pm EST 01/19/21

Fosse directed the work with care for the words. That sounds peculiar since he's known for his choreographic style, but back then audiences even at a musical appreciated that the theatre was the place of the Word.

One might remember the old rule that there should be limited movement on the first utterance of a lyric, so the thought, or feeling or joke, could be heard and savoured. The choreography normally came after the first utterance, during either a repeat or a chorus (refrain).

We also cared about character, and people as people. The reveal of the troupe in the original (and I have only seen the slightly disappointing tour video) is exciting theatrically, because the word is fulfilled by the magical appearance of...people who were just hands. Wow! Delightful! In the revival, the trick curtain falls to reveal ... tricks!

In "Morning Glow", the sacral atmosphere is supported by the staging of Fosse, and becomes thrilling for this unity of forces. "Morning Glow" in the revival ... hmmm ... what are they saying, actually? And why are they using that hymn-like grandeur of sound?

And what are those balls doing there when Pippin goes to visit his grandmum ("Simple Joys")? Yes, it's a wow - but what's it got to do with the song, the words?

I notice over the past, say, 20 years, there has been a move away from staging and choreography which articulates character (the Agnes de Mille / Robbins tradition) to patterns of movement representing mere flashiness and not very much at all. I think of those strange men who appeared in the Promises Promises revival during "She Likes Basketball" - wasn't Chuck's first taste of personal success enough to enjoy???; or in the "How to Succeed" revival with Daniel Radcliffe, and the song "Brotherhood of Man" ... what was all that movement about? Then we go back and look at the movie with Bobby Morse and you go, "Oh, right, THAT's what those people are doing!"

A wider problem than just the Pippin revival.
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