Award-winning musical in Little Theatre
Published: Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 23:05
The flash of lights, intricate set design, live music and splendid acting created an excellent production of “Pippin” put on by The Citrus College Theatre Arts Department April 27.
Former Citrus students, director Faith Carrion and assistant director, Raymond Barcelo set “Pippin” in modern times.
The 1970s musical written by Roger O. Hirson with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz follows young Prince Pippin as he searches for meaning and importance. Nate Tam, 23, did an amazing job portraying his character’s youth and innocence.
Pippin then decides he wants to follow his father, King Charlemagne (played by Bill Kottkamp) and stepbrother Lewis (played by Freddy Gonzalez) into war against the Visigoths.
During his time served in battle his father teaches him that “War is a Science” and discovers the darker side of his father’s rule.
The scene depicting the loss of Pippin’s innocence is when the play becomes much more than a bit naughty.
The beginning of the song “With You” started with a slow, sweet melody but quickly gathers speed as Pippin has multiple encounters with multiple women.
Credit should be given to all the players who performed in the racy scene; Monica Brown, Julie Gongwer, Freddy Gonzalez, Marcos Hernandez, Katie Jolgren, Katrina Ortiz, Mana Takenouchi and Rachel Walker who gave an outstanding performance of the song “With You.”
After his risqué scene, Pippin learns that relationships without love do not lead to fulfillment.
This production breaks the fourth wall allowing the Leading Player, (Tyrell Norwood) to speak directly to the audience and even act as director at parts when things weren’t going his way.
It also let other cast members enjoy the audience’s praise. Berthe, Pippin’s fun-loving and risqué grandmother (played by Rachel Kottkamp), Fastrada, Pippin’s step-mother (played by Olive Lalli) and Catherine, Pippin’s love interest (played by Kirbie Puestow) were other characters who love performing for the audience.
As the play went on Pippin grows from an inexperienced adolescent to an adult who is still searching for significance.
Although the live band with Carlos Carrion (drums), Reggie Villaveza (guitar), Eric Geencser (bass) and directed by Jeremy
Legot sometimes drowned out the actors’ voices during a few songs, it was a great addition to the performance.
The choreography by Dylan Pass was artistic and well performed. The set was well thought out and constructed with the performers dancing, hanging and climbing on the set throughout the production, which made it more fun to watch.
This musical is for a mature audience and contained violence, sexual content and mature language and subject matter.