'The Voice' Winner Josh Kaufman to Star in Broadway's 'Pippin'
The soul man makes the unprecedented move to the stage after coaching from Usher
Sure, The Voice has yet to launch a Top 40 chart-topper, but what about a Broadway star?
Josh Kaufman, the soul man who won the most recent season under Usher's wing, is set to front Pippin for a limited engagement, it was announced on Thursday. The singer will make his Broadway debut in Roger O. Hirson and Stephen Schwartz’s Tony-winning musical revival for the theater season's lucrative holiday period, from Nov. 4 through Jan. 4.
Complete with acrobatics and other circus acts, Pippin follows a young man as he seeks to find his place in the world, or his "corner of the sky." Opposite Carly Hughes as the Leading Player, Pippin currently starts Kyle Dean Massey, who will perform the title role at the Music Box Theatre through Nov. 2.
Pippin features a set list reminiscent of tuneful early-'70s pop-rock — a genre Kaufman touted while on The Voice in spring 2014 with his most popular cover being Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours." He also showcased his hit-making potential with Sam Smith's "Stay With Me," OneRepublic's "Love Runs Out" and Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain," among other performances.
The decision to pull a Voice winner out of the recording studio and onto Broadway is an unprecedented move, as the six previous champs of the NBC singing show have each released post-Voice debut tunes shortly after their wins — for better for for worse, as was the case for season-five winner Tessanne Chin.
However, the jump to the stage may lead to the most promising post-show career yet. It's worked for American Idol alumni thus far, including Fantasia Barrino, Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young. Currently, Constantine Maroulis stars in Rock of Ages and Justin Guarini is the male lead in Wicked.