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Pippin/Avenue Q parallels? 
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Post Pippin/Avenue Q parallels?
This may or may not be intentional, but have any of you noticed there are some parallels between Pippin and Avenue Q? Mainly in the heroes of each one--Pippin and Princeton.

Both are just out of college and have been sold on the idea that they have some OMG EXTRAORDINARY DESTINY!!! to fulfill...and that idea ends up causing them no small amount of trouble. Neither show really condemns the idea of aiming high or striving for a goal. Problem is, neither Pippin nor Princeton HAS an actual goal or aim...each only thinks that he wants to be extraordinary. They've gotten so stuck on the idea that they've narrowed themselves to two choices...perfection or nothing. Which doesn't leave them with a hell of a lot to work with (and almost ends up causing Pippin's death!). It's like Dave Barry once said about certain financial and professional self-help books...they're so stuck on the concept of excellence that they don't have much time for what's simply good.

Both characters look down their noses at anything too "ordinary", and both initially reject what could be fulfilling relationships with loving partners because a normal married life, too early, is too "ordinary" for them. By the end of the show, each character has decided to give the relationship another try, realizing that there can be fulfillment here after all.

And at the end of the show, each character learns that "you're going to have to make a few compromises...for now." (Only Princeton's supporting cast is a helluva lot more consoling about this fact than Pippin's!)

So...what do you think?

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Last edited by Jennifer Lynn on Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:03 am, edited 2 times in total.



Sat May 02, 2009 11:20 am
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Princeton's Bad Idea Bears are basically just like... every character in Pippin.

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Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:44 am
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add candide into that too.

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Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:45 am
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Candide has a horrible life. The whole world, however, doesn't exist solely to kill him.

I find it interesting that the original concept for Pippin's ending was that it was literally a snuff show, not just a "dramatic way to end a life." The players were going to get sexual pleasure from watching Pippin's death, and that was the whole point of their manipulations.

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"I LOVE incarceration,
I could lock up a platoon,
I'll be strapping up an inmate,
Very tightly, very soon.
So wave one bachelor goodbye,
She'll be your bride- she'd rather die
Than have her daddy ossify
In my sordid saloon..."


Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:25 am
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o_o

........Thats creepy.

Like.. I feel disturbed.

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Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:32 am
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The play, of course, didn't start off that way. Bob Fosse's contributions made it so.

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Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:18 am
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Tony Winner
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^To that end, does anybody have an approximation as who contributed to what the show is now?

In other words, is the show 33% Schwartz, 33% Hirshon, and 33% Fosse?

Also, at what point did the new ending with Theo being lured into the players' game get put in?


Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:22 am
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Schwartz originally wrote a completely different show (Pippin, Pippin) back in college. Similar plot, but ended with the assassination of Charlemagne - an attempt at a Lion in Winter-type musical with court intrigue and crackling dialogue.

When Stuart Ostrow, the Broadway producer, finally bought the option, he wanted a new book, and Roger O. Hirson came in at that point. By the time he wrote a new show (The Adventures of Pippin), the score had to be rewritten to match the new tone. The show now told the story of a young man named Pippin going on a quest for fulfillment and self-awareness, and the traveling troupe of Commedia dell'Arte players who play out his life for him, so that he can experiment in relative safety, opening with the troupe of players arriving in a field with their wagon of props.

When Ostrow brought in Bob Fosse to direct and choreograph, Fosse accepted the job mainly because he didn't like the show (!) - it was cutesy and very sentimental. Having developed a reputation for dark, unsettling, decadent, outrageous, and often disturbing theater, he wanted to re-make the show (now titled Pippin) into something more like his kind of work. The show became dark and cynical. Among other things, Fosse created (specifically for Ben Vereen, I might add) the character of the Leading Player, and gave the show its pessimistic edge as described above by Monsieur D'Arque. He (with the help of many friends and show doctors, one of whom was the great Paddy Chayefsky) greatly re-wrote Hirson's script, asking for no official credit. Neither Schwartz nor Hirson liked the rewrites or the style of the show as it was finally set, but it won five Tonys, two of them for Fosse, so you can guess who won that creative battle.

The 2000 version (which features the ending you describe, and is that currently licensed by MTI) is a weird hybrid of Fosse's material and the original vision, working quite well at some points and not as well at others.

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Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:42 pm
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I'm gonna pick your brain some more since you're quite knowledgeable:

Who did the rewrites for the 2000 version, and what was the impetus to change it up? Was it that Godspeed revival?

And if you're so inclined, would you care to elaborate on the changes you like and don't like?


Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:51 am
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The Godspeed and the Papermill used a newly modified book and a completely reorchestrated score, in an attempt to resolve the notorious "subject matter dissonance" that resulted from Schwartz's original music being attached to the increasingly dark and seedy script.

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"I LOVE incarceration,
I could lock up a platoon,
I'll be strapping up an inmate,
Very tightly, very soon.
So wave one bachelor goodbye,
She'll be your bride- she'd rather die
Than have her daddy ossify
In my sordid saloon..."


Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:38 am
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^ Basically what he says; who exactly did the re-writes is unclear, but it's my belief that Schwartz and Hirson undertook it themselves. As for my opinion, which is not sacrosanct, I personally prefer Fosse's version in large part. Its critical success speaks for itself. I find the other versions somewhat lacking, and the 2000 revision in particular to be confusing.

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