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A small stage makes Mercury Theater's Pippin great

The young heir’s existential culture feels more relatable close-up.

Even though this highly fictionalized 1972 musical, based on the life of the ne’er-do-well son of the eighth-century warrior king Charlemagne was made for the Broadway stage—where it ran for 1,944 performances from October 23, 1972, to June 12, 1977—it transfers very gracefully to a considerably smaller cabaret space—namely the Venus Cabaret, recently carved out of a former Irish pub by the folks at Mercury Theater. In fact, as revealed in this revival, the show has a sweet intimacy about it that can get lost in the razzle-dazzle of a big production.…

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