Patina Miller may step into Ben Vereen’s Shoes for workshop of ‘Pippin’

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According to The New York Times, Tony Award nominated actor Patina Miller is expected to participate in the American Repertory Theater’s developmental workshop of the 1972 musical “Pippin” this summer in advance of the December production, though no contracts have been signed.

Miller would perform as the Leading Player, which is the head of a theater troupe who narrates the musical. It is a part played in the original Broadway production by Ben Vereen. He won a Tony award for his performance.

In addition to Miller, Damon Daunno, who performed a small part in the 2010 Broadway production of Brief Encounter, is expected to participate in the workshop as Pippin. Also, Terrence Mann and Charlotte d’Amboise will appear as King Charles (Pippin’s father) and his wife Fastrada (Pippin’s conniving stepmother).

The closed-door workshop will run July 30-Aug. 19 and the Cambridge production is scheduled for Dec. 5 through Jan. 20.

Pippin director Diane Paulus previously worked with Miller in the Shakespeare in the Park production of “Hair” in 2008. Diane Paulus is collaborating with the Montreal circus company Les 7 Doigts de la Main (7 Fingers) on the new production of Pippin, a story about a young prince searching for meaning in his life. The show features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Roger O. Hirson. The show has not played on Broadway since its original four and a half year, 1944 performance run ended in 1977.

There have been no casting announcements, however the casting notice calls for performers with physical strength, flexibility, acrobatic skill and experience with contortion and hand balancing.

Hair and Porgy and Bess, the last two Broadway revivals directed by Diane Paulus, each earned the Tony Award for Best Revival. Paulus was also nominated for her direction on both projects. 7 Fingers are responsible for the current production of Traces, the acclaimed fusion of the traditions of circus with the energy of street performance.