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By Kathy Carpenter

Brenden Dallaire – Pippin – photo by Aaron Rumley

If only life came with a roadmap. North Coast Repertory Theatre presents “Pippin,” a story of a young man who is broken and lost, seeking something, anything to make sense of his life. Directed by Nick Degruccio, Pippin is a magical burlesque- style must-see. Shining entertainment wrapped in enthusiasm.

L to R Brendan Dallaire, Jason Maddy, James Oblak – photo by Aaron Rumley

Feeling disconnected from his royal life and desiring a purpose beyond material wealth and power, Pippin embarks on a quest to find his “corner of the sky.” His adventures take him through various experiences, from war and battle to love and politics, yet he finds none of these paths provide him with fulfillment.

The enigmatic Leading Player keeps a tight grip on Pippin’s journey, enticing him with the allure of a grand finale that promises an extraordinary and unforgettable end to his story. Pippin grapples with conflicting desires – a life of glory versus a simple life of love and domesticity.

Front Jason Maddy, L-R Amy Smith, Katie Karel, Rober Zelaya – photo by Aaron Rumley

As the show reaches its climax, Pippin faces a pivotal moment where he must choose between a path of superficial glory orchestrated by the Leading Player or a simple life filled with genuine love and meaning. This decision becomes a profound exploration of the human spirit and the quest for authenticity in a world that often celebrates illusions.

Pippin and Catherine Brenden Dallaire and Katy Tang – photo by Aaron Rumley

In the end, Pippin must make a profound choice that will determine the course of his life. The musical delves into themes of self-discovery, the pursuit of happiness, and the complexities of human desires, leaving the audience questioning the nature of true fulfillment and the journey towards finding one’s purpose in life.

The actors’ performances are delightful and refreshing, led by Brenden Dallaire as Pippin, who perfectly captures the character’s naive demeanor, capturing the audience’s heart. Jason Maddy impresses as Charlemagne, masterfully embodying the role, while Robert Zelaya’s dynamic portrayal of the Leading Player leads the cast with flair. The entire ensemble is a gift, Christmas in July.

James Oblak as Lewis – photo by Arron Rumley

Set in a contemporary setting, the abandoned theater provides a simple stage, allowing the spotlight to illuminate the vibrant and charismatic characters. With minimal props and scenery, the focus remains on the performers, immersing the audience in the journey.

Gracie Moore and Brenden Dallaire – photo by Aaron Rumley

The music, a mix of fun and catchy songs, weaves seamlessly into the narrative, enhancing the overall musical experience. The costumes play a pivotal role in creating a whimsical atmosphere, blending contemporary flair with historical details.

The timeless themes explored in “Pippin” create a unique and engaging experience, leaving the audience mesmerized by the magic of this captivating musical.

L to R – Leslie Stevens, Robert Zelaya, andAmy Smith – photo by Aaron Rumley


North Coast Repertory Theatre

Thru August 13, 2023



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