Pippin was ‘poppin’ as these six thrilling and wonderful actors performed with such a sheer sense of enjoyment. This was Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson’s frisky, sexy musical of their now classic Broadway Pippin.
This is a very slick and charming production under Stephen Dexter’s erudite direction and Pippin, played by a very watchable Ryan Anderson, displays a gentle innocence as he decides to find the meaning of his existence and whether he needs to choose a happy but simple life or risk everything for a singular flash of glory.
The other cast members Tsemaye Bob-Egbe, Tanisha-Mae Brown, Joanna Clifton, Harry Francis and Dan Krikler sizzle. The troupe are captivating to watch as they perform dance routines in the unique style and wit of Bob Fosse. The show is choreographed by Nick Winston whose skill just makes the whole running time an eye-catching physical, as well as a song-and-dance, visual treat. The cast make use of every inch of this well planned outdoor theatre space, beautifully lit by Richard Lambert, enhancing the mood and temperament of the whole musical.
A highlight is the show-stopper “Corner of the Sky” with a heartfelt rendition by Ryan Anderson whose exquisite and emotional delivery demonstrated his superb control of his vocal range.
This is a fine look at the power that an alternative culture can have with class, family loyalty and respect, and self sacrifice being put under the microscope by Schwartz and Hirson.
Pippin is full of hippy merriment where the effects of conflict, religious beliefs that do and have led to war, and the pursuit of glory are examined with a vivacious vibrancy and with the clever use of clever comedy presented to us with a polished confidence. Of special note Joanna Clifton who masters the task of encouraging audience participation via a singalong with gusto becoming a true crowd pleaser. The lyric we are asked to sing is “Yes, it’s time to start livin’”. A poignant message as we have to hope that this pandemic ends.
This is a spell-binding, unforgettable new Pippin and is a must-see as we return to some kind of normality and enjoy theatre as it is meant to be enjoyed.
This is an exceptional ensemble piece that delights on every level.
The cast and crew have waved their collective wand and got a hit on their hands.