PIPPIN opened last night at the Orpheum Theatre, playing to old fans of the show originating from the early 70s and delighting those new to the production alike. The show tells the story of Pippin and his quest and struggle to live an extraordinary, fulfilling life. While the material is an age-old tale, it’s told in a way that is far from boring. Pippin plays out his life for the audience in the context of a circus performance in which the tale is unfolding, headed up by the “Leading Player” who acts as something of a narrator. It’s perhaps a bit trippy, but keep in mind that this show originally premiered on Broadway in 1972. That may have something to do with it.
Two parts musical, one part Cirque du Soleil show, PIPPIN is whimsical and funny at times; somewhat disturbing at others. Behind the cheery exterior of the circus lies darker connotations, creating an emotional dissonance for those paying attention. It’s easy to get swept up in the action though, as a large cast dazzles in a sea of colors and sequins, dancing and performing amazing acrobatic feats.
2013 Tony Winner for Best Revival of a Musical, PIPPIN is a show unlike any other. Its run in Minneapolis is limited, but tickets are still available for performances through Sunday, February 22nd. Buy them here or risk missing out for another 40 years (or the next national tour).