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Pippin: His Life and Times (1981)

At the goading of the ominous and omnipresent Leading Player, Pippin, the eldest son of King Charlemagne, samples life's pleasures to discover his place in the world and the meaning of his life.



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A young prince named Pippin searches for meaning and purpose in his life.



Cast overview, first billed only:
The Leading Player
Leslie Denniston ...
Benjamin Rayson ...
Joanie P. Oneill ...
Debra Phelan ...
Linda Haberman ...
Kate Wright ...
Allison Williams ...
John Mineo ...
Sword Bearer
Charles Lee Ward ...
Lee Mathis ...
Frank Mastrocola ...


At the goading of the ominous and omnipresent Leading Player, Pippin, the eldest son of King Charlemagne, samples life's pleasures to discover his place in the world and the meaning of his life.

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Several smaller numbers which appear in the original and current versions of the show do not appear in this version. One is entitled "There He Was" and is performed by Catherine when she first finds Pippin. Another is "Prayer for Duck" which Pippin sings over the body of Theo's dying duck, a sequence which is absent from this version. See more »


The Lead Player sings during the song "Simple Joys" that wouldn't you rather be... "a twig on a fig in Galilee." The line from the song that is supposed to be sung is "a fig on a twig in Galilee". See more »


Fastrada: When I help others, I'm really helping myself!
See more »


Version of Pippin See more »


Kind of Woman
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Sung by Leslie Denniston and The Players
See more »

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User Reviews

Surprising & satisfying if you aren't familiar with the show
1 November 2012 | by (Portland, Oregon, United States) – See all my reviews

I wasn't at all familiar with this musical. I had no idea what it was about. I knew Ben Vereen won a Tony Award for his performance in the 1970s production, and that there have been endless numbers of high schools and colleges of it. That's it. I stumbled upon this production on TV with no intention of watching it - and watched the whole thing, mesmerized and delighted. It's not so much the music, which is dated, and certainly not the Bob Fosse choreography, which is always *really* dated (jazz hands!!!). Rather, it is the amazingly layered story and themes, which are much more complex and timely than I ever expected, that drew me in. I suspect these very risqué, biting themes are completely glossed over/ignored in high school or college productions. And the performances by Ben Vereen, William Katt (he can sing?!? who knew!), Benjamin Rayson, and the amazing Chita Rivera are wonderful - I realize other reviewers did not like them, because they had seen other people in the role, but looking at them from a clean slate, I thought they were all perfectly cast and quite compelling. I really loved the simplicity of the production. Sure, I wish the camera work had been better, but given how rare it was (and still it) to film live theatrical productions, I thought the videographers did quite well.

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