Sunday, February 04, 2007

My 25th Anniversary of Pippin

Rivers belong where they can ramble...

And after 25 years, it feels pretty good to ramble back and tell everyone where your life lead you. Of all the odd reunions I've been asked to go back to, this was the most unique. In my sophomore year of college, I did a production of Pippin. I was one of the clown-white faced players in the ensemble. Well, this year--25 years later--Northwestern University remounted the play and invited the cast from back then to see it and reminisce. I didn't know what to expect, but several of the members of that cast went on to do fantastic things ... Broadway, national tours, one of our cast members, George Newbern, even went on to Hollywood fame in movies like Father of the Bride.

George, Jeffery Clonts, Patty Fricke, Michael Weiser and of course, our director Dominic Missimi were there from the cast, and several others were there from the crew. The show was awesome; the sets were dynamic in a retro carnival feel; the costumes were punk-meets-glam-meets high fashion. The voices were wonderful. And I looked on stage and even saw an Asian guy!

Dominic had stood up before the show and told the audience we were there. He introduced us one at a time. And later, when people asked me what part I played 25 years ago, I said, "I was the Asian guy!"

I spoke with the Chinese-American actor who was in the 2007 cast and encouraged him to really go for it in the coming years if that's what he wants to do. I'm certain he'll make it. He's got a great look and it's really all about being young and being persistent--not just in auditons, but in getting better as a singer and dancer. Anyway, it was a great night.


Anonymous Michael Weiser said...


It was great reconnecting with you at the reunion! It filled the heart with warmth on the coldest night of the year.

If the Bears would have won the Super Bowl, it would have been a perfect weekend. Oh well.

I look forward to seeing you more now that we've reconnected.

- Michael Weiser
NU Pippin Player, 1982

8:47 PM  
Blogger Angel ABC said...

Great to have hooked up with you and knowing that via Carnival a couple years back we were six degrees apart. Life's definitely funny. Chat soon and good luck on the upcoming delivery!

12:08 PM  
Blogger Stephen Rader said...

Angel - I love that you told them you were, "the Asian guy."

I'm not sure if you know Ty Perry, but when he in THE BOYS IN THE BAND a few years ago, he went out with the cast after the show one night and they were all recognized... except Ty. When Ty said he was in the show, some guy said, "What role did you play?" and Ty answered, "I was the black one!" Classic Ty Perry

2:48 PM  
Blogger Angel ABC said...

Ty directed me in my last Miss Saigon in Wilmette! Small world. But he does have a great director's sense. I learned a lot from him.

3:51 AM  

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