PIPPIN TO BE STAGED. There will be plenty of “Magic to Do” when Lyndon State’s Twilight Players present the musical “Pippin.” The charming, intimate show is a festively staged examination of one man’s pursuit of happiness, fulfillment, and the meaning and purpose of life. The show follows Pippin through a series of circumstances where he ultimately learns that wealth, power and knowledge can’t buy love, peace, or a sense of uniqueness.
Stephen Schwartz, the man that brought “Godspell” and “Wicked” to the Broadway stage, wrote the lyrics and composed the music. Schwartz and writer Roger Hirson created a story loosely based on the life of Pippin, a son of Charlemagne, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. The characters in the musical are intended to be caricatures rather than likenesses of their legendary and historical namesakes. The stunning score features the songs, “Morning Glow,” “No Time at All,” and “Magic to Do.”
The musical was originally staged by director and choreographer Bob Fosse, the genius behind “Chicago” and “All That Jazz.” When Schwartz and Hirson initially wrote the musical, the character of “Leading Player” was intended to be an elderly man. Fosse envisioned the character as a much younger man. He hired a dancer to fill the role, launching the career of Ben Vereen. Vereen later won a Tony Award for his portrayal.
LSC’s Twilight Players first staged “Pippin” in 1978. This year’s production features a special tribute night and reunion with the original Twilight Players cast on April 21. The original cast will join the current cast onstage for the finale.
The original cast has helped the current Twilight Players with ideas, guidelines, and tips about the production. During LSC’s Centennial Homecoming Weekend in September 2011, members of the 1978 cast, crew, and director Phil Anderson met with the current Players. They discussed the musical in depth including props, sets, costuming, and choreography.
President of the Twilight Players, Dave Daly, is the “Leading Player” in this year’s production. He explains, “This is a great play and we wanted to recognize and reach out to our alumni. We wanted to highlight the relationship between the past and the present. The late 1970s are considered the golden years for the Twilight Players. We are all looking forward to it.”
Jenny Harris ’79 was in the chorus for the original production, “I was a dancer and singer. I don’t think I had any lines.” There is one specific moment she is looking forward to: “Getting on stage with all my old friends. It’s so cool that the current Players are allowing the alumni up on stage. I’m so excited.”
The Twilight Players will present the musical on April 19-21 at 7:00 p.m. Matinees will be shown on April 21 and 22 at 2 p.m. All performances will be held in the Alexander Twilight Theatre. Admission is by donation. Pippin contains some adult material, parents should exercise discretion in bringing young children.
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