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Classic musical ‘Pippin’ comes to Stone Theatre

April 26, 2012

APRIL KELLEY
Staff Reporter

 

Louisiana Tech’s School of Performing Arts will perform the classic musical “Pippin” in Stone Theater for their spring production.

 

“Pippin” is directed by Paul B. Crook, associate professor of theatre, with musical direction by Lisa Maxedon, assistant professor of music.

 

“It’s basically the story of Pippin, one of Charlemagne’s sons, but it’s told by a traveling theater troupe,” Maxedon said. “So, each night the idea is that they have a different Pippin.”

 

Maxedon said that while they don’t have a different Pippin every night, the premise of the show is that these characters are telling the audience the story of Pippin.

 

“Pippin is in search of meaning in life, excitement, different pursuits, knowledge, war, love, things like that,” she said. “Basically, the idea is that these players are trying to get the person who is playing Pippin to decide that there is nothing worth living for,” Maxedon said.

 

Not only is “Pippin” a traditional musical with songs, dialogue and dance, but there are also some Cirque du Soleil elements in Tech’s version as well.

 

“The director has put a sort of Cirque du Soleil concept to it, so it is disturbing under the surface,” Maxedon said. “It’s a little dark, it’s a little seedy. But the actual level that the audience sees is playful at times, but then that seediness comes out every once in a while.”

 

Maxedon said she doesn’t think the audience will come away learning anything about the meaning of life, but that’s not really the point.

 

“It’s meant to be entertaining for them. They’ll see dancing and singing and acting and tricks done on pieces of silk that are hanging and different circus-like tricks that go on during the show, so I think they’ll be entertained more than anything.”

 

Featuring a score by Stephen Schwartz and story by Bob Fosse, the directors and cast are just trying to bring this world-renowned play to life she said.

 

“People should see “Pippin” to expose themselves to something different,” Maxedon said. “If they’ve never seen a musical, they need to know what it is. It’s a very popular art form in the United States, and it’s something that originated in the United States. And this is a show, in particular, that was ground-breaking in the 1970s, and I think it would be worth the while to see what it is.”

 

Jake Guinn, a junior theater major, plays Lewis, Pippin’s younger brother, in the play.

 

“The story of Pippin involves Pippin trying to find his way in life, and Lewis is kind of his douchebag younger brother who kind of wants to overthrow him [Pippin] and take over, except he’s too stupid to actually do anything. He’s kind of a meathead,” Guinn said.

 

Guinn describes the show as a good time.

 

“It’s just kind of a fun and silly show. It’s not necessarily going to change your perspective on the world or anything but it’s definitely going to have people leaving having enjoyed themselves,” Guinn said.

 

Guinn further detailed different elements in the musical.

 

“The show itself is a little weird and disturbing, so there’s no way you can’t engage that particularly when there’s such a legacy of Bob Fosse doing the choreography and it just being so strange and unique to his style and aesthetic that you can’t help but really work toward that,” Guinn said. “I mean we’re trying our best as much as we can and I think we’re doing a pretty good job. We can only emulate what he did and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

 

“Pippin” is playing in Stone Theater at 7:30 p.m. tonight through April 28 and May 2-5.

 

Email comments to ask012@latech.edu.

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