“Pippin” at the Orpheum Theatre: Spread a Little Pippin!


From February 17th to February 22nd, “Pippin” is being performed live at the Orpheum in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Come and see the marvelous production with a circus twist that brings the timeless classic to life! The story follows the telling of a medieval tale about a young man named Pippin (Sam Lips), son of King Charles (John Rubinstein), and his struggles to find something truly fulfilling in his life.  He explores a variety of satisfying endeavors such as glory through war, human sexuality, and the ordinary life. The Leading Player of the circus group (Sasha Allen) helps narrate his expedition. The show is not very kid-friendly due to it’s obscene content.

By the opening song, the fourth wall was immediately broken and the actors had impeccable energy.  The entirety of the show was full of the unexpected and first Act ended with such vigor!  Comedy popped up everywhere, even in places that wouldn’t normally have humor.  Everything had jokes, but when they were serious, it was emotional and sincere. In some scenes, the actors seemed so genuine that it was difficult to tell if they had made any mistakes or not, which made the rest of the production seem flawless.

There was plenty of phenomenal magic and acrobatic tricks.  It was impressive to see the actors do such amazing acrobatic tricks while singing at the same time. Some performers such as Berthe (Priscilla Lopez), Pippin’s grandmother, were exceptionally talented.  The fastest costume change I have ever seen was Sabrina Harper who played Fastrada, Pippin’s step mother, during Spread a Little Sunlight.  

Choreographer Chef Walker was able to incorporate Bob Fosse’s signature moves with the stunts of a circus.  The dancing was organized, clean, and told the story in a riveting way!  There were moments where I wanted to jump right into the action and be a part of the experience. It was all fun to look at, to listen to, and to even sing to!  There were many different elements in the show: Mind-blowing magic tricks, jaw-dropping acrobatics, harmonious singing, and jazzy dancing and they all worked together to create one of the best live productions.

The orchestra, conducted by Ryan Cantwell, was ravishingly done.  Many different instruments were used and the sounds were the bedrock of the show.  The lighting also contributed to the atmosphere with its cold colors, reds, pinks, and yellows. The costumes followed the circus theme, and were bright and beautiful.  The set was a literal circus tent, but a sturdy one because the actors had to climb everywhere. 

Although nearly everything had a comical surprise to it, there was a certain attachment to each character.  They managed to reach the audience both emotionally and mentally. The story ends on a note that makes you think about your own happiness and gratitude in life.  The ending was was incredibly satisfying.  “Pippin” is a story of comedy and entertainment, drama and twists. It is definitely worth every penny!