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'Pippin' at Lee

Cappies Review

In life, many of us ask ourselves at one point: who am I? Is this really what I was meant to do? What exactly is my purpose in life? We’re all in search for something "extraordinary." The only problem is what is that something?

Stephen Schwartz and Roger Hirson’s musical "Pippin" premiered on Broadway in October 1972. It is Broadway’s 28th longest running musical and won five Tony Awards.

Pippin (Kyle Daileda) is the firstborn son of the Great King Charlemagne or Charles (Kevan Olsen) and constantly looks for things to make his life extraordinary. He tries fighting in battle but is sickened by the violence. He then resorts to his Grandmother’s advice and looks for love, but he finds that he still needs something more. Pippin hears news of his father killing thousands and is outraged; he then murders his father and takes the throne. Almost immediately overwhelmed by his responsibilities he runs away in despair but is saved by Catherine (Megan Lennox) a woman with a young boy Theo (Khan Dinh) and a large estate.

Robert. E. Lee High School respectably told the story of Pippin. It was filled with laughter, sword fights, nooses, yearly prayer, ducks and more. The show opened with the hit number "Magic to Do" and the Lead Player (Steven Einhorn) and the ensemble of Players attempted to make that magic come to life. The ensemble as a whole worked well together, but at some points lacked full energy.

Steven Einhorn as the Lead Player carried the show and his energy rubbed off on cast members. His witty remarks and admirable stage presence kept the audience spooked and attentive. Kevan Olsen as King Charles also had moments of excellence as he interacted with his son Pippin and made witty recoveries. Megan Lennox as Catherine swept the audience’s attention with her superior stage presence and angelic voice; even while battling with faulty microphones, she captivated all.

Though some ensemble members occasionally lacked full focus, the dynamic duo of Fastrada (Sylvia Boateng) and Lewis (John Christensen) had amazing chemistry and left the audience in stitches with their antics. One performance that stood out beyond all the rest was that of Erin Dooley as Berthe. Her scene with Pippin was hysterical, and her song "No Time At All" had the audience begging for more.

The set designed by Molly Delaney was minimalistic in nature, well-painted and did a wonderful job of portraying location. The sound had over 100 cues but throughout the show there were difficulties with personal mics and the balance in their sound system. Lighting designed by Nate Frank predominately used follow spots to transition focus between actors. The cyclorama also helped portray both emotion and location using a variety of colors.

Overall, the cast and crew did an admirable job of performing "Pippin," leaving the audience with closure that Pippin did in fact find that something extraordinary … love.