Palmdale Repertory Theatre’s production of “Pippin” is a coming-of-age tale about a young man searching for fulfillment.
“Honestly, ‘Pippin’ is one of those shows where I think it has the biggest impact the less you know about it when you come to see it,” Director Clare Durand said.
Audiences will get six chances to see “Pippin.” The musical will be on stage at the Palmdale Playhouse for two weekends beginning Oct. 18 and continuing through Oct. 27.
“Pippin” has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, who wrote “Godspell” and “Wicked” and a book by Roger O. Hirson. The musical made its Broadway debut in 1972. Palmdale Repertory Theatre’s production is based on the 2013 revival.
“One of the things that’s been a real challenge about doing ‘Pippin’ is it’s very free-form. The script has the lines in it, but conceptually, it’s almost like Shakespeare; it can be sort of anywhere at any place or any time,” Durand said.
She last directed Palmdale Repertory Theatre’s production of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” in 2017. Her last onstage performance was as the bat in last year’s production of “Dracula: The Musical?” also staged by Palmdale Repertory Theatre.
Marco Aguilar, president of PRT’s Board of Directors, hopes audiences will give the show a chance.
“The good thing about this show is that it’s not a household name but people like it. Clare’s a really strong director,” he said.
Actor Nick Aguilar, 19, plays Pippin — his first lead role. He first saw the show when he was 13 or 14 years old.
“Something about the show just really resonated with me,” he said. “I’m a big fan of Stephen Schwartz, I love his music. And when I saw that they had auditions for the role, I was like, ‘Oh, this is my chance. I get to play this role, this was a dream role of mine.’ I’ve always wanted to play it, and so I went to the audition,” he said.
Clearly, Nick Aguilar made it. He described “Pippin” as a high-energy show.
“A lot of the show is really up to interpretation … It makes you think at the same time,” he said.
Actress Shandar Robinson plays Leading Player. She is a Simi Valley resident who most recently starred in “Sister Act.”
“It’s a great show and lead player is a great part,” Robinson said. “I knew about Leading Player before I even know what show he was from.”
Actress Patina Miller won Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Leading Player in “Pippin’s” 2013 revival.
“I’ve seen Patina do it at the Tonys and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s a fun song,’” Robinson said.
Leading Player became a role Robinson added to her bucket list. When the opportunity to audition for Palmdale Repertory Theatre’s production came up, she jumped at it.
“This is what I do, this is my job,” Robinson said, adding the commute from Simi Valley is not such a problem.
“Pippin” performances are scheduled for 8 p.m., Oct. 18, 25, 19 and 26 and at 2 p.m., Oct. 20 and 27 at the Palmdale Playhouse, 38334 10th St. East.
Tickets cost $22 for adults and $20 for seniors, military, students and children 12 and younger.
For details call 661-267-5684, or visit www.palmdaleplayhouse.com