Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Executive Producer- Jac Alder
Director/Set/Costume Design- Bruce R Coleman
Co-Musical Directors- Terry Dobson & Pamela Holcomb-McLain
Choreography- Kelly McClain
Lighting Design- Julie Simmons
AEA Stage Manager- Terry Vandivort
Technical Director- Daniel Pucul
Master Electrician- David Gibson
Scenic Artist- David Walsh
Production Assistant- Karen Foster
Production Crew-Elizabeth Lowe, Katherine Marchant, Ashleigh Alder
Charles- Bradley Campbell
Theo- Ivan Friend
Lewis & Ensemble- Michael Gasparro
Berthe- Lisa Anne Haram
Catherine- Lee Jamison
Leading Player- N. Wilson King
Marzipan- Madison Pearl
Fastrada- Morgana Shaw
Pippin- Max Swarner
Michael Albee (Dance Captain)
Kia Nicole Boyer
Sergio Antonio Garcia
Pianos/Keyboards- Terry Dobson, Pamela Holcomb McLain
Percussion- Jon Lee
Bass- Peggy Honea, David Odegaard
Woodwinds- Ellen Kaner
Wind Synth- Michael Dill
Reviewed Performance 6/6/2011
Reviewed by Shelley Kaehr, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
On opening night of Theatre Three's production of Pippin, Executive Producer/Director Jac Alder was presented with a huge and well-deserved honor ? a lifetime achievement award from the Actors Equity Association. The upcoming 2012 season will mark fifty years Jac has successfully run Theatre Three; a gargantuan accomplishment. Alder was hailed as one of only two Executive Producers in the United States to currently hold such esteem. Congratulations, Jac! I've lived in the Dallas area for over twenty years now and have been attending shows at Theatre Three all these years. I look forward to the next chapter of this wonderfully creative venue for the performing arts.
And what better way to celebrate the occasion than with Pippin, the lively, genius musical by Steven Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson. Pippin is the tale of the witty son of King Charlemagne who goes on a journey to discover meaning in his life. After seeking inspiration in everything from se* to war he ultimately learns true success lies in the simplicity of life.
I hadn't seen Pippin in many years and although I'd always enjoyed the show I never loved it as much as with this production masterfully directed by Bruce R. Coleman. The choreography by Kelly McClain was so well executed that the movement became its own character.
The musical arrangement carried the audience on a journey. Kudos to Terry Dobson, Pamela Holcomb-McLain and all the musicians for a wonderful performance.
Coleman's costume design was whimsical and alluring reminders of the temptations of the physical world young Pippin explored in his quest. The scenic design (also by Coleman) contained a spinning carousel as the main feature of the set used to portray the passage of time.
Max Swarner was perfectly cast in the principal role as Pippin. His vocals were a breath of fresh air. In a unique twist, Coleman cast the role of the narrator as a woman (normally the role is portrayed by a male actor). As the Leading Player, N. Wilson King's booming vocals and bigger than life presence were spellbinding to behold.
Bradley Campbell gave a noteworthy performance in his regal and comedic portrayal as King Charlemagne. I loved his dominatrix wife Fastrada played by Morgana Shaw. Her raspy vocals rounded out the part beautifully. Michael Gasparro's Lewis brought many laughs and I congratulate the young Ivan Friend for his heartfelt portrayal of Theo. Lisa Anne Haram gave a scene stealing turn as Berthe, and the audience participation on the tune No Time at All was a ton of fun.
In the end Pippin found true love in Catherine, portrayed here by Lee Jamison. Swarner and Jamison made a visually appealing couple and their vocals were perfectly matched in their second act duets.
Aside from major roles, the success in this piece was highly due to the little details including the performances by the ensemble members. Each ensemble member was given a role to play, an emotion to portray, and they held to their characters throughout the production.
Heath Billups' head popped out of the floor to illuminate young Pippin on the hazards of war and Sergio Antonio Garcia swayed from the rafters along with fellow cast members Darius-Anthony Robinson and the rest of the ensemble cast. Tricia Ponsford, Kia Nicole Boyer, Michelle Foard and Alexandra Valle played temptresses with power and force, luring Pippin to his destruction.
I thoroughly enjoyed this production of Pippin filled with energy and excitement. It's a sure bet hit to kick off another Texas summer. Highly recommended!
When Jac accepted his lifetime achievement award he humbly told the audience his purpose in life was to bring joy to audiences. He's certainly kept his mission with this production. Well done!
Theatre Three, 2800 Routh Street, Dallas TX 75201
Runs through July 2nd
Thursdays & Sundays at 7:30pm, Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sunday matinees at 2:30pm.
Tickets are $10.00-$40.00, For tickets and info call T3's box office at 214-871-3300, option #1. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.theatre3dallas.com