Pippin Review: Classic Broadway with a Magical Twist

If you loved the music from Wicked, chances are you’ll love the music in Pippin – as they both come from the same composer. I hadn’t seen the play before and was honestly clueless to the plot going into the show, but by the time the curtain closed and the cast had taken their final bows – I had fallen in love.

Pippin Official Description

Diane Paulus’ new, circus-inspired production of Pippin features an acrobatic troupe of performers, led by the charismatic Leading Player. The ensemble cast tells the story of Pippin, a young prince who longs to find passion and adventure in his life. To prove his loyalty to his distracted father, King Charles, Pippin goes to war. But when the Leading Player convinces the prince to fight tyranny, Pippin kills Charles and takes over the throne. Realizing his mistake, Pippin begs the Leading Player to bring his father back to life, and she obliges. The prince falls in love with Catherine, a widow with a young son, and (much to the Leading Player’s chagrin), Pippin struggles to decide whether he should settle down and pursue a peaceful life or continue to make magic with the dazzling troupe of performers.

The storyline was a bit muddled to me from what you read above, but the actual performances and the show’s overall tone are magical. That’s both the good and bad – the performances are so entertaining that they overpower the story. However, the message I took away is still there and quite apparent.

Those of us that grew up as dreamers imagine everything through such hopeful eyes. Life will be extraordinary, and we’ll change the world. We’re filled with so much inspiration and desire for something great. However, as the years pass – what is seemingly ordinary gets overlooked, because it’s not the grandness that we imagined. However, it’s often far more grand once we have that moment of realization. That’s the struggle that Pippin faces. He wants something fantastical, however – when he finds love he doesn’t realize that it’s everything he could have ever wanted – because it’s not how he imagined it.

I won’t spoil the ending for those of you that aren’t familiar with the story, but the unconventional twist was most welcomed in a world where entertainment has become highly predictable.

Kyle Dean Massey shines in the role of Pippin, but the real star of the show was Lisa Karlin as the Lead Player. She embodied everything that Pippin brings to the audience – a feeling of classic Broadway paired with a hint of Cirque du Soleil and a dash of magic. It’s a timeless show that has a wonderful retro vibe delivering catchy songs, beautiful set design and costumes that make you want to time travel back to a circus in the early half of the 20th century.

Nevermind the plot issues, it’s still a good show.


You can pick up tickets for an Atlanta show from now through May 10! They can be purchased through the FOX Theatre Box Office or online at www.ticketmaster.com!

Grade: B+

Photo Credit: Terry Shapiro


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