“Pippin” at the Orpheum Theatre: Pippin’s Got Magic to Do!


Pippin is the full package — beautiful set, atmospheric lighting, glitzy costumes, hypnotic music and–the cherry on top–insanely entertaining circus acts.The show revolves around a fresh out of college Pippin, a prince who dreams of finding something he was born to do and be extraordinary at, all while dealing with his aggravated father and greedy stepmother. Full of humor and sexual innuendos, Pippin’s story intertwines with circus acts, all orchestrated by the Lead Player.

The Lead Player, played by Sasha Allen, stole the show. Lively and compelling, it’s impossible to be bored while she is on stage. I was nervous before the show when I heard she was famous for being on The Voice, a singing competition, because I was scared her style would be better suited for pop-music and she might not be able to pull the dancing and singing combo off, but I couldn’t of been more wrong! Every move she made was engaging and her vocals were flawless.

I wish I could say the same about Sam Lips, who played Pippin. His acting was good enough, although the role itself is fairly shallow, but the main problem lay in the singing. Roughly half of the time, it was beautiful but the rest of the time it got pitchy. He was easily outshined by the fabulous Sasha Allen, although this didn’t really tarnish how entertaining the show is.

Priscilla Lopez, who played Pippin’s grandmother led a hilarious and joyful sing along to “No Time at All,” and although her time onstage was short, it was definitely memorable. Same goes for Fastrada, played by Sabrina Harper. Harper depicts Pippin’s conniving stepmother perfectly, and her musical number “Spread a Little Sunshine,” is possibly the most glitzy number in the whole show thanks to Harper’s unstoppable stage presence and sparkling costumes. A fun aspect of this show was John Rubinstein in the role of Charlemagne, Pippin’s father. He played Pippin in the original production,  and offered a nod to the show’s history while still managing to feel fresh.

Chet Walker, the choreographer and Gypsy Snider, the circus creator, collaborated to produce a breathtaking performance with astounding and original choreography and acrobatics. All of the movement melded together to create a wonderfully entertaining show that incorporated terrifying circus acts and dance that Fosse would definitely approve of, all while providing a undoubtedly circus-like environment without being tacky or cheesy.

The thing that really tied up the whole show up with a bow was the set. With a circus tent background with stars that glowed, a platform that doubled as a way for the actors to get on and off the stage, staircases that moved and poles, ropes, and silks for climbing, the set was a great combination of gorgeous and highly functional. It was versatile enough for all of the scenes while still making the circus theme very obvious.

Additionally, Pippin makes you think– about privilege, the meaning of life, finding your calling and discovering yourself. With a heart-warming moral that can’t be explained without giving the ending away, it truly is something that you will have to see to believe. Absolutely the quintessential Broadway experience, Pippin, playing through the 22nd, is a must-see.