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Pippin, also known as Pippin: His Life and Times, was a 2005 dance-musical based off the Broadway musical by Steven Schwartz and staged by Fargo North High School. It ran from December 8 - 11, 2005. It was directed by Tom Gillen and won the Tommy Award for the best show of 2005.

PlotEdit

The play begins with the leading player (Dan Glaser) and his band of players as they invite the audience to join them in a story about a boy prince named Pippin (Erik Fiebiger) who searching for fulfillment in life("Magic to Do"). Pippin tells the audience of the time about his dreams ("Corner of the Sky").

Pippin then returns home to the castle and estate of his father, King "Charles" Charlemagne (Tyler Lambert-Perkins) ("Welcome Home"). Pippin also meets up with his step-mother Fastrada (Ginny Glaser), and her handsom son Lewis (Dan Solberg). Charles and Lewis are planning on going into battle against the Visigoths soon and Pippin begs Charles to take him along so as to prove himself. Charles reluctantly agrees and proceeds to explain a battle plan to his men ("War is a Science").

Once in battle, the Leading Player re-enters to lead the troupe in a mock battle-dance as to glorify warfare and violence ("Glory"). However, the war does not appeal to Pippin and he flees into the countryside. The Leading Player tells the audience of Pippin's travel through the country, until he stops at his grandmother Berthe's place (Lanna Jackson)("Simple Joys"). There, Berthe tells Pippin not to be so serious and to live a little ("No Time At All"). Pippin takes this advice and decides to search for something a bit more lighthearted in an overwhelming "flirtation festival".("With You").

The Leading Player then tells Pippin that perhaps he should fight tyranny and uses Charles as a perfect example of an unenlightened tyrant to fight. Pippin plans a revolution and Fastrada is happy to hear that perhaps Charles and Pippin will both perish so that Lewis can become king. Fastrada arranges the murder of Charles, and Pippin falls victim to her plot ("Spread a Little Sunshine"). While Charles is praying at Arles, Pippin murders him, and becomes the new king ("Morning Glow").

However, with Pippin as king now, he realizes that neither he nor his father could change society and had to act as tyrants and brings his slain father back to life. Pippin is left without direction until the Leading Player inspires him ("On the Right Track"). After experimenting with art and religion, he travels and stumbles upon an estate owned by Catherine (Eliza Snortland) a widow, with a small boy, Theo (Grant Testrud) ("Kind of Woman"). At first, Pippin thinks himself above such boring manorial duties as sweeping, repairs, and milking cows ("Extraordinary"), but eventually he comforts Theo on the sickness and eventual death of his pet ("Prayer for a Duck") and warms up to the lovely Catherine ("Love Song"). However, as time goes by, Pippin feels that he must leave the estate to continue searching for his purpose. Catherine is heartbroken, and reflects on him (much to the Leading Player's anger and surprise) ("I Guess I'll Miss the Man").

All alone on a stage, Pippin is surrounded by the Leading Player and the various troupe members. They all suggest that Pippin complete the most perfect act ever: the Finale. They tell Pippin to jump into a box of fire, light himself up, and "become one with the flame." Pippin is reluctant, but agrees that perhaps suicide is the best way to go ("Finale"), but he is stopped by his natural misgivings and also by one actress from the troupe—the woman playing Catherine. Catherine and her son Theo stand by Pippin and defy the script, the Leading Player, and Fastrada. Pippin comes to the realization that the widow's home was the only place where he was truly happy. After the set is dark with the lighting, makeup, and costumes from the stage are gone, the Leading Player becomes furious and calls off the show, telling the rest of the troupe and the orchestra to pack up and leave Pippin, Catherine, and her son alone on an empty, dark stage. Theo remains on stage and sings the chorus of "Corner of the Sky", after which the Leading Player and the troupe return to begin work on this new prospect.

ProductionEdit

Auditions were held in late September 2005 in the North High choir room. Production ran for over two months until Pippin's opening release on Thursday, December 8, 2005. It ran for four days until Sunday, December 11, 2005.

In 2006, a 2-disc DVD was released of the production featuring the first act on disc 1 and the following act on the second disc. The DVD also featured a scene selection list in a breakdown format by song.

Ending choiceEdit

Director Tom Gillen decided that his version of Pippin would feature the offical alternate ending used for the play. Other than the original Broadway ending, the play ends with a much darker down note.

CastEdit

Featured DancersEdit

Band of PlayersEdit

SongsEdit

Act I
  • Magic to Do
  • Corner of the Sky
  • Welcome Home
  • War Is a Science
  • Glory
  • Simple Joys
  • No Time at All
  • With You
  • Spread a Little Sunshine
  • Morning Glow
Act II
  • On the Right Track
  • Kind of Woman
  • Extraordinary
  • Prayer for a Duck
  • Love Song
  • I Guess I'll Miss the Man
  • Finale

TriviaEdit

  • Originally, high school senior at the time, Justin Welk, was going to portray the part of Lewis. However, due to his busy schedule with DECA, the part was given to Dan Solberg.
  • Pippin was in production for over two months which hold's the record as North's longest play in production.

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