Star of the Week: Matthew James Thomas opens spectacular ‘Pippin’ on Broadway

Matthew James Thomas as Pippin

Matthew James Thomas as Pippin

Matthew James Thomas is clearly a person with undeniable talent. With a variety of theatre work under his belt and a string of film and television credits to boot, it’s no surprise Thomas is currently playing the title role in the musical phenomenon Pippin, which opens April 25, 2013 at the Music Box Theatre in New York City.

The talented British actor was trained at the Sylvia Young Theatre School and the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. Thomas is no stranger to the theatre, with a multitude of work under his belt, including Fame, Oliver!, Dorian Gray and of course, Pippin. Thomas made his Broadway debut in 2011 as Peter Parker/Spiderman, alternating with Reeve Carney in Julie Taymor’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark at the Foxwoods Theatre.

Thomas joined the production of Pippin, directed by Diane Paulus, at the American Repertory Theatre (ART) in Cambridge, Massachusetts just last year. Patina Miller starred as the Leading Player. The show ran from December 5, 2012 to January 20, 2013 and it was announced soon after that both performers would be continuing their roles in the 2013 season’s Broadway revival of the musical.

The Broadway revival has added a new circus-style to the original musical – bringing in acrobats, contortionists, and trapeze acts – to complement the musical’s mysterious performing group who acts as a guide to Pippin, a young prince in search of life’s meaning.

The cast of 'Pippin' under the Big Top

The cast of ‘Pippin’ under the Big Top

It has been 40 years since Pippin was first seen on Broadway and there are big things in store. Along with a cast album set to hit shelves sometime in June, the LA based writer and director James Ponsoldt is set to pen a Pippin movie, heading to theatres in the near future. Although there hasn’t been official confirmation that Thomas will be playing the lead in the film, we can cross our fingers.

Besides being a wonderful performer, Thomas is also a real life sweetheart. For example, besides being very modest, he trained his puppy to do tricks in Pippin while at the ART. While playing dog-whisperer offstage, Thomas worked seriously with Pippin’s composer and lyricist and did lots of onstage work to make the role of Pippin his own.

Just from watching behind-the-scenes clips of rehearsal at the Music Box Theatre, you can already tell this production is going to be huge on Broadway. And just when you thought there couldn’t be more…Thomas is currently recording his first album with original songs.

With so much talent, Thomas’ “Corner of the Sky” is the limit. Thomas has done so many fantastic things so far, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for him. Pippin opens April 25, 2013 and if you have the chance, I strongly encourage you to get some tickets – it will definitely be a spectacle to behold!

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