Bursting with color and joy, the cast of the national tour of Pippin took the stage at the Orpheum Theatre this past Tuesday. The story follows a young man in his journey through life to find meaning; running into some bumps and bruises along the way to self-discovery. With returning members from the original and Broadway revival of the show, the sheer amount of talent in the cast is inconceivable. From the moment the curtain drops at the beginning of the show, Pippin takes you through an unforgettable journey.
The level of professionalism within the cast is incredible. Scrolling through the program, many of the actors have been nominated or won Tony Awards and have also been in the Broadway revival of Pippin (2013). Actors John Rubenstein, the original Pippin on Broadway, took back to the stage in the tour playing King Charles and wooing audiences with his charismatics and fun-loving personality. The Leading Player, Sasha Allen, has appeared on Season four of the hit singing competition, The Voice, working alongside celebrities such as Christina Aguilera. Allen’s voice, stunningly power, brings a new and unique spin on the character, bringing a new light to the performance and making every moment on stage her own. By far the most heartwarming performance was by no other than Priscilla Lopez, Pippin’s grandmother Berthe. Crazy and wild, she rallies up an audience like no other with her attitude, flexibility, and simply being 66 years old and hanging upside down 10 feet in the air.
The choreography in the show does absolute justice to original choreographer, Bob Fosse. With new twists and turns, it still stays true to the original quirky and intricately simple foundation that Fosse intended for the show. The added element of circus is the cherry on top to an extraordinarily staged performance. Some moments of the show audiences are left wondering, “Is it even humanly possible to make your body bend that way?” The enormous amount of strength and stamina these performers possess is mind boggling. Not to mention, the amount of trust between actors is simply incredible; with people swinging from ropes and falling off of set pieces, the level of unity and trust between every single person on and off stage is impeccable.
The stage itself is inviting with its colorful and bright set. When the curtain drops, you feel as though you are inside an actual circus and watching performers unfold under the dome. Also, the shimmering costumes by Dominique Lemieux, one of the original costume designers for Cirque du Soleil, really bring the story to life. With costume changes, many happening within a few seconds, going from leotards to full length dresses, the costumes are truly breath taking.
From the actors, to the choreography, to even the lighting and colorful set, Pippin is fun, uplifting, crazy, mind-blowing, and sentimental. With a good message in the end, every aspect of the performance is stunningly amazing.