‘Pippin’ prepared to dazzle audiences

The Sam Houston State University Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre’s next big show is “Pippin.”

The production is directed by Penny Hasekoester, choreographed by Kyle Craig-Bogard and music directed by Laura Avery and Eric Gunderson.

The show has a cast of 24 actors, with eight leading roles and sixteen supporting cast roles known as the Troupe of Players. The leading cast includes Brandon Schultz as Pippin, Malik Cole as Leading Player, Aaron Ruiz as Charles, Tanith Albright as Catherine, Enrique Cantu as Theo, Anna Drake as Fastrada, Ian James as Lewis and Audrey Rose as Berthe.

“I find the cast to be kind of innovative, very creative, very focused, very intuitive about a lot of things and a real willingness to understand and play the character because many of them play multiple characters,” Director Penny Hasekoester said.

“Pippin” is an adult musical that focuses on Pippin—the young prince, heir to the Frankish throne.

He encounters the cunning Leading Player and his traveling troupe of actors. Pippin is searching for his own place in life, joins the troupe and commits insidious deeds with them. Pippin goes through this journey to learn what real happiness and fulfillment are in his life.

“Pippin” has elements of being a humorous story about growing up and taking responsibility, but it is also interlaced with darker undertones that warn a precautionary tale. The musical is based on the original production from 1972 with the original musical works of Stephen Schwartz, the choreography of Bob Fosse and the book by Roger O. Hirson.

Choreographer Kyle Craig-Bogard explained the challenges of approaching the show.

“It’s hard approaching a Fosse show in that you want to honor the style that is so intrinsic in the music that he has created for the show and especially the dance segments and yet trying do your own thing– it is a fine line to walk,” Craig-Bogard said.

“Pippin” is running April 18-21. It will be at the University Theatre Center in the Erica Starr Theatre. General admission tickets are $15 and discounted tickets are $12 for those who are senior citizens or those who have a Bearkat OneCard. For more ticket information, anyone can contact the box office at 903-294-2339.

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