Pippin, the mystical musical about a young man seeking significance and meaning to his life, is being presented this month at the Agoura Hills Performing Arts Education Center.
With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwarz, this local incarnation is produced by Agoura High’s theater arts department and directed and choreographed by Noel Britton. Britton describes the production as a cross between the original 1972 Broadway version and the current touring revival. “We’ve updated it,” she said. “We incorporate elements of both into a mix I like to call Steampunk and Moulin Rouge.”
The show, minimally staged with a post-modern feel, follows a troupe of traveling actors. The production will feature students from Agoura High’s theater, music and dance departments, Britton said. “The students share their talents across the board,” she said.
Once again, the Agoura High production is double cast to allow many students to showcase their talents. Mackie Kravitz, 18, is one of two cast as “Leading Player.”
“This is unlike anything you’ve seen before,” said the senior who will attend USC in the fall. “It’s experimental and abstract and allows the actors a lot of creative freedom.”
In this production, Kravitz said she will allow the “vibe” from the audience to dictate her performance and plans to break the fourth wall.
Brandon Lawrence, 17, plays the pompous “King Charles. “This show is tons of fun,” said the student who joined the theater department in his junior year. “It’s a true ensemble performance.” Lawrence aspires to be involved with music education and will attend Moorpark College.
The role of “Fastrada” will be portrayed by Katie Pirzadeh, 18. “She’s Charlemagne’s wife, and she’s very crass and devious,” said longtime theater student who hopes to attend Syracuse University in the fall.
All of the cast members agree that performing at the PAEC is a unique experience. “I’ve toured a lot of colleges and nothing compares to this,” said Pirzadeh. “We are very lucky to have this in our midst.”
Britton promises that the production is family friendly and will appeal to a wide audience. “It speaks to everyone,” she said.
Kravitz agrees, “Pippin is a make you feel good show and it has the best ending of any musical.”
The production runs April 28-May 2. On May 1, from 5:30-6:45 p.m., Agoura High will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary–Celebrating the Arts–with a special pre-show reception to include a dessert bar.
To purchase tickets for evening and matinee performances, go to www.thepaecs.org.