Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Young Heart Pippin

By • Feb 16th, 2008 • Category: Reviews, Stand Out!

Listen to our review of Young Heart’s production of Pippin [MP3 4:55 2.3MB].

Laura: This is the review of Pippin, performed by the Young Heart Light the Night Team, in Fairfax, Virginia. Mike and I saw the opening night performance, Friday, February 15, 2008.

Mike: This was a superb production of Pippin. The energy that was put out by the performers in this show was unmatched, and they had a great time, the audience had a great time, it was an accomplishment.

Laura: Yes, this show was completely student organized, led, directed, produced, everything. And they just did an incredible job. The audience was so enthusiastic, the kids were great, the singing and dancing was exceptional. Maybe some technical issues, but overall, it was a great show.

Mike: The Young Hearts is a group that was created a few years ago as a fundraiser to fund blood cancer research. The group raises funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Every year they do a different major fundraiser, and this year, someone said “Hey, why don’t we do a show?” So, it kind of sounds like “Spanky and The Gang,” but they got together a year ago, and started planning this out, and they put together a great show. They have a lot of information about the society on their web site and how you can get involved. That’s at

Mike: Pippin is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, with book by Rodger O. Hirson. Pippin is the story of Charlemagne’s son, Pippin, who has graduated from Padua, the university, and isn’t sure what to do with his life. He just knows he has something unique and special that he was meant to do. So we follow him on his adventures through war, love, sex, arts, religion, and relationships where he tries to find out what his life is supposed to be about.

Laura: Everyone in this show did a great job. The Leading Player was played by Luke Savoca. He did a really good job, he had a nice range, nice voice. Again, the enthusiasm he got from the audience was tremendous.

Mike: And then Pippin, the main character, was played by Jeff Walton. He also did a pretty good job, there were a few times where his voice didn’t go quite high enough, but he was still very sympathetic, and it kinda worked for the character of Pippin, someone that wasn’t quite sure what to do with themselves. So not having a super polished performance worked out really well for the character.

Laura: Two of the funniest characters were King Charlemagne (Alex Hosenball), and his scribe (Dylan Rzepka). They were hysterical. The way they interacted with each other and the audience and Pippin and everybody else was just so funny. They had some of the funniest lines in the show.

Mike: Another great performance was given by Lewis, Pippin’s half-brother, played by Brendan Rice, and Pippin’s step-mother, Fastrada, played by Kristen Lewis. They had a great song in the first act, “Spread a Little Sunshine.” It was so funny, it brought down the house. Lewis stole the show with his interpretation of what she was singing about. It was very amusing and had a nice pace to the song. It wasn’t overdone, it worked really well.

Laura: Catherine, the widow with a daughter who was running a large estate and was trying to get Pippin to help her out was played by Kirsten Salpini. She did a really nice job. She a good song in the second act, “I Guess I’ll Miss the Man” when Pippin got fed up with his domestic life and took off. She had a lot of feeling and emotion in that song.

Mike: The entire show worked very well. There were some very minor technical problems, but there was a lot of surprises. Even though we’ve seen the show before, there were a few times I was very surprised with what they did. The technical things will get worked out for tomorrow’s performances. If you’re in the Fairfax area, and have the time free, I’d really recommend you go out and support this great group that is raising funds for a great cause. They are so exuberant, you’ll have a great time, I guarantee it.

Laura: Pippin is playing at the Robert Frost Middle School in Fairfax, Virginia. There are two more performances on Saturday, February 16th, at 2:00 and 7:30. I definitely recommend you go see this show. You will have a wonderful time.

Mike: The show runs about two hours and fifteen minutes, with one intermission.

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • Pippin: Jeff Walton
  • Leading Player: Luke Savoca
  • Devil’s Subconscious: Sara Persily
  • King Charlemagne (Charles): Alex Hosenball
  • Charlemagne’s Squire: Dylan Rzepka
  • Lewis: Brendan Rice
  • Fastrada: Kristen Lewis
  • Bertha: Alyssa Esterly
  • Catherine: Kristin Salpini
  • Thea: Lauren Lukow
  • Talking Head: Ben Marple
  • The Players:
    • John Atiyeh
    • Amy Bronick
    • Kathleen Fountain
    • Emily Manno
    • Ben Marple
    • Chanti Nguyen
    • Sarah Stucker
    • Max Wollner


  • Conductor: Paul Nasto
  • Piano 1 and Rehearsal Piano: Paul Savoca
  • Piano 2: Alex Stabile
  • Drums: Max Hoohberg, Brad Davis
  • Percussion: Hannah Meddis
  • Electric Bass: Gus Caldwell
  • Guitar: Eric Oganesoff
  • Trombone 1: Justin Kaplon
  • Trombone 2: Gavin Phillips
  • Flute: Megan McDevitt
  • Clarinet: Zack Martini
  • Horn: Jennifer Mickelson
  • Trumpet: Garrett Hullfish
  • Violin: Becky Chen, Margaret Whiteside Chen, Sarah Taylor
  • Cello: Bridget Price
  • Harp: Katya Rucker


  • Artistic and Vocal Director: Matt Savoca
  • Conductor: Paul Nasto
  • Technical Director: Margaret Gertzog
  • Assistant Director: Mia Savoca
  • Producer: Prince McLaughlin
  • Assistant Producer: Andrea Savoca
  • Choreographers: Lauren Lukow, Luke Savoca
  • Master Carpenter: John Atyeh
  • Set Design and Construction: DeAndr George, Colin Rice, Brendan Rice, Luke Savoca, Jeff Walton, Jesse Rzepka, Matt Savoca
  • Sound: DeAndr George, Kevin Gray
  • Lighting: Jen Grottle, Anna Stapleton
  • Costumes: Mary Sollosi, Kyle Craft, Stephanie Smith, Anna Becker
  • Set Deco and Properties: Stephanie Smith, Anna Pergolizzi, Claire Thompson, Brenna Frederickson
  • Hair and Makeup: Nadine Tadros, Cassy Byrne, Ally Milewhich, Katy Stanley
  • Running Crew: Regan McLaughlin, Jesse Rzepke, Stephanie Smith, Claire Thompson, Colin Rice
  • House Management: Charlotte Gertzog, Katherine Kitzmiller, Camille Loomis, Diana Mihalache, Mike Promisel, Ashley Silverstein, Heather Silverstein, Morgan Willard
  • Program and Publicity: Caitlin DiMaina, Shelly Montgomery, Julia Savoca, Janet Thomassen, Alex Willard

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