The popular Broadway musical, now touring with added circus elements including flying trapeze and tumbling, is the spring offering from the Gatesinger Company, Ltd. Although there will be no flying, the Troupe of Mysterious Players, under the tutelage of Leading Player (Tina Crandall-Gommel), will present performances filled with magic, merriment, and holy war.
This coming of age story revolves around Prince Pippin (Justin Gommel), son of Charlemagne (Jeremy Cummings), and his quest to be something other than ordinary. Recently graduated from Padua, he returns to the castle to join his half brother, Louis (Craig Packard), in their father's army. When he finds that he is not very
good at war, he tries religion, ruling, and frolicking – urged on by his feisty grandmother, Berthe (Lois Fiegl). Pippin's sexy, ambitious stepmother, Fastrada (Kasi Krenzer Marshall), talks him into joining Charlemagne in prayer at Arles, where he “kills” Charlemagne and
becomes the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire – which he screws up.
Enter Catherine (Mackenzie Wood) and her son,Theo (Cole Talbot), who try to domesticate Pippin. Throughout the show, he is led into adventure and misadventure by the devious Leading Player, who sets him up to learn harsh life lessons. The Troupe, hoping to fulfill Pippin's quest for glory, entices him into starring in the lethal, but
Rounding out the cast are lead dancers Amber Hanna, Kate Woodard, and Sarah Woodard, and the chorus of Mike Mulberry, Sue Mulberry, Dan Montondo, Larissa Myhowych, Tamara Kelley, Morgan Bates, Audrone Gecas, Nancy Meister, Katie Cummings, Caleb Nagel, and Victoria Webster.
The cast and crew includes six members of the original 1980 cast, which was directed by David E.Cooper -- director Karen Skerrett Nail, choreographer Nan Hanna-Paquin (formerly
Berthe), Mike Mulberry (formerly Charlemagne), Sue Mulberry (formerly Catherine), Dan Montondo, and lead guitarist Paul Henry. “It has been a pleasure to take the magical memories of my first experience with this wonderful show and make new magic nearly 40 years later,” said Karen.
The choreography is a combination of Nan's original, with some added movement from the new version of the Broadway show. “Those dance moves are so incredible that I wanted to
incorporate them as an homage to Bob Fosse,” said Nan. “The cast members – young and less young – have risen to the occasion with great skill and dedication.”
Pippin will be presented at Gates Hall, 4107 Lake Road, Pultneyville, NY, on April 6, 7, 13 and 14 at 8 p.m. and on April 8 and 15 at 3 p.m. Tickets ($14.00 adults and $12.00 for students
and senior citizens) can be purchased online at www.gateshall.com or reserved by calling 315-589-3326.