SOUTH OTSELIC – The productions chosen for high school musicals tend to be safe and often repeated selections, but Otselic Valley is veering far from the beaten path with this weekend’s production of “Pippin.”
The play tells the story of the title character, Pippin (played by Daniel Larkin). The oldest son of King Charlemagne (played by Dusty Davis) Pippin is searching for fulfillment in life.
Throughout the course of the play, Pippin searches for purpose in war, lust, politics and power. But through the plays humorous story line, the title character eventually realizes that the purpose of life can be something much more simple.
The play begins as a band of players take the stage, led by the Leading Player (senior Tyler Davis). The Leading Player tells the audience about the show they are about to see, introduces young Pippin and, along with the other cast members, promises the audience a show full of magic, intrigue, humor, romance, illusion and battles. His promise does not fall short, as the cast of 20 students lead the audience through Pippin’s misguided mission.
Early in the show, Pippin reveals that he is searching for meaning and fulfillment in his life. In his quest, he decides to leave school and pursue other ambitions. His first opportunity comes as he returns to his father’s kingdom and meets up with his scheming step-mother Fastrada (played by Katelynn Mesko) and his less intelligent half-brother Lewis (Doug Day). Unlike Pippin, Lewis has little education and instead prefers life on the battlefield. After telling Pippin that he and King Charles are planning to go to battle against the Visigoths, Pippin decides he too wants to prove himself in battle.
The king reluctantly agrees, and leads the troops to fight in the crusades. Although they win the battle, Pippin does not find fulfillment, and instead flees to the countryside to speak with his grandmother, who was exiled by Fastrada. The grandmother, Berthe, (played by Lacey Heintz) steals the show with her one musical number, “No Time At All.”
Berthe tells her grandson he should enjoy life’s more simple pleasures, and Pippin agrees, quickly searching out some pleasurable company. However, he soon discovers that relationships without love are likewise unfulfilling.
Next, encouraged by the Leading Player, Pippin decides to try his hand at politics. After hearing of some of the tyrannical and unjust rules his father has instituted, Pippin decides to try being a leader. Encouraged by the conniving Fastrada, who hopes Pippin and King Charles may kill each other leaving Lewis as the king, Pippin decides to murder his father and take over the throne...