What if you were to see what was written on a page performed on stage? The city of Boston dives deeper into literature than what is confined by words printed on a piece of paper. Boston’s large theater district brings millions of people into the city each year. With more than ten theaters located within Boston’s theater district, Boston brings writer’s stories to life on stage. Broadway in Boston, an organization which brings talented groups of traveling shows to the Boston area, host Broadway’s most famous and big name shows at the Boston Opera House, one of Boston’s most respected and established theaters.
One of the Opera House’s most recent traveling performances was Pippin.
Pippin is a fabulous musical filled with magic, murder, lust, illusions, and as they say the climax of the century; it is one of the most complicated shows in Broadway history. If you are interested in reading more about the production you can click here.
Pippin was originally produced in 1978, with Stephen Schwartz as writer and composer and Bob Fosse as director. Bob Fosse is one of Broadway’s most famous directors and choreographers. He is known for directing sassy and mysterious musicals and films such as Chicago, Chabert, Sweet Charity, and White Christmas. After its closing on Broadway, Pippin was given a revival, which one Best Musical Revival in 2013.
With the revival currently on tour and news buzzing about the newly developed show, Pippin is now one of the most commonly produced musicals in high school theaters. Director’s across the country enjoy the shows dark and mysterious music yet light hearted morals and humor. However, regardless of the shows admiration, there has been many cases of censorship within high school productions. Cities, such as Boston, advertise Pippin to families and musical lovers, producing the show in its entirety, without cut scenes, modifications, or censorship. Does the censorship of these show ruin the intentions of composers such as Stephen Schwartz? Does it degrade the morals and messages portrayed by the literature itself?
Censorship in literature frequently backfires on its imposters, for the banning or censoring of a literary piece or theater production encourages readers and viewers to become more attached to the work. Psychology suggests that viewers are more enticed to read a book or view a production that authorities suggest they should not view. In the case of high schools throughout Massachusetts, family members, students, and faculty were more curious about what was changed in the script than the actual production itself. Surprisingly, knowing that changes would be made to the script, parents brought their children to see Pippin at the Boston Opera House to experience the show in its entirety.
The city of Boston has a great amount of literary citizenship. Theater programs, literary journals, and other literary production companies thrive in the small, family-like city. Bostonian writers and producers are proud of the work created and showcased within city limits. We are proud of our work. We are proud of others’ work. We are proud to be Bostonians. Boston’s literary and theater district is like no other, I encourage you to explore the world beyond the pages of a book; explore Boston’s theater district.
By Lindsay Doyle