Pippin

Stephanie Stiles, Staff Writer

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Magic meets war, the Holy Roman Empire, ducks, music, and a young prince named Pippin. On his quest for passion and significance, Pippin now dances into the BHS Drama Club to perform this upcoming March.

According to Keith Caldwell, English teacher and co-director, Pippin is a musical comedy that is based off of a book and real history. Pippin was the eldest son of Charlemagne, the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Pippin can never be satisfied by anything he pursues; neither scholar, nor king, nor warrior, nor sex, nor quiet life can suffice in fulfillment.

The young prince’s journey is led by the humorous Leading Player, who sprinkles magic and mischief throughout.“She’s part narrator and part director with suspicious motives which is very cunning and very funny,” said Lindsey Massarsky a senior actress who will be playing the Leading Player.

“In rehearsal, we spend 2 to 3 hours a day, six days a week. Out of rehearsal we have to practice our lines and dances and listen to the music,” said Massarsky. The amount of time everyone in the production must devote to create Pippin reflects the intricacy of the musical’s most minute details, according to Caldwell.

“The music and dancing are fabulous.  In true Stephen Schwartz fashion, the songs and movement beautifully support the plot by revealing character and advancing the story,” said Caldwell. “The set will be relatively open, simple, and colorful with structures upstage that will provide richness, depth, and different levels.”

Both Caldwell and Massarsky expressed incredible joy with the dancing in Pippin. This musical is a team effort with many parts that must come together before it can hit the stage for an audience, but choreography is one part that takes an especially large amount of thought, English teacher and Pippin choreographer Brooke Styche explained.

Styche, who was a dance and theater major in college and once owned a dance school, has always enjoyed “showing students that they can dance; breaking it down, doing it with them, setting it up, and then finally seeing it all come together as an audience member,” she said.

In preparation for choreographing Pippin, “First I listen to the music nonstop, and I try to picture the shapes and bodies on stage,” said Styche.

“Bob Fosse was the original Broadway choreographer, and I partly try to emulate him,” said Styche. “He is known for specific shapes. His movements are very controlled with a specific articulation of certain muscles and an isolation of specific body parts.” These dance routines are one of the main contributors to the whole magical setting in which the musical takes place.

“One of the highlights of the play is that the story by itself is kind of plain, but then there are all these magical elements which make it pretty interesting,” said Massarsky. She also expressed confidence in and admiration for her fellow cast members, which heightens her excitement to take the stage in front of an audience.

Massarsky along with Christian Bearse and Alessandra Scibelli, as Pippin, and many more cast members, dancers, and musicians of BHS, will be performing the musical on March 22, 23, 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. and March 24 and 30 at 2 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center.

Pippin’s story of finding oneself and what one is passionate for, is one that any high school senior can associate with. Thrown into his quest are the realities of war, the abuse of power, and the exaggerated desires of human nature.

“The themes dealing with fulfilling one’s life purposes as well as the dangers of imperialism and nepotism are relevant to our contemporary society,” said Caldwell.