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'Pippin' Revival Combines Circus Flare, Fosse-Style Dance to Make Magic

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The 2013 Tony winning revival of "Pippin" is a synthesis of musical theater and circus art. NY1's Frank DiLella recently went behind the scenes of the hit show to get in on the Broadway fun and see just how they make that "magic."

The Tony winning revival of "Pippin" has been making magic on Broadway ever since it opened in the spring of 2013. So what's the secret—magical spell, rather—that's helped make this show a smash hit?

I recently joined a few of the show's leading players behind the scenes to find out.

At play's start, the audience is lured into a circus tent to watch the story of "Pippin"—a tale about a young man searching for the meaning of life. "Pippin" originally opened on Broadway back in 1972 with direction and choreography by Bob Fosse.

This revival—under the helm of Tony winner Diane Paulus—not only features choreography in the style of Fosse, but also circus tricks galore.

"In the show, I run up a Russian Bar. I climb a Chinese pole," says actor Kyle Dean Massey.

I decided to try my hand at it.

Moving on to the dancing. Gypsy Snider choreographed the circus art for the show, which adds another layer to the original Fosse choreography.

"I think Fosse had a vision that this troupe of players was maybe circus acrobats but he came from the dance world, so he interpreted it," Snider says.

Actress Ciara Renée plays The Leading Player. She trained with Snider to nail the trapeze, and worked with Brad Musgrove to learn the intricate Fosse movement.

"It's definitely the hardest thing, physically, that I've ever done," Renée says.

Ciara says it took her five weeks to learn the show, and if it took her five weeks—how about learning the show in a few minutes?

The trapeze seemed like a breeze compared to the choreography.

While, yes, the artists on stage make it look easy, I learned first hand what they're doing eight times a week is definitely magic.

"I think there's so much going on that there's a little bit for everybody in the entire show," Massey says.

To see the experts—the real experts—sing, dance and do circus tricks, you can catch "Pippin" at The Music Box Theatre.

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