A show within a show, a school within a school, a concept within a concept, inception, and imagination. Pippin: A show that'll make you say "Oh shiii!" especially when it comes to Rancocas Valley Regional High School's rendition of the show. The Leading Player commanded the stage, and his audience from the first loop he made. Every turn and tableaux and lighting cue truly captivated minds.
Pippin is an award-winning (Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography) Broadway musical written in 1972 by Stephen Schwartz, Roger O. Hirson, and Bob Fosse. The show lasted on Broadway for 5 years, ending in June 1977. The show follows Pippin and the musical in his head, which includes characters such as Catherine, Theo, Fastrada, Charles, Lewis, the Leading Player, and Pippin himself. Pippin tries to find himself through his family, his duty to his country, menial hobbies, until he finds Catherine and Theo, and then himself, which leads to him being replaced in the end...
This version of the show was certainly anchored by the stage presence and comedy. The most impressive aspects of the show, however, were the lighting, silhouettes, tableaus, and the Leading Player. The tableaus had intense energy, the lighting was perfectly relevant to the scene and the mood, the silhouettes were creative and powerful, and the Leading Player was intense, impassioned, sassy, and well dressed! The overall production was incredibly successful, and plenty of the show did Fosse, Schwartz, and Hirson justice.
When it comes to leads, the cast of Pippin in RV was well chosen! Antoine Brown (Pippin) & Sarah Willits (Catherine) gel well together on the stage, and Ryan Hans (Leading Player) had the highest level of stage presence, vocal talent, sass, and general Fosse-esque behaviours, which completely sells the show. Hans has impeccable timing, and certainly belongs on Broadway, bravissimo! In regards to comedic value, Jason Blain (Charles), Kevin Turkheimer (Lewis), Rosalena Garcia (Berthe), and Joelle Darragh were all the funniest on the stage, and had such high energy and stage presence throughout that it would have been difficult to turn away.
The ensemble of the show was fantastic throughout the show, but most notably, Elizabeth Ford (Ensemble) was the most recognizable of all! The hips in general, and her flips were crazy! However, one of the craziest and most notable parts of the show was when JT Mozes (Theo) quite literally stole the show from Pippin. Both of these supporting roles drew the audience in and kept their attention like no other.
The lights necessary for this show demands a high level of skill to properly convey the story along with the actors, and the crew behind the show certainly executed the lighting well! Amanda Blain, the student who handled costumes did a great job at conveying the concept of different cliques putting on the show, but most notably, her costume choices for the Leading Player, Charles, and much of the ensemble were spot on! In regards to the stage crew, their help was incredibly appreciated, and though not everyone would understand why they were in view when switching the scenes around, the idea that the show within the show is ongoing adds a nice touch, while giving the crew their chance to shine.
RV's fall production of Pippin was a fantastic modern take on the show, and with just "a little bit of this, a little bit of that… and a whole lot of that," the show was able to come together as a success! The lead actors, as well as a few ensemble members were truthfully unforgettable, just like the show itself. Rancocas Valley Regional High School absolutely nailed the show!