Show Business: Guided Missile

He doesn't walk, he oils himself across the stage. He doesn't jump, he takes off like a small but carefully guided missile. If there should ever be another power failure on Broadway, Ben Vereen could light up the Imperial Theater with one or two snaps of his electric, ring-encrusted fingers. In Pippin, a new hit musical (TIME, Nov. 6) with many standout parts, Vereen's M.C. stands out from all the others.

As Vereen plays him, the M.C. is a kind of failed Mephistopheles, a combination of Joel Grey's decadent host in Cabaret and vaudeville's old-fashioned song-and-dance man. His eyes dance, roll, and...

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