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Magic To Do - Pippin - Ben Vereen

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Ben Vereen and company sing "Magic To Do" from "Pippin." This is an excerpt from the 1981 DVD "Pippin." View more numbers from this production on our website at http://www.thebestarts.com/pippin/ Browse our website at http://www.theBestArts.com for more great dance, music and musical theatre performances.
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Text Comments (230)
Carla Kelton (3 days ago)
Bob Fossee at His Best! Exceptional and Superb! This is a wonderful musical!
Marty Legray (23 days ago)
My first Broadway musical seen in NYC. Magical in so many ways.
Isaiah Williams (3 months ago)
If a Pippin movie ever gets made, I hope it takes more inspiration from this version than the revival. Not that the revival is bad, but the Fosse style would be so much more outstanding!
Romarien Sanders (5 months ago)
Shit ass
Shelly Goldstein (8 months ago)
Saw OBC (sadly without Irene Ryan) on Broadway as a girl. Still one of the most exciting theatrical experiences of my life.
David DeMar (10 months ago)
Saw the original version on bway as a 13 yr old. Paradigmatic amazing experience for me then. Also saw the bway revival a few yrs ago.patina Miller was great but dir. Diane paulus who did wonderful revival w/ Hair which I also saw on bway should never have discarded Fosse's original groundbreaking vision and version I think she committed bway blasphemy. Long live john Rubinstein, Ben Vereen and company!!!!!
Zaper Mations (11 months ago)
my school is doing this aswel with blacklight to celebrate my schools 50 year anniversary
T Clark (1 year ago)
Jazz hands/Spirit fingers were born...
Dave Trachtenberg (1 year ago)
Glass Cannon brought me here.
Lila Arnold (1 year ago)
Does anyone know how they achieved that lighting trick?
Anna Fisher (1 year ago)
The best! Saw it live on Broadway, wore out the grooves on the LP!
Izzy C (1 year ago)
Who's that at 1:21 in the mask and who's that at 1:26 in the clown nose?
Michael Nigro (1 year ago)
someone wrote that ben was a raging drag queen. please, ben is a happily married man. this is a canadian production....this show cannot bebperfotmed with out a dtrong lead , aka ben vereen. since his car accident, he has never been the same.
Kremit (5 months ago)
Drag Queen isn't an insult. The person writing it probably meant it as a compliment on his acting and performance skills.
MysticDestroyer13 (2 years ago)
There's something so creepily enticing about this version. The bizarre costuming, the almost-snickering attitude of the Leading Player played beautifully by Ben Vereen, and the prevalent darkness of the stage...it's so fascinatingly curious! I'd have loved to see this live!
Sandy Gale (2 years ago)
Saw this live, the original production. Blew me away. 18 years old?
Lurker1979 (2 years ago)
So want to do this play.
Adelaide (9 months ago)
Totally late but my musical theater class is doing this song for our performance and it’s so much fun honestly
iselljamsfor3dollars (1 year ago)
Lurker1979 musical not play
Firestarhk (2 years ago)
I wanna see it.
Sylvan De La Cruz (2 years ago)
I LOVE this song so much! Beautiful. Great job writing great contemporary songs for a 70s musical.
Mychal Massie (2 years ago)
"Ben Vereen was a Raging Queen, but he rocked the house in Pippin,"
Firestarhk (3 years ago)
I've "Ben" watching this version over and over :D
Something Strange (1 year ago)
you're funny
Ricky M (2 years ago)
What's the gag in that one?
oatmealboy6 (2 years ago)
I've "vereen" what you've done there.
Firestarhk (2 years ago)
Yes that's how it's normally spelled, but here it was a pun, as Ben Vereen is the lead player here. :)
Brony Mash (2 years ago)
freaktab11 (3 years ago)
Fosse is all over this version - like this but love the revival.
Franz Brod (3 years ago)
secular church
feathersforfun (3 years ago)
new Pippin is total crap. a circus
Re-hu Vane (1 month ago)
Azwrath Frost yeah no! The revival is a product of Stephen Schwartz’s bullshit, self indulgent revisions of Pippin mixed with 2010’s broadway schmaltz and pc attitudes. With awkward dialogue, subpar acting, an unoriginal circus theme (was done by Goodspeed opera house back in 2006), and choreography that tried emulate Fosse but failed miserably. Stephen Schwartz is still angry at Fosse and probably the Tony’s as well. Despite what people say, Fosse’s version was more elaborate and way more edgy. Palaus’s vision is good for tourists, the goal of Broadway nowadays.
Azwrath Frost (5 months ago)
More like an Awesome Revival! You will feel the magic.
Kathleen Belle DeVizia (3 years ago)
Enchantment!!!! WEEEEEEE!!!!!
Rena Loren (3 years ago)
I'm worried the new Pippin won't be as good. :~(
Jayliebird Piatt (3 years ago)
New Pippin blew my fucking mind, oh my god.
mommak10 (3 years ago)
+Reanna Sereno Trust me it is good! :)
Sydride98 (4 years ago)
It's interesting to see a male Head Player after listening to the revival cast for so long :-/ I like him, don't get me wrong, it's just interesting to see a different take on it and what the director thinks for the show, including genders of characters.
Charles Lumpkin (4 years ago)
This just popped in my head, but after seeing Michael Jackson in the Wiz, I think he would've been a great choice to play The Leading Player. What do y'all think?
Tom Bennett (1 month ago)
Michael Jackson would have been okay in that role, but Clint Eastwood would have been better casting.
jip camp (3 months ago)
Sharon R. Aldridge (3 months ago)
Saw the original with Vereen on Broadway ...great performances!
Dinara Tengri (10 months ago)
Jayjen35 (2 years ago)
hmmm... I don't know. The lead player has to have a real edge to be able to effectively move the story forward. if there is a real problem with his acting ability it's the fact that either he didn't have that edge or wasn't able to show it in performance. Think about it, ultimately the lead player is supposed to talk Pippin into burning himself alive. it would have taken a serious leap for MJ to be convincing as that kind of character.
George Strum (4 years ago)
So 70's with the painted face mime look like in Godspell.
Preston Andrews (4 years ago)
omg Ben's eyes at 3:20 SO SCARY!!!
Re-hu Vane (4 months ago)
Try to find the uncut fosse edit of this performance and you'll see his eyes much better! >:)
Steve L (4 years ago)
Ben Vereen, another '60's DRAFT DODGER!!!!!!
Eric Collins (1 year ago)
MysticDestroyer13 it was a bullshit war
Steve L (2 years ago)
Why do you ask Lynn?
Lynn Zabachta (2 years ago)
+Steve L and when did you serve?
MysticDestroyer13 (3 years ago)
+metatron1970 Not to mention that we treated Vietnam veterans horribly upon their return.
metatron1970 (4 years ago)
Is that meant to be pejorative or praise? Just because Uncle Sam was conscripting young impoverished blacks to fight in that odious war in Southeast Asia, didnt mean everybody was falling for that horseshit. I applaud anybody from that era who did dodge the draft, for the highest of moral reasons.
Geraldine Smith (4 years ago)
hahahaaaa ;)
otomodachifan (5 years ago)
tuschman168 (5 years ago)
Hey, jazz hands! Wikipedia was right.
larespo1 (5 years ago)
The original Broadway version that you see here ran on Broadway for quite some time -- I would have to say at the very least 7 to 8 years. That in itself is saying something about the work of Mr. Bob Fosse. Check your Broadway history. I saw it four times because it was dazzling to the eyes. The staging was out of this world. The DVD does not do it justice. Seeing it live was what counted. Especially when it was all under the sure hand of Mr. Fosse. This musical exemplified his style to a T. I would go see it today if the production were still running!
Peter Zubiago (3 years ago)
+Daniel Otti I do agree that usually simple is better, but given the whole point of the show, that simple is better, doesn't it make sense that pippin is surrounded by tricks and scenery that is complex and full of extraneous energy? It makes his characters journey much more obvious, and to me that's a good thing.
SynergyCeleste (4 years ago)
Well, I loved the Broadway album when I was in H.S.!  Ben Vereen has fantastic vocal control, his dancing is so fluid and beautiful!  However this DVD was poorly made, in my opinion.  The staging and camerawork looks cheap and even Ben doesn't sound like he's giving it 100% in this particular presentation. The woman who did the latest 2013 revival was disappointing...not that she wasn't talented and did a good job, but it was too over the top, for me. They need to get someone who's like Ben Vereen.
Daniel Vitale (5 years ago)
absolutely.... This new 2013 production with all it gymnastics does not come close what Bob Fosse did with it.... no way.... simple is better...
nycoptimist (5 years ago)
I saw this with original cast around '76 the score and the production was amazing even in its simplicity. I'm taking my kids to the revival next month, I can see already via YouTube it's a much bigger production. In the 70's you could have a musical with just soul (i.e. like Chorus Line) you didn't need so many whistles and bells. This had the great Fosse moves and all the songs are memorable.
Edgar Carrera (5 years ago)
This version has no life the revival has it more
Re-hu Vane (5 months ago)
Have you seen both versions? The revival has a bigger opening, but a good amount of the the staging for the rest of the show is pretty lackluster, it's pretty much in the circus tent the entire time. This version actually has different sets. The morning glow scene in the 81' version is haunting and beautiful. They don't need to do a damn disappearing act to keep your attention. While the 2013 version has a simple church set in the beginning but it goes away when Charles is killed and then it goes back to the damn circus tent. Another example is on the right track which. In the 1981 version, it's full of fast pace dancing, fog flowing like water on the floor of the stage, and Ben Vereen does a split at the end. And I saw bootleg of the opening from the revival, and without a multi camera set up, it's looks like a whole cluster fuck, with a million things going on. Between Patina Twriling around on the hoop, to the subpar pseudo-fosse moves, and the acrobatics, too much is going on. Also, Bertha should only have one scene. One scene was good enough for Irene Ryan and it was the highlight of the show. Audiences would give her huge standing ovations when she finished no time at all. It was her last role before her stroke in the middle of the run, and what a way to go out. Andrea Martin is a great choice for the role, but I would've much more preferred to see her say the warm, original lines that Ryan and Martha Raye (from the 1981 TV Production) said, rather than the garbage they gave her in the new version, and don't put her on the trapeze it's so unnecessary. I could go and on, but this post is too long as it is.
Lamar Latrell (5 years ago)
Might we interest you in the vocal stylings of Ms. Patti Lupone.
bigijo (5 years ago)
hey its Chicken George from roots
Mindy Diltz (5 years ago)
I know how it feels to have lost many friends to death. Hang in there...find that "magic to do."
Edgar Carrera (5 years ago)
This sucks there's not a glimpse of magic anywhere
Mark Leneker (5 years ago)
I had forgotten how much more overtly sinister the original opening of this song was...sort of like the "Commedia dell'arte troupe from Hell" ... which is appropriate since The Leading Player is essentially the embodiment of temptation (almost a devil character).
RSBSTEADICAM (5 years ago)
As they say in France "shut the fuck up!" This audio sucks for openers and it's a historical recording of a live stage performance for crying out loud. Gosh YT really gets to me sometimes!
Robin Vespa (5 years ago)
First show I ever saw on Broadway back in the 70s. Cant wait to see this new one!!!
John DK (5 years ago)
Poochdogable (5 years ago)
I saw Ben Vereen and John Rubenstein in the 70's version. I've seen dozens of Broadway plays, and this is my favorite memory.
Donald Frazier (5 years ago)
Can't believe how lucky I am to have seen so many of the major Broadway shows of this era. In NY, a spare 'student rush' ticket was something like $7, and nobody cared if you took a front and center unoccupied seat. Pacific Overtures. Wow. And the road shows that came to my hometown were exactly that -- the original production, original cast on the road. Pippin/Ben Vereen, Mousetrap /Anthony Quayle, Equus/Colin Firth, and so on. Now they're all corporate touring companies, often censored.
Hal L (1 year ago)
Donald Frazier Student rush tickets were $2.50. A great reason to cut classes!
Val Ginter (5 years ago)
Ben Vereen was the greatest! However, Jimmy Petrillo was no longer in charge of the music industry, and they were cutting down on the number of musicians. But it was still OK in 1974. However, this was one of the last musicals I ever attended.
Fitanga Revuelta (5 years ago)
Perris K. Fortson (5 years ago)
Oh wow, really? Just because Ben Vereen is black, doesn't mean that he has to portray this character to please "white audiences". It's called Diction, look it up -_-
David Plomin (5 years ago)
I'm happy and sad at the same time watching this. I saw this on Broadway my first trip in 1976, along with the original cast of Chicago. So much has changed, so many friends gone now..
afterthefox (5 years ago)
another reason why bway music is horrible...
Jim Stark (5 years ago)
your comments reflect your miseducation and ignorance. Ben Vereen's diction here has to do with being a performer projecting communication to an audience thru the loud music - it has nothing to do with your dumb and incorrect analysis of historical black dialect in america. what do you do for a living? mop floors, flip hamburgers, service customers somewhere, or collect govt assistance? stay in your lane and leave the speech analysis to certified speech pros - you don't have a fucking clue
Re-hu Vane (5 months ago)
People need to see the whole performance (and if they can manage to find it, the uncut version). Leading Player goes back and forth between a 19th century carnival barker type of voice to a more 1970/80s black dialect. It's really cool how he does that. It's definitely noticeable in the Finale, but I don't want to ruin that for people who haven't seen it. :)
Brian Moore (5 years ago)
She does stand out, doesn't she?
Victoria Ordin (5 years ago)
Ben, who dances at Luigi in NYC, trained by him among others, won the Broadway World awards. He's at Metropolitan Room on Thursday. I hope I can still get a ticket! And the below criticism (re elocution/enunciation) is MORONIC I absolutely love this song, we sang in elementary schools at a performance, Hollywood industry kids school. Our performances were not the average elementary school show .
Daniel Hodges (6 years ago)
While I appreciate your analysis, I will have to disagree. Some of us also just speak and sing like this. Ben Vereen is one of the greatest performers ever in Musical Theater and that is just how he sounds on and of stage. I've been accused of this in my career. It has nothing to do with appealing to anyone other that the character you are performing. Also the stage is very different from film.
imaginaryobserver (6 years ago)
I wish someone would do a video of Charmkins to at least part of this. *hangs head* Yes, I know what a bad person I am.
Bessie1906 (6 years ago)
I love this! Since EP last Sunday, I've played it non-stop. Wish I could go to NYC in March.
Henry Rankin (6 years ago)
He's over emphasising the syllables because diction, when speaking normally, is lost when performing on stage. Otherwise, the ends of words would disappear in the acoustic and the audience wouldn't fully understand the lyrics. NOT, however, because he's black or that because of this he speaks with more diction in order to appeal to a white audience. A white leading man/woman would be speaking/singing in EXACTLY the same way. It's an idiom of musical theatre. Peace out x
Justin Gerard (6 years ago)
oh so good
windstorm1000 (6 years ago)
I'm not sure that I agree with you.
windstorm1000 (6 years ago)
I adore this show! Who would have thought that the unlikely subject of Charlemagne's son in 9th century France would make for such a hip, funky, tender Broadway evening?? Stephen Schwartz and Bob Fosse thought it would---pure genius.
Dissent (6 years ago)
interesting how black performers back then had to speak or sing in a way that over emphasized the syllables. In order to appeal to white audiences. Very different today where expressing ourselves as we do naturally is exactly the appeal that makes us unique.The movie the color purple, for colored girls, are unpolished gemsbecause of it. when ray charles opted to record georgia with symphony background singers rather than his normal background singers it actually took something away from the song
Re-hu Vane (5 months ago)
Watch the full show (and the uncut version if you can find it), he goes back and forth between a 19th century carnival barker (the voice you are referring too), and a more "black" dialect. Also listen to songs like Simple Joys, Glory, and On The Right Track.
Eric Collins (1 year ago)
Dissent dumb ass comment
lekocafe (6 years ago)
Yes, I agree, but it a good way.
lekocafe (6 years ago)
Ben Vereen rules!
Brian Bernhard (6 years ago)
That one woman with the large headpiece that looks like a baby bonnette REALLY freaks me out!
Brian Bernhard (6 years ago)
You say "have to" like it is a bad thing!
Kelly Pham (6 years ago)
i joined a performing arts program and we have to sing this song
Francine (6 years ago)
Loooove Ben Vereen! This is so great!! I saw him at the Vegas Trek convention last month and he was bright, funny, gracious and just all around wonderful. Live long and prosper, Mr. Vereen.
beseeingyou6 (6 years ago)
That black guy is da beez kneez
markie polo (6 years ago)
Thank you, this was one of my favorite shows ever to perform in in the good old Broadway days.
Michael Stevenson (6 years ago)
Are you insane? This is a New York Broadway musical.
Videogamer96 (6 years ago)
You knew Ben personally? :0
Sarah Morana (6 years ago)
nobody sees how creepy this is.......srsly guyz
adonis lemke (6 years ago)
this is definitely canadian. but i suppose it is alright
MrMrMrprofessor (6 years ago)
I see what you did there FD
Bruce Sprague (6 years ago)
This is great! Bob Fosse's staging is brilliant, and I think this is one of the most electrifying opening numbers in Broadway history!! (OK...at least in the top ten).
Dan K (6 years ago)
Sasayaku A. Rehtaef (6 years ago)
My school is doing this! I saw the first half of it, and I loved it! The guy that's doing the lead player is AWESOME! Our costume scheme is different, but I like it a lot!
legionare117 (7 years ago)
@stormsinger20 Ignore the trolls, I just got Charles in my High School production. Break a leg!
YT (7 years ago)
@stormsinger20 no one cares
stormy barnhill (7 years ago)
Medina D (7 years ago)
We're doing this play in school :D
markie polo (7 years ago)
The editing is horrendous and ruined the whole show! Fosse was not happy.
uneedtherapy42 (7 years ago)
1:50 is total perfection
amazinggarrett1 (7 years ago)
@KcAr151 Just because songs are a belt-fest doesn't make them better. Also, Schwartz doesn't do his own orchestrations. He hires someone else to do that.
Matt Lynn (7 years ago)
@amazinggarrett1 true, but this song isn't a good indication of that. Glory shows off his brilliance better
MrMrMrprofessor (7 years ago)
@yiboo1 right, my mistake XD
Matthew Sarnovsky (7 years ago)
@MrMrMrprofessor Wrong - he's the lovable Judas of Musical Theatre. :P Sorry, had to. xD
amazinggarrett1 (7 years ago)
Bob Fosse = brilliant.
MrMrMrprofessor (7 years ago)
Ben Vereen is the Jesus of Musical Theater, enough said
rebenjam (7 years ago)
Happy Birthday, Ben Vereen!
Warren Nadler (7 years ago)
Along with The Jet Song from West Side Story and Summer Days from Grease, this is one of Broadway's best opening numbers ever. Superb.
zipsrule (7 years ago)
@Manchild006 Thanks for the correction.
Max Ginkel (7 years ago)
they scare me.....
zipsrule (7 years ago)
He is the narrator.
littlesongbird1 (7 years ago)
@brudolf367 Agreed. I got to meet him when he did Fosse. Amazing man.
Jayjen35 (7 years ago)
@TribeHazSpoken Didn't they just revive it in 2007 or 2008?? Sam Harris was the Lead Player. He has a rehearsal posted right on youtube! I understand that the staging and choreography weren't Fosse's, so maybe they want to do one more faithful to the original? Seems a little unlikely though.
Retro Thingz (7 years ago)
Yes, Ben Vereen was terrific. I saw "Pippin" in 1974 in Melbourne, Australia (damn good production by the way) . As a fourteen year old who had dreams of going into the entertainment business, this musical blew me away. I've just bought the original cast album. Great to hear it again. A real "feel good" show. Seeing "Pippin" and "Chorus Line" were exhilirating experiences for me.
Retro Thingz (22 days ago)
+Re-hu Vane Reserve a seat for me in your time machine. I'd love to go back to the ' 70s and start again !
Re-hu Vane (5 months ago)
If I make a time machine to go back and those broadway shows, Pippin and a Chorus Line would be on the top of my list. Along with the four broadway productions of Cabaret. I missed one from 2014, but I saw the tour with Jon Peterson (who I like more than Alan Cummings), so I guess technically saw it, but not in NYC. It was at the Kennedy Center.
rmt mller (7 years ago)
Let loose, it's summertime! There's magic to do!
Noah Lindquist (7 years ago)
So rumor has it that PIPPIN will be revived on Broadway sometime in 2012-2013! Idk if this is true but it is also rumored that Tracie Thoms(Joanne from 'RENT') will play the LEADING PLAYER!!!!!!!!!!!
Brennan Tremblay (7 years ago)
@Capcoor well i rehearsed with the pit in the band room for a couple months with their crap set. idk what it was, but the only good think about that set were the cymals. for the shows, i brought my set (percussion plus) and used the band room's cymbals

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