Pippin, first in line to inherit the throne of King Charlemagne, decides his life is lacking real meaning and accompanied by the ever present Leading Player, sets out to find it. Along the way he encounters love war sex and power to finally realize that his life never was what he thought it was.
Pippin was filmed live over four live performances at the Hamilton Place Theatre in Ontario. The filming was financed by Showtime, and put director David Sheehan at helm to both direct the show and edit the cut later on.
Bob Fosse, which originally directed Pippin on Broadway, reportedly hated the finished product and decided to re-edit the final cut to his liking. Fosse's cut was never released publicly, but does circulate in the Broadway community as the 'ultimate Pippin performance'.
In his review for The New York Times, John O'Connor mentioned: 'Far more effective techniques for bringing a musical to television were developed for the version of ''Sweeney Todd'' that was shown on the now defunct Entertainment Channel.'
The show aired many times on Showtime throughout the 1980's and was also eventually made available on VHS and DVD.