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The Scarlet Pimpernel : Broadway's Most Intriguing Musical.

SP1 - The Original Production

Pimpernel began previews at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway on 7 October 1997, and officially opened on 9 November. This was the world debut production - that is to say, the show did not have any pre-Broadway tryout with a public audience. There were industry workshops, but the first time it was given a full production was on Broadway. Douglas Sills, Christine Andreas and Terrence Mann originated the leading roles.

View the cast list for SP1.

View the song list for SP1.

The original cast and songs from the show were preserved on the Original Broadway Cast Recording.

While the show did generate strong fan support, the ticket sales were not ideal and by the Spring of 1998 it looked like the show was going to close. Not about to simply accept this, the fans rallied... they boosted ticket sales through word-of-mouth, and they pleaded with the "powers that be" to keep the show open (there is an article about this effort on Talkin' Broadway). Joining the cause, lyricist Nan Knighton contacted producer Ted Forstmann and asked if anything could be done. To the amazement of the theater community, the "failing" Pimpernel made Broadway history...

Forstmann teamed up with Radio City Entertainment (a division of Madison Square Garden) to buy the show from the other original producers. They then brought director/choreographer Robert Longbottom on board to work with Nan Knighton and Frank Wildhorn on creating a revised version of the show.

For six weeks, the cast rehearsed the new Pimpernel by day while still performing the old Pimpernel at night. SP1 closed on 1 October 1998. The theater went dark for a week to allow for final adjustments and technical rehearsals before SP2 opened.

Pimpernel is the first show in Broadway history to change hands, close down and reopen with significant changes in this way.

Continue with the changes between SP1 and SP2.

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