October 01, 2018

Pre-show lecture will explore style of ‘Pippin’s’ renowned Broadway director Bob Fosse

by Hannah Erickson

CARBONDALE, Ill. — An upcoming pre-show lecture at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will provide a glimpse of renowned Academy Award director Bob Fosse’s style and how it impacts productions today.

The theater department upcoming rendition of “Pippin” this week will include a pre-show lecture at 1:30 p.m., Oct. 7, at the Christian H. Moe Laboratory Theater in the Communications Building, 110 Lincoln Drive, Carbondale.

Indicative Fosse style

Fosse choreographed his first musical in 1954, and went on to win multiple prestigious awards. Most widely known for revolutionizing musical theater choreography with his very personal and indicative style — turned in knees, gloved “jazz hands”, bowler hats with “teacup” fingers, side shuffles and a remarkable sensuality — Fosse’s work explored the dark side of love, life and fame, particularly looking at the underbelly of show business and related Svengali-like characters.

In 1973, Fosse won an Academy Award (for “Cabaret”), a Tony Award (for “Pippin”) and a Prime Time Emmy Award (for “Liza with a Z”) for Best Direction.  He is the first, and so far only, director to win all three major industry awards.

Impact of SIU’s production of Pippin

The pre-show lecture will give insight on Fosse’s work, and how it influenced the directorial approach and staging of the SIU production of Pippin. J. Thomas Kidd, SIU chair of theater and director of this production of “Pippin,” will lead the discussion.

“I have always been fascinated and deeply influenced by Fosse’s work,” Kidd said. “His cynical and dark view of life, love and the pursuit of happiness is often articulated in awkward physical positions and stage/screen pictures; jarring juxtapositions of humor and violence; a frank, intense, animal sensuality as well as an insistence on perfection in the face of your own inadequacies and an unabashed willingness when necessary to obfuscate those inadequacies with blatant “showmanship” or “razzle-dazzle.”  

Free and open to all

The lecture is free and open to the public. The audience is not limited to those who have purchased tickets to Sunday’s 2 p.m. performance.

Tickets available now

Performances for “Pippin” are at:

  • 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 4, 5 and 6.
  • 2 p.m. on Oct. 7.

Tickets are available as a season package for all theater productions, or individual for each show.

  • Series tickets are $64 for adults and $24 for students.
  • Individual tickets are $18 for adults and $6 for students.

Both season and individual tickets can be obtained several ways:

  • By phone at 877-SALUKIS (877-725-8547).
  • Online at siu.edu.
  • In person at the SIU Arena of McLeod Theater Box offices, Monday-Friday, noon-4:30 p.m.
  • By mail to: SIU Ticket Office, Lingle Hall – Mail Code 6620, 1490 Douglas Dr. Carbondale, Illinois, 62901.