|Mt. San Jacinto College theater students rehearse for the musical "Pippin", which opens Oct. 10 in Temecula.|
Rehearsals are in progress for Temecula’s version of "Pippin", the hip, tongue-in-cheek musical that is currently captivating Broadway audiences. It is the 2013 Tony Award winner for
Best Musical Revival, originally done by legendary director/choreographer Bob Fosse.
The Old Town Temecula Community Theater production is a collaboration between the long-standing community theater company, the Fine Arts Network, and Mt. San Jacinto College’s Menifee Performing Arts program. Cast members are not just learning their songs, dances and acting scenes, but they’re also getting things like magic tricks, acrobatics and stilt walking under their belts.
“We’re combining some of the best elements from the current Broadway show and the Fosse original," she said. "Having played the part of Fastrada in a New York production, I have always loved this show. It is the perfect balance of heart and spectacle.”
This high-energy musical has a beloved score by Tony nominee Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Wicked) who is also a three-time Oscar-winning composer/lyricist for the animated films Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Prince of Egypt. Musical Director Jeremy Brown, a drummer and percussionist who has shared the stage with Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones, is excited about this opportunity to work in musical theater.
“Stephen Schwartz’s score is full of surprises, fresh grooves and beautiful colors,” Brown said.
Rounding out this professional production team is Shezwae Powell, artistic director for the Fine Arts Network, who is a veteran performer of five Broadway shows and 13 London West End shows.
“Local groups and colleges never get the rights to do current Broadway Tony winner," Powell said. "Usually you have to wait years for a show to finish on Broadway and national tours to be over before the performance rights are given out to smaller theater companies. We are thrilled they had the confidence in us to give us the opportunity to do this show now.”
"Pippin" is the story of a young prince, son of King Charlemagne the Great, who is spurred on by a mysterious troupe of performers to embark on a death-defying journey to find the meaning of life. Will he choose a happy but simple existence? Or will he risk everything for a singular flash of glory? This jubilant show with its heartwarming story, soaring music, Fosse-esque choreography, magic and acrobatics is an extravaganza sure to thrill, deliver plenty of laughs and touch the heart.
"Pippin" opens on Oct. 10 at Old Town Temecula Community Theater. For tickets, call 866-653-8696 or log onto fantheater.com.