Pippin – Now Through 9/27 At Keller Auditorium PDX
Pippin is the story of a young prince who wants more in his life. Forgotten by his father and deemed a distraction by many, he tries to follow his dream – whatever is may be – only to find that what he is looking for is not to fight in wars or take over the throne, it’s to love.
…and it’s all set in a circus/burlesque troupe.
The show started out with The Leading Player (played by Gabrielle McClinton) introducing us to the group. King Charles is a war-loving tyrant with his conniving new wife and her son, who have an odd relationship. The introduction is beautiful – different acrobatic numbers in front of a bland curtain to tease the audience, then the curtains are flung open to show high-flying performers, acrobats, and colorful lights all over the circus-esque stage.
The best part of this show happens when Grandmother Berthe sings her number “No Time At All” while hanging from a bar in the sky. Spectacular performance by Priscilla Lopez. She explained to Pippin (in song) to “live a little” while being held in the air by nothing more than a male player and her own dexterity.
I made the mistake of bringing my 5 year old daughter to see the show. Although she loved the acrobatics, the adult themes in some scenes thankfully went right over her head. But she did ask why there were people in cages “they are pretending to be tigers, honey”… when in actuality it was a heavily choreographed scene in which Pippin is exploring his sexuality with about 10 other players. Not graphic but definitely not kid friendly. Thankfully my daughter didn’t question it.
There are also battle scenes – although comedic – that may not be suitable for younger audiences.
Overall I enjoyed the show’s visual representation and some of the tricks preformed were impressive, like a slimmed-down version of Cirque du Soleil. The story was decent, but hard to follow. I think that the spectacular visuals and music make up for the story line. I feel that if you don’t know the story of Pippin and want to see the show, read up a bit about the plot line so you won’t being trying to keep up while being stunned by flying stunts and lights. The performers have some outstanding talent in their field.
Pippin is at Keller Auditorium through September 27th – buy tickets here!