‘Pippin’ premieres at Playhouse

The Tony Award-winning musical “Pippin” opens Friday for a two-weekend run at the Youngstown Playhouse.

Written by Stephen Schwartz, Bob Fosse and Roger O. Hirson, “Pippin” tells the story of young prince Pippin and his quest to find the secret to true happiness and fulfillment. He seeks it in the glories of the battlefield, the temptations of the flesh and the intrigues of political power (after disposing of his father, King Charlemagne the Great). In the end, though, Pippin finds that happiness lies not in extraordinary endeavors, but rather in the unextraordinary moments that happen every day.

The story is told using the premise of a mysterious performance troupe, led by a Leading Player, who doubles as Pippin’s conscience and devil’s advocate.

The original Broadway production ran for nearly 2,000 performances and won five Tony Awards in 1973. A 2013 Broadway revival won the Tony Award for best revival of a musical and three other statues.

The Leading Player is portrayed in this production by Playhouse regular James Major Burns, and John Monroe (Igor in last season’s Playhouse production of “Young Frankenstein”) plays Pippin.

Also in the cast are Alan McCreary as King Charlemagne, Roz Blystone as Pippin’s devious stepmother Fastrada, Christopher Wilson as her spoiled son Lewis, Regina Rees as Pippin’s spirited grandmother Berthe, Sarah Jane Demetruk as love interest Catherine and Mikey Zoccali as her little son Theo. The ensemble features Cheyenne Carr, Kiara Jones, Mikayla Moore, Anne Sopher, Janerall Brown, Michael A. Cotton, Trevail Maurice and Reece Xavior.

David Jendre is the director and choreographer with Joanna Andrei as assistant director and Chad C. Kendall as music director. Leslie Brown is stage manager, and Jendre and Brown designed the set with Ellen Licitra as lighting designer, Therese Pitzulo as costume designer and Johnny Pecano as technical coordinator.

“Pippin” will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday through Sept. 16 at the Youngstown Playhouse, 600 Playhouse Lane, Youngstown. The show is intended for mature audiences.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and senior citizens and can be purchased online at www.theyoungstownplayhouse.com and by calling 330-788-8739.

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