Performance of Pippin at Houston Christian High School
Last week, I had the pleasure of seeing the opening night of Houston Christian’s production of the Broadway musical Pippin. The man who brought the production all together and directed was Bobby Linhart, and the incredible music was brought to life by musical director, John Ousley and his assistant musical director, Phil Sweger.
The musical could also not have happened without the help of student assistant director, Renee Rapier and student stage manager, Tatum Lee. Houston Baptist University kindly hosted the production in their very own Dunham Theater.
The leading player, played by senior Morgan Rucker, and other members of the circus troupe who invited the audience to watch the story of Pippin in an extravagant song and dance number, greeted the audience. The leading player then picked a volunteer to play Pippin, who was successfully played by junior Ross Black. Watch the opening number below.
Pippin is a prince in the Middle Ages trying to find himself and discover some meaning in his life. He fights in his father’s war but does not feel satisfied with being just a war hero. When he realizes his father, the king, is a corrupted ruler, Pippin kills his father to take over the crown and create a fair society. Though Pippin soon realizes that having so much power is not giving his life meaning and has the leading player bring his father back to life to take back the crown.
Pippin soon runs away from the kingdom and collapses in a small town where a young woman named Catherine, played by junior Mary Caroline Johnson, finds him and takes care of him. Pippin grows close to Catherine and her son Theo and eventually falls for the young lady, but Pippin comes to the realization that he was not meant to live in such a routine and ordinary life with Catherine and Theo so he runs away again.
At the end of the musical, the players almost convince Pippin that the only way he will find meaning in his life would be to perform the “Grand Finale” but then Catherine and Theo show up and Pippin comes to the conclusion that love and a family will give him true happiness and meaning.
The musical was filled with so many varieties of acrobatic tricks including aerial silks, lyras, rhythmic gymnastics, and more. Each actor really embraced heir role and made me believe that role was made for them. I was really impressed that the actors could sing and dance at the same time and still sound amazing. The musical was filled with humor and a great message. The performance as a whole was flawless and I am very thankful to the theater department for producing such an incredible show and leaving the audience on their feet and in awe.
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