Dallas Summer Musicals closes it's 75th season with one of the funniest, sexiest, and most entertaining shows I've seen at DSM with Pippin. I chatted with legendary actress Adrienne Barbeau who plays Berthe in this revamped, restyling and revitalized new version of Pippin. Click through for an in-depth look at the actress & author Adrienne Barbeau.
This isn't the same Pippin. The influence of "Fosse" style mixed now with acrobatics has completely changed the feel of the show and added a new upbeat tempo to the classic production. For the touring show the Tony Award winning musical has continued to bring the best talent to the stage as it traverses across the US. Adrienne Barbeau chatted with me about the show, her career, and much more.
I started our chat by talking about how she was busy being Rizzo (Tony Nomination) in Grease's original Broadway run in the early 70's, which was around the same time John Rubenstein was starring at Pippin on Broadway. So she actually never got to see the original Pippin.
But before we dive into the wonderful production of Pippin, Adrienne was kind enough to take a leap back in time to talk about her storied career. We started things off by discussing how she had to venture overseas to entertain the troops before making it to the famous Great White Way as Rizzo in Grease.
Speaking of Adrienne as Rizzo, look what I found online.
Over the last few decades Adrienne has jumped from the Broadway stage to TV fame to movie fame and I asked her what roles she's most recognized for by fans.
Adrienne talked with Shout TV about getting cast by legendary TV icon Norman Lear as Maude's daughter!
I asked Adrienne about the transition from TV to film and she explained that back in the 70's it was a lot tougher to break out of the TV Comedy world.
She was able to make the leap to the big stage mainly because of her connection to legendary horror filmmaker John Carpenter.
Adrienne in The Fog.
My personal favorite Adrienne role was in HBO's Carnivale as Ruthie.
The show is also one of Adrienne's favorite roles she's gotten to play.
Another favorite role of mine is Adrienne as Catwoman on the Batman Animated Series.
But Adrienne's real passion these days is her writing.
Along with her memoir she has a just completed her Vampires of Hollywood Trilogy with her latest being, Make Me Dead.
And now to the wonderful world of Pippin!
Adrienne plays Berthe and has one of the best sequences in the entire production and in the opening night show she got the loudest ovation at the end. As Adrienne stated at the beginning of the interview she really enjoyed the acrobatics and the sensibilities of the character which are very close to her own. She's basically the one to tell Pippin to hurry up and start livin' life or it'll pass you by. Her number in the first act is one of the best I've seen this year at Music Hall! Now the show itself is quite magical with it's presentation and non-stop action.
John Rubenstein, who was the original Pippin on the 1970's version of Pippin, is downright hysterical as Pippin's kingly father Charles aka Charlemagne.
But lets enjoy the old school version of John with his blond locks and great rendition of "Corner of The Sky".
Overall the show highlights STEPHEN SCHWARTZ' great witty score and mixes in that wonderful choreography by LES 7 DOIGTS DE LA MAIN, the folks behind TRACES. Add on the great direction of Tony winner DIANE PAULUS and it's easy to see why this show is just so damn dynamic. The ebb and flow of Pippin's journey is perfect for a music hall audience to catch on to. For me Adrienne's number, "No Time At All", is so interactive with the audience it completely captivates you for the full length of Pippin's tale. I also love that the musical totally breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience as participants in this odyssey. For opening night a few of the standouts next to John and Adrienne were Sabrina Harper's Fastrada, sexy and conniving love of Charles, and Kristine Reese's Catherine.
The role of Catherine is only in the second act, but her humorous take on a nagging wife for Pippin is just the perfect tone for this production. She also is really convincing for the more intimate love elements we get to witness. Overall this is easily one of my favorite musicals this season and over the last few years. Lastly, I'd like to make a shout out to a quality film director.
"It was announced in April 2013 that The Weinstein Company has set director/screenwriter James Ponsoldt to pen and adapt the film."
We're still a little ways away from James' take on PIPPIN since he's working on THE CIRCLE next. But his work on indie films Smashed and Spectacular Now showcases this Georgia boy is a quality choice by the Weinstein Company.
For more information on Pippin at DSM please go, here.
For you fine Fort Worth folks make sure you get your tickets for the July 21-26 run at Bass Hall, here!
And to keep up with Adrienne Barbeau please go to her site.
Enjoy the musical and start L-I-V-I-N, whether you say it like Barbeau or McConaughey.
And lastly one final tribute to Adrienne as Ruthie the snake charmer from HBO's Carnivale.