Tony Award Winning Musical “Pippin” by Roger O. Hirson, to be presented by New World School of the Arts Music Theater students on November 30, at the Louise O. Guerrits Theater
MIAMI—New World School of the Arts’ Music Theater Division presents its very own production of the 5-time Tony Award winning musical Pippin, by Roger O. Hirson with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. This timeless musical, imagines the life of Pippin the Hunchback, son of King Charlemagne, who longs to discover the secret of true happiness and fulfillment. This hip, tongue-in-cheek, anachronistic fairy tale captivated Broadway audiences with choreography by Bob Fosse and a cast led by Ben Vereen and continues to appeal to the young at heart everywhere. With a 40-member cast comprised on NWSA Music Theater high school juniors and seniors, the production will be staged at NWSA’s Louise O’ Gerritts Theater on November 30 & December 1; 7:30 PM; December 7 & 8; 7:30 PM; December 2 & 9; 2:00 PM. 25 NE 2nd Street, downtown, Miami. Admission is $12.00; students / seniors $5.00.
Posing the question “Spamalot or Camelot?”, Andy Noble, NWSA faculty, actor and director of the musical at New World School of the Arts explains “When Pippin was first produced in the ‘seventies, it’s macramé-sets and Bob Fosse choreography set the style for revival after revival. This tuneful ensemble musical became a favorite choice of school and college theatre departments. As a result, Pippin may appear to have more in common with Monty Python’s Spamalot than the romance and emotion of Camelot with which it shares more serious themes and a meditation on kingship and love. It is reported that Fosse’s staging and choreographic choices led to heated arguments with lyricist Stephen Schwartz and librettist, Roger O. Hirson.”
Composed during the Vietnam era, the musical contains anti-war themes that are just as current today. Pippin is the son of Charles the Great (the real life, Charlemagne). who spread the power of the Holy Roman Empire throughout Europe and beyond whilst waging war against the “infidels” Charles confronts his demons, tries to steer Pippin away from fighting towards books but Pippin proving that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree has ambitions to be a greater warrior than his father.
“Pippin’s tale is told by a company of actors, who have “magic to do…just for you! Miracle plays to perform!” This style of theatre was current in the Middle Ages, when morality and miracle plays were performed to educate people in Christian values. A feature of their staging was the “Hell’s mouth,” into which devils threw sinners to burn everlastingly. In a secondary theme relating to our contemporary fascination with celebrity and instant stardom, Pippin, in the-play-within-the-play is tempted to realize his ambitions and to shine as brightly as the sun at its zenith.” concludes Noble.
New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts, and is an educational partnership of Miami Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida. Through its partnership with the University of Florida NWSA is able to grant Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees.
NWSA’s Louise O’ Gerrits Theater is located at 25 NE 2nd Street, downtown Miami. For more information about the theater program at NWSA, please call (305) 237-3541 or visit www.mdc.edu/nwsa.