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Pippin


List Price: $19.93
Price: $14.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Pippin + Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Broadway Version)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ben Vereen, William Katt, Leslie Denniston, Benjamin Rayson, Martha Raye
  • Directors: David Sheehan
  • Writers: Bob Fosse, Roger O. Hirson
  • Producers: David Sheehan, Carol Scott, Hillard Elkins, Michael Pataki, Susan Haymer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Vci Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 31, 2000
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004W5VC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,584 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pippin" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Interview with Bob Fosse
  • Production Stills

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Pippin is a pip of a Broadway musical that is not only a contemporary classic but also the play that made director choreographer Bob Fosse a famous name long before "Cabaret" and "All That Jazz". Using the medieval legend of Charlemagne's son, Pippin, heir apparent to the Holy roman Empire, the musical pageant called "Pippin" is a parable about a young man's search for meaning and truth. With the show's masterful master of ceremonies, Ben Vereen, jumping the time barrier from the 1980's to the Middle Ages and back again, while the music and costumes go through similar time and space warps, young "Pippin" embarks on an odyssey to discovery whether there really is "something worthwhile I can do with my life." William Katt plays-sings-and-dances the title role with a freshness and exuberance rarely seen in today's entertainment on stage or screen. Broadway's virtuoso baritone, Ben Rayson, is as regal as they come as Charlemagne. The sheer intensity of Vereen's many-faceted talents steals the show again and again, but he never upstages his co-stars. Martha Raye brings her boisterous energy to the role of Berthe, Pippin's 67 year old grandmother, while Chita Rivera ignites sparks every time she prances into a scene as Pippin's stepmother. The success of "Pippin," wining five Tony Awards and playing to sellout houses for six years is also what brought recognition to its star, Ben Vereen, long before his acclaimed portrayal of "Chicken George" in "Roots". With all of its distinctions, "Pippin" has never existed anywhere but Live, on stage, until this videotape production, supervised by Mr. Fosse, and produced and directed for television by David Sheehan. It's the one video experience you'll always treasure! Bonus Features: Bonus Interview with Bob Fosse| Actor Bios| Scene Selection. Specs: DVD5; Dolby Digital Stereo; 112 minutes; Color; 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA - NR; Year - 1981; SRP - $19.99.

Additional Features

In a 6.5-minute segment, video producer David Sheehan offers a retrospective of Bob Fosse's career along with a brief interview conducted at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival, where Fosse's All That Jazz was honored with a Palm d'Or. Inconveniently, the DVD's scene-selection menu provides brief descriptions of each scene but only a few of the song titles, making it hard to jump to a specific song you want to hear.

Customer Reviews

Lots of fun musical numbers and good dancing.
thecableguy
If by some chance William Katt or Ben Vereen should ever read this, you are wonderful and I love your work!
Lucy
I can only say that it is worth seeing, but maybe not worth remembering.
Britt Jansson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Halpin on April 2, 2002
Format: DVD
What can one say about a DVD that preserves much of what made it a hit on Broadway...Bob Fosse's Direction and Choreography? It is a wonderful piece of musical theater history and a wonderful representation of a hit that stormed Broadway in the 70's.
That is not to say that this DVD is not without its problems. One of the main problems is that part of the show have been edited out. A song, jokes, a pivotal moment with a talking head are missing leaving viewers perplexed at times. It seems that the editor didnt have a copy of the script to work from. The saving grace is the wonderful performance of Ben Vereen as the Leading Player. For those who want to see Vereen at his peak I would suggest you skip the Fosse DVD and get Pippin. He was one of Fosse's favorite dancers and Pippin shows off his skills. Other actors do a fairly admirable job with their parts. William Katt is good at Pippin, but no matter how many times I watch this producation I get mad that he drops the last line of the show and loses some of its punch in the dropping. Chita Rivera and Martha Raye handle their roles well and Christopher Chadman, who later went on to become a choreographer before passing away, reprises his role of Louis, Pippin's half-brother, and is as wonderful here as he was on Broadway.
Stephen Schwartz and Bob Fosse battled throughout Pippins creation, but Pippin is one of Schwartz's nicest score. And the opening number, Magic To Do, is a Broadway classic (which is why I wonder why it didnt make it into Fosse).
If you collect Broadway Musicals, Pippin is a great addition to your collection. It is a close replication of the Broadway production and it worth having.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Francis M. Hough Jr. on July 26, 2001
Format: DVD
Having owned the VHS tape of PIPPIN for quite a few years, I was excited to see that this DVD version included eight more minutes than was on my videotape. Parts of "War Is a Science" were put back in, totally missing from the tape version. The song (as well as the show) is still incomplete on this version, but it's likely the most complete issue of this ground-breaking show we'll ever see.
Performance wise, you couldn't ask for more from Ben Vareen, William Katt, and Chita Rivera, all of whom give exciting performances captured here for all-time. Christopher Chadman, who plays the egotistical Lewis, brother of Pippin, went on to have a successful career as a Broadway choreographer before his untimely death. And it's great to see Martha Raye playing a role on stage since most of our memories of her are from dated 1940's movies that emphasize her brashness and not her humanity.
The most disappointing aspect of this DVD was its sound quality. The "surround" sound as digitized through my receiver muffled the singing and emphasized the orchestra. I found that sending the sound through the side speakers made the singing much clearer and less problematic.
The interview with Bob Fosse by critic/video producer David Sheehan isn't long on substance, but it's great to see this theater and film icon again in interviews not seen before.
All-in-all, PIPPIN is a sound DVD investment.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By ruatha on August 4, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Pippin is the story of a young man searching for total fulfillment in life. Having seen it live 4 times (both professional and dinner theater) I love the story and the script.
But this video is strictly bush league. Poor video and sound quality make it look amateurish, despite the all-star cast. (Ben Vareen, William Katt, and the ensemble are great.) I swear, the video quality was so bad that my daughter walked in the room and asked if this was a home video of a local production. Editting problems between cameras make it obvious that this was filmed over several nights, or badly cut in the finishing room (cast member body positions change between shots and then return again, songs appear badly lip synced, despite the "live" stage setting in front of an audience, etc.) Scenes are jerky, with one jarring splice of Fastrada and Louis obviously re-recorded and cut into place just prior to "Spread a Little Sunshine."
I was also a little disappointed with the scenes cut and songs revised from the original production. "War Is A Science" is greatly cut back, the role of Katherine and the beautiful scenes with her son and his duck are all but missing, and the battle scenes that play out behind the Lead Player during Glory are not present. Also missing is one of the most memorable scenes from the stage, in which Pippin questions the value of war and the meaning of life with the disembodied head of a Visigoth (the scene was set up pretty obviously with cameras focusing on the head, but was apparently not included in the final edit.)
If you love Pippin and need a video to help rekindle memories of the play, this will do fine. If you are new to the show, this will leave you wondering what all the fuss was about 25+ years ago. Personally, I wish I had not spent the money. I went away remembering how good the stage production was, instead of having happy thoughts about having this film in my collection.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Guy De Federicis on November 4, 2005
Format: DVD
Pippin is the court jester of Broadway musicals. The story of a 9th Century son of a Roman king who seeks to find the meaning in his life is as casual as a troupe of travelling medieval entertainers, yet as entertaining as it's Broadway rock contemporaries; Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair, and even Rent. Great early '70's rock music with a heap of soul, (The Jackson 5 had a hit with Corner Of The Sky in 1972), and outstanding musical comedy performances by Tony winner Ben Vereen as the godlike omnipresent lead player, Chita Rivera as Pippin's scheming sex-brained mother, and Benjamin Rayson as the warring king. The late Bob Fosse coneived this musical based on a college project by composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz.
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