Parsons Street Players Find Their Corner of the Sky with “Pippin”

Although “Pippin” takes place in a time of kings and court jesters, its message could not be more relevant today. So says Rye High School Musical Director Michael Limone, and for students, it’s the perfect coming-of-age vehicle for dealing with the perception that everyone must be extraordinary.

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Published February 28, 2012 4:48 PM
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s-pipthumbAlthough “Pippin” takes place in a time of kings and court jesters, its message could not be more relevant today. So says Rye High School Musical Director Michael Limone, and for students, it’s the perfect coming-of-age vehicle for dealing with the perception that everyone must be extraordinary.

 

By Sarah Varney

 

Although “Pippin” takes place in a time of kings and court jesters, its message could not be more relevant today. So says Rye High School Musical Director Michael Limone, and for students, it’s the perfect coming-of-age vehicle for dealing with the perception that everyone must be extraordinary.

 

s-pip2The RHS Parsons Street Players (PSP) will perform the ‘70s musical March 2 and 3 at the Performing Arts Center. Mr. Limone is assisted once again by Jimmy Locust, a choreographer who has worked with Michael Jackson and danced at the Grammys and Academy Awards.

 

Luiza Almeida, Rob Keller, and Lindsey Noto have been cast as The Leading Player, Pippin, and Catherine, respectively. The Ensemble, made up of approximately 25 PSP members, acts as a kind of Greek chorus with swords, torches, top hats, and canes instead of togas.

 

First performed on Broadway in 1972, “Pippin” was written and composed by Stephen Schwartz of “Wicked” fame. It’s a play within a play with a multi-layered plot. On one level, “Pippin” is the story of a young prince casting about for a completely fulfilling career. He tries on the roles of soldier, profligate, religious adherent, and even king. Will he take the reins of the throne and become “extraordinary”? Must he be that? If not, is a life that is “ordinary” worth living?

 

s-pip1It’s not your ordinary musical, that’s for sure, noted Mr. Limone. “I love the ride it takes the audience on. Most musicals are pretty straightforward but there’s an other-worldly element to ‘Pippin’ that makes it unique.”

 

“Pippin” is primarily a tale of self-exploration. Pippin wrestles with the weight of his supposed specialness and finds it very difficult to live up to. “These kids really understand this kind of pressure,” Mr. Limone added.

 

The curtain goes up March 2 at 8 p.m. There is a matinee performance March 3 at 2 p.m., and a final show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 adults, $5 students. Admission is free for seniors.

— Photos by Anne and Joel Darelius

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