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a Musical
by Stephen Schwartz

COMPANY : Stage Door Players [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Stage Door Players [WEBSITE]
ID# 3382

SHOWING : July 17, 2009 - August 09, 2009



Once upon a time, young prince Pippin longed to discover the secret of true happiness and fulfillment. He seeks it in the glories of the battlefield, the temptations of the flesh and the intrigues of political power. Finally, he finds it in the simple pleasures of home and family. With an energetic pop-influenced score by the award winning composer/lyricist of Wicked, Pochahantas, and Godspell.

Director Robert Egizio
Choreographer Jen MacQueen
Musical Director Linda Uzelac
Costume Design Jim Alford
Sound Design Dan Bauman
Stage Manager Hayley Brotherton
Lighting Design Michael Magursky
Scenic Design Chuck Welcome
Second Keyboard BJ Brown
Percussion Chip Coursey
Fastrada Denise Arribas
Pippin Will Bradley
Leading Player Charles Calvello
Player Kida Davis
Lewis Josh Donahue
Catherine Courtney Foster
Player Courtney Loner
Theo Chase McGrath
Theo Robert Oliver Norris
Player Tim Stylez
Charles Craig Waldrip
Berthe Rachel D. White
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Fabulous,Fabulous, Fabulous!
by scienceinsong
Friday, August 7, 2009
My family and I loved every minute of this production of Pippin. The voices, the music, the acting- it was all superb! We were especially pleased to see that Craig Waldrip was Charlemagne, as we had seen him in Cabaret on the Strand and fell in love with him then. He gave an equally commanding and outstanding performance in Pippin. All the actors were simply THE BEST!!!!! Thank you for our wonderfully entertaining evening. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
After "Glow"
by BenAround
Friday, July 31, 2009
(I saw the Thursday night 7/30 performance and had only the original Broadway version in my head from many years ago.)

Music: Linda Uzelac and BJ Brown : A+ (Duh!) BJ needs to be credited for 2nd AND 3rd keyboard playing (at the same time, one hand on each ... WOW). Linda was wonderful as always. Percussion from Chip Coursey was supportive and never overpowering.

Direction: Robert Egizio does it again. This man can direct! His choreography background shows in his placement of the players, blocking, movement, and every other aspect of the show.

Choreography: Excellent work from Jen MacQueen. If you enjoy seeing dance, this is the show for you.

Will Bradley gives an innocent (in every meaning of the word) portrayal of the prince who would be king. His voice is never harsh (singing or speaking) and to me makes a perfect Pippin. Idealistic, hopeful, questioning ... all there. Corner of the Sky and Love Song were his best IMO. The audience was always routing for him.

Rachel D. White is spectacular in her grasp of the stage and audience in her No Time At All number as Berthe, grandmother to Pippin. What a powerhouse she is and so fun to watch on stage! She owns the stage when she performs. The sing-along with the audience was truly a highlight of the evening.

Craig Waldrip delivers his usual brillance as Charlemagne with stylized hair and makeup that reminded me of his Rocky Horror portrayal of Frank N. Furter. He can express so much with his eyes and body language in addition to his clear, crisp diction and pleasant singing. I enjoyed his War Is A Science particularly.

Josh Donahue played a very real dufus half brother Lewis to Pippin. His unusual and hilarious expressions and posture indicated his grasp of the character. He was not only the perfect suck-up to his father, but also the classic momma's boy and even incestuous partner to Denise Arribas (Fastrada, his mother). Ms. Arribas was exciting to watch with her often explosive energy. I have never liked the number Spread A Little Sunshine, but I really enjoyed her rendition.

Catherine (Courtney Foster) showed a range of emotions from clueless airhead to affectionate, caring mother to passionate partner, switching back and forth throughout. She had a pleasant sounding voice both singing and speaking and reacted perfectly to the Leading Player's interference.

Theo (Robert Norris in the show I saw) showed great maturity for a boy of 10. He has a nice clear singing voice (heard in the reprise of Corner of the Sky). Although not on stage for long, he was always a presence when in a scene. This kid is one to watch.

I agree somewhat with playgoer's review in that the Leading Player (Charles Calvello) was much more a dancer than a singer, but I disagree after that point. He clearly did have a certain control element and added the little extra touch of magic to the production. I found him visually very interesting whenever he appeared. His body language, posture, mannerisms and spoken vocal choices added greatly to the production. (much like Puck in MidSummer Night's Dream)

I always leave the cast chorus members for last. Theirs is sometimes a thankless job, but most have nice individual moments to shine and support the show this time. Pippin provides many opportunities for them to do just that in playing a myriad of characters. Bravo, ensemble!

Lighting effects (esp. Morning Glow, some of the more intimate moments and the Finale) were great. Sets by Chuck Welcome earned him another A+ (it's Chuck again, y'all). Sound was consistent and balanced throughout.

Thanks, Stage Door for taking me back to my memories of the original show while sharing your own updated take on Pippin. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
by playgoer
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Stage Door Players' production of "Pippin" is, as always, played upon a beautiful set. Chuck Welcome has an unerring eye, and he has the means to accomplish his visions. The set for "Pippin" is a relatively simple one, with a few stone arches, a chapel wall and steps, and some stanchions, all with the sparsest touches of greenery. The scenery and floor are painted in faux stone, instantly transporting us to the distant middle ages.

The action and singing that take place on the set aren't always so unerringly beautiful. Many of the vocals are on the weak side, in terms of volume, and some of the acting is sub-par. The biggest weakness is probably Chuck Calvello as the Leading Player. He's a well-trained dancer and certainly has an acceptably pleasant voice, but he lacks the spark of mischief and charisma that the role calls for. The lack of a rock-solid show-biz center harms the show as a whole. The fault isn't Mr. Calvello's; it's a casting choice that doesn't quite work out.

The strengths in the cast follow the royal family tree. First and foremost is Rachel D. White as Berthe, Charlemagne's mother. Her song "No Time at All" sparkles and energizes the show. Craig Waldrip, as Charlemagne, lends a consistently powerful voice and ideosyncratic delivery to every line, sung or spoken. Will Bradley, as Charlemagne's eldest son, Pippin, centers the show with heartfelt emotional consistency. Josh Donahue, as second son Lewis, scores with goofy, macho behavior, although his role diminishes as the play moves on.

The royal relatives through marriage are also good. I'm always a fan of Denise Arribas, who invests every role with energy and drive. As Fastrada, Lewis' mother, she nails every comic line with her acting. Her big song, "Spread a Little Sunshine," isn't a very good match to her voice, however, and at times sounds a bit shrill. Courtney Foster Donahue does a terrific job with the acting side of Catherine, Pippin's love interest, effectively dampening the natural goofiness she shows as a generic Player and replacing it with an emotional steadfastness that matches Will Bradley's as Pippin. Her songs don't quite deliver the same satisfaction.

Catherine's son Theo (double cast with two young gentlemen) provides the most emotional moment of the show, just before the final reprise of "Magic to Do." The writing at this point of the show, which has previously tended to the joking side of things, finally wraps up the picaresque adventures of our hero in a satisfying, theatrical way.

The costumes on the whole are on the skimpy side, with an intentional look of being threadbare and worn. Like Onstage Atlanta's "The Wild Party," the desire seems to be to capture the seediness usually seen in "Cabaret," through both costumes and makeup. At this point, that effect is just a bit overdone in the Atlanta theatre scene.

"Pippin" has never been known as a strong "plot" show, but in Stage Door Players' production the plot is done full justice. The pop-rock spectacle usually found in the framing device of the Players is somewhat muted here. The show as a whole works fine, but lacks that final spark that would drive it into the must-see category. Still, it's nice to hear what Stephen Schwartz was writing decades before "Wicked." I feel this score is his best, and it's a pleasure to the ear. Jen MacQueen's always-active choreography keeps the eye happy too. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Pippin parody titles by Okely Dokely
I've heard Pimpin' (the most obvious one) and Strippin'.

Anybody have any others?


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