With a circus makeover, ‘Pippin’ aims for dazzle and depth

March 26, 2015 6:00 AM

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When Pippin debuted on Broadway in 1972, the Vietnam War was raging, and one facet of the musical — the depiction of a bloody campaign waged by King Charles (aka Charlemagne) against the Visigoths in 780 A.D. — was particularly disturbing to audiences steeped in war.

Oh, the Stephen Schwartz-Roger O. Hirson musical was a massive, entertaining hit. Its storyline follows the adventures and misadventures of Pippin, Charlemagne’s son, as he attempts to find his purpose. Composer Schwartz describes it as “a young man trying to figure out what to do with his life and ...

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