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Pippin: What Are You Tied To?

By • Jul 20th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of The Upper Room Theare Ministry’s production of Pippin [MP3 4:04 1.2MB].

Laura: We saw the Upper Room Theare Ministry‘s production of Pippin in Manassas, Virginia.

Mike: Pippin is the story of Charlemange’s son who is looking for his meaning in life. So he experiments with everything you could possibly think of. Battle, education, physical delights. He finally comes to a decision of what he should do to make himself happy.

Laura: This musical was a lot of fun. There was a lot of energy. The audience got into it. The set was well done. The dancing was really incredible. The sound had some issues, but otherwise I really enjoyed the musical very much.

Mike: I really enjoyed this show. It was very well done. Unfortunately, there were some sound technical issues. So there were times when the sound system just seemed to turn off. You couldn’t hear what was going on. Most of the singers could do ok without that if you were listening really closely. Some of them did just disappear and that was really awkward.

The main character is Pippin who is played by Alec Davis. He did a really good job. I felt very sorry for him. I felt a lot of sympathy for the situations he got himself into. He was very effective in portraying that fear of not being successful in life. I especially liked his dancing and singing in the song “With You” where he had to confront the seven deadly sins. Using the seven deadly sins was a very effective way to show what he was fighting against.

Laura: Pippin’s girfriend was Catherine, a widow. She was played by Nicole Dalusung. I enjoyed watching her very much. I could see her love for Pippin. Her wanting to make him happy, but also her spunk. I thought was really good. She had a nice singing voice, too.

Mike: The Evil Leading Player was performed by Matt Schaad. He was very good. He had a very nice singing voice. He had a very commanding presence on stage. He was very expressive, especially when he was ordering the ensemble around to do different things, such as to move the set pieces.

Laura: The Good Leading Player was played by Meghan Bartnick. She did a very good job. She had nice dance numbers. She had a good singing voice. She was a bit soft during the first act. So when the orchestra got cranked up she was a little hard to hear, but I think that improved a lot in the second act because she was much easier to hear.

Mike: One thing that was obvious in the show were there were a lot of people in the cast. The playbill lists twenty-nine different actors and performers. That is a really impressive number of people to coordinate and to choreograph. Some of the dancing numbers were very complex.

Laura: The set changes were good. It was a simple set, but everybody knew what they were supposed to do and when they were suppose to bring props on and off. They did that very smoothly. The orchestra was in the back behind a curtain so it wasn’t overpowering. It was a thrust stage with the audience was on three sides of the stage.

Mike: I really liked the costumes in this show. The ensemble members were wearing white outfits with black or gray accents on them. The patterns of the accents were different for each character which was a really nice attention to detail. The main charcters, though were wearing costumes of different colors. The Evil Leading player was wearing black. The Good Leading Player was wearing white. That was very nice. During the number of the seven deadly sins each of the dancers when they came out, their costume was appropriate to that deadly sin.

Laura: Pippin is playing through Sunday in Manassas, Virginia. I do recommend you call ahead to get tickets because it was nearly sold out tonight.

Mike: Laura and I interviewed the director of the show, Rob Tessier. That interview is available on ShowBizRadio.net.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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