“Pippin” comes to BSM

Jack Rahill


Mary Youngblut

This year, BSM’s theater department will be performing “Pippin” for the fall musical.

Jackie Bucaro , Staff Writer

This fall, the BSM theater program will be performing the musical Pippin, which was originally performed on Broadway in the 1970s. The original production of the musical won five Tony awards for its acting and choreography and was nominated for six others.

The musical has some roots in European history. “Some of the characters are based on real historical figures, such as King Charlemagne and one of his wives, Fastrada. But it’s…extremely historically inaccurate,” sophomore Julia Dimino, who plays Fastrada, said.

Plot-wise, the story is relatively dark. “If you get into it, it’s kinda morbid…the concept of it is we are trying to take this boy and perform…this act where he burns and dies in the end,” sophomore Claudia Larson, a member of the ensemble, said.

Pippin’s dark mood is developed through its unique dance. The style of dance is Fosse dancing, which describes a unique style of jazz dance developed by choreographer Bob Fosse. Fosse dance has been described as stylish––but also sexually suggestive, as it was first developed in nightclubs. There was a chance that a dance of this nature would not have been permitted at BSM. “We toned it down, so it’s not that [bad] anymore,” Larson said.

Since dance is such a large part of the musical, Pippin’s cast includes five featured dancers. The dancers serve to develop the performance aspect of the play. “I think they kind of bring the lightheartedness to it because it’s…a dark show,” Eloise Ashton-Piper, a sophomore and featured dancer, said. 

I think they kind of bring the lightheartedness to it because it’s…a dark show.”

— Eloise Ashton-Piper

Besides the featured dancers, Pippin’s ensemble does a lot of dance as well. The ensemble’s dances work in a similar way to those of the featured dancers: developing the musical’s mood. Each dance has a particular impact that has to be communicated. “The opening dance number is the most important, and it has to have the most energy and get the most attention,” Larson said.

While major roles such as Pippin (Matthew Hansberry) and the Leading Player (Julia Hoover) are essential to the story, the actors of Pippin believe that every role is important. “If you didn’t have an ensemble, you wouldn’t have a performance,” Larson said.  

BSM’s production of Pippin will be showing on the evenings of October 25th through October 28th. “It’s gonna be awesome, everyone should come and see it!” Dimino said.