Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pippin: His Life and Times (1981)

Never heard about this musical before, bought the dvd, and hoped it would be good. Last night I watched it and yes, it's one of the best musicals I have seen. I think the stage decor is very creative and the choreography is quite complex. It's communicative, too, with the audience and to see it live perhaps would bring more joy (than to see it on dvd).

The music by Stephen Schwartz is nice, but for me, my appreciation goes more for the director and choreographer: Bob Fosse. I just think that I would not have enjoyed it much if it had not been directed and choreographed that way. The cast is also very good.

King Charlemange is the king of the holy Roman empire and Pippin is his eldest son. Pippin is a scholar, while his brother Lewis is a soldier. Pippin tries to be a good soldier, too, at first, but after a gory war and what it does to their people, he begins to question his father's policy. Pippin kills his father, becomes king, and realizes that it's in fact hard to keep peace. Thanks God that this is a musical comedy, so he can bring his father back alive (unlike Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers who cannot bring her twins back). The events are narrated by Leading Player. The settings and costumes change from present to Middle Ages. There are lots of creativity here.

In sort, if you haven't watched Pippin, you must put it on your list now; and for those who don't have enough money to go watch it live, you must at least watch the dvd: rent it, borrow it, or simply buy a copy.

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