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Pippin Mesmerizes Audiences

Pippin+at+the+Hobby+Center.
Pippin at the Hobby Center.

Pippin at the Hobby Center.

www.libraryhotelcollection.com

www.libraryhotelcollection.com

Pippin at the Hobby Center.

Alexis Hines, Staff Reporter

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Broadway at the Hobby Center put on a spectacular performance of the musical, Pippin. The show tells the story of a young Prince, Pippin, who is returning from school to his father, King Charles. Pippin is on a journey to do something extraordinary in his life and goes on a mission to find something completely fulfilling. After several trials and finding nothing, Pippin takes a journey into an “extraordinary” life and finds that finding something extraordinary isn’t as miraculous as he thought it to be.

As the acting began, it became obvious how the plot would progress. Pippin’s life is basically a circus act, orchestrated by the Leading Player who controls nearly everything about his life. Her purpose is to give him a ton of different obstacles to battle in order to find what he wants to do with his life.

Pippin, who is played by Brian Flores, believes his education is worthless compared to his half-brother Lewis’ bravery, as he fights wars in honor of his country. Pippin’s first idea for discovery something extraordinary is joining the army to prove his bravery. Pippin is a lanky teen with little knowledge on war and doesn’t do well. After seeing men die on the line, he realizes it’s best if he moves on to something different.

Cue the super epic Grandma, Berthe, one of the coolest Granny’s you’ll ever meet. While she visits her Grandson, she sees how unfulfilled he feels. As a caring Grandmother, she helps him to get to the bottom of his sadness. She soon concludes that he is living his life without actually living. She serenades him with a song about living in the now; before you know it your youth is gone. She convinces Pippin to do something a bit more spontaneous.

Onto his next search for fulfillment, Pippin meets several different women and takes advantage of his youth. Though it’s a new experience for him, he realizes that there must be something even greater out there for him. He gives up the girls and returns to the castle to speak with his father. However, he finds out just how cruel his Father could be. King Charles had massacred thousands of non-Christians in town, with no remorse. Pippin becomes absolutely livid because of this and plots to get back at his own father, by killing him while he attends his yearly prayer.

Pippin goes through with his brutal plan and stabs his father in the center of the church and takes the throne for himself. All while his step Mother and half-brother, Lewis, plan to steal the throne away from Pippin. But as time would tell, being King was not a simple task for dear Pippin, so he gives it up. In a weird twist of events, he brings his Father back to life by removing the dagger he had stabbed with and returns him to the throne.

Being left with nothing, Pippin runs off to peasant town, still in search of what he was looking for. However, Pippin didn’t even know what he was looking for and that only made finding his true calling even harder. He soon meets Catherine, a spunky blonde widow with a son named Theo. I’ll put this lightly: she’s annoying. Although that’s her character, her voice was absolutely dreadful.

At first, Pippin has no interest in the farm life; because he thought it was too ordinary for him. His sadness had him bed ridden in Catherine’s home for weeks before he agreed to help at the farm after a very terrifyingly screech-like plea from our beloved Cathy. He starts by tending to the chickens, pigs and eventually the crops. He begins to leave when Theo’s favorite pet duck becomes ill and inevitably dies after hours of prayer and pleading.

It was then Theo’s turn to fall into a heavy depression, leaving Pippin to try to bring a smile to his face. Nothing worked, even an adorable puppy they brought out. Frankly, Theo was unfixable, but Catherine gained a new admiration for her houseguest and they become something new. Pippin and Catherine have a short love story, a year going by even quicker and Pippin soon forgets what he was even searching for, until Catherine asks a question he was not expecting.

Now in a frenzy, Pippin cries and pleads with the Leading Player to help him find his true calling. That’s when the magic really comes alive. She tells Pippin the only way he can be truly extraordinary is if he jumps from the highest point into the hottest pit of fire. He climbs to the top of the stage and a pit of fire is lit and the cast on stage urges Pippin to jump, telling him it is his only way to be EXTRAORDINARY.

This show mesmerized me completely and instantly. The set was incredibly well done, and very multi-purpose. It was a part castle, part circus arena with a small hint of a Catholic Church. The lights and orchestra added a very playful and magical effect to the whole play. The audience was involved and thrilled the entire play, especially when the cast roamed the aisles during intermission– not once breaking character.

The Leading Player, played by Gabrielle McClinton, hit one of the longest notes I’ve ever heard live. The rest of the cast were leaping and climbing on top of the sets. Throughout the song, Pippin looks extremely flustered and uncoordinated (as he does in the entire performance) but it definitely adds to the charm of his character. He’s a boy that wants to find where he belongs in the world to have complete fulfillment.

With epic pits of fire and highflying, overly flexible girls, the play enchants you from the very beginning. This play is a modern twist on the original script, but it didn’t stray from the story and it didn’t disappoint. A definite 8 out of 10, because there was a short time during the play that got confusing, though it was towards the end and they recovered rather quickly.

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