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‘Pippin’ has hot opening at Taper

Tyrone Giordano, Michael Arden attend event

HOLLYWOOD — Trust is key as deaf and hearing performers bring together signing hands with singing voices in the Center Theater Group and Deaf West Theater’s “Pippin,” which opened Sunday at the Mark Taper Forum.

One of two Pippins on stage, deaf actor Tyrone Giordano (who spoke through an interpreter) said his counterpart — hearing actor Michael Arden — “had to trust me and I had to trust him to supply the right voice.”

“Two actors and two different languages (sign and English) must come together in sync,” he added at the after-party at Maria’s Italian Kitchen downtown. “It may sound cliché but the most difficult part for me was not knowing what the music sounds like.”

Arden said he told Giordano “the music sounds like the color red, and like that red is hitting you!”

Joining in humming and signing the show’s “time to start living” were composer Stephen Schwartz and original cast members Ben Vereen.

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