The 2013 Tony Award-winning revival of "Pippin" memorably took the material's traveling troupe foundation, conceived by original creator Bob Fosse, to new heights by incorporating a circus concept with the aid of Montreal's Les 7 Doigts de la Main. Heinrich, staging his 10th Fairfield Summer Theatre production, says his version will contain a dark, carnival-infused essence.
PHOTOS: Summer 2017 concerts at The Rose Music Center
“The first challenge with directing ‘Pippin’ is defining the world the title character is thrust into,” he said. “We know from the script that all the characters are part of some traveling, performing troupe. In the original Bob Fosse production, this troupe was mysterious and nebulous. In the recent Broadway revival, they were very clearly defined as performers in a glitzy Cirque du Soleil-inspired big tent show. After thinking about it for many months, I landed on setting ‘Pippin’ as a show inside an old-fashioned, seedy, traveling carnival. The character of Pippin is lured in, manipulated and tested by this troupe. I felt by setting it within this underbelly of society, it really gives the ensemble a very dangerous quality and strengthens the natural tension in the show.”
The principal cast includes Sami Shaaban as Leading Player, Allen Young as Charlemagne, Wendy Vogel as Fastrada, Chelsey Cavender as Catherine, Kathy Campbell as Berthe, Matt Neal as Lewis, and Benjamin Brown as Theo. The artistic team includes choreographer Dani Brockmann, lighting designer Eric Cimini, costumer Debbie Johnson, and conductor/pianist Darin Art.
Schwartz’s delightful score includes “Simple Joys,” “No Time At All,” “Morning Glow,” “Spread a Little Sunshine,” “On the Right Track,” and “Love Song.”
“We all want to feel extraordinary but what happens in life to make us feel that way may be different than we intended,” Embree added. “Recognizing when you have arrived to the people and time in life that makes you truly happy can be a difficult task, but when you do it’s a magical feeling that puts us all in our own special corner of the sky.”
Want to go?
WHERE: Fairfield High School Performing Arts Center, 8800 Holden Blvd., Fairfield
WHEN: July 27-30; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Next Sunday
COST: $18 for adults; $16 for students and senior citizens; $10 for children ages 12 and younger
TICKETS/MORE INFO: Call (513) 874-7469 or visit www.fairfieldsummertheatre.com