The University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and Lake Country Playhouse are co-producing the summer musical "Pippin," with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Roger O. Hirson.
Led by creative team Steve Decker, associate professor of theatre and communications at UWM- Waukesha; Sandra Renick, professional director at Lake Country Playhouse; Cathy Pfeiler, professional musician and music director at Lake Country Playhouse and Ryan Cappleman, professional actor, director and choreographer in Milwaukee, “Pippin” opens Friday, August 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Waukesha campus.
Performed by a cast of seventeen (including students and community members), “Pippin” follows the son of Charlemagne (leader of the Holy Roman Empire) as he struggles to find meaning in his life. A group of traveling carnival performers under the direction of the charismatic Leading Player set the stage for a unique dramatic journey, introducing Pippin to the audience with the song Magic To Do. Pippin has just returned from University and is ready to spread his wings. Guided by the Leading Player on his quest, Pippin fights in war, seeks out his grandmother's advice and sows his wild oats. Even simple domestic life leaves him unsatisfied. The Leading Player suggests a final grand gesture to end the show in style.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the University of Wisconsin to partner with one of Waukesha County's leading arts organizations, Lake Country Playhouse," said co-director Steve Decker. "Blending the many talents of the two groups promises to raise the bar to create a stellar production. With wonderful tuneful songs such as "Morning Glow," "Simple Joys" and "Spread a Little Sunshine," “Pippin” is a dance-filled journey that has something for everyone - passion, intrigue, humor and plenty of magic," Decker said.
Cast members include: Allan Zablocki, Milwaukee as Pippin; Romesh Alex Jaya, Milwaukee as Leading Player; Caleb Cady, Waukesha as Theo; Kelly Kuczkowski, Palmyra as Fastrada; Karl Miller, Milwaukee as King Charles; Ashley Sprangers, Menasha as Catherine; Mike Travia, New Berlin as Lewis; and Maggie Wirth, West Allis as Grandma Berthe. Ensemble members include: Jacob Allen, Waterford; Ben Geinke, Waukesha; Eleanor Hannan, Wauwatosa; Hannah Hinners, Waterford;
Joseph Hoelzer, Waukesha; Bree Kazinski, Dousman; Jordan Levene, Waukesha; Alyssa Proell, Hartland; Olivia Rasa, Waukesha;
Crew members include: Steve Decker, Co-Director and Scenic Design, Waukesha; Sandra Renick, Co-Director, Waukesha; Ryan Cappleman, Choreographer, Milwaukee; Catherine Pfeiler, Music Director, Hartland; Margot Colette Lange, Stage Manager, Waukesha; Jazmin Aurora Medina, Costume Design, Franklin; Morgan Brenner, Lighting Design, New York City; Marissa Holcomb, Stage Crew, Waukesha; Megan Munro, Properties Artist, Hartland; and Adam Jermain, Master Electrician, Madison.
Musicians include: Blair Bielawski, flute/clarinet/sax; Julie Fraleigh, piano; Keith Raleigh, bass; Brian Kummer, guitar; Ken Marchand, percussion; Lindsay Patterson, cello; and Tammy Tissicino, piano.
Five performances of “Pippin” are set for Fridays and Saturdays, August 17, 18, 24, 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, August 26 at 2 p.m. in the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, located in the Fine Arts Center on campus at 1500 N. University Dr., Waukesha. Tickets are $20 adults, $18 students/seniors. Admission is free to UW-Waukesha students with a photo ID. General admission tickets are available online at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3351759 and at the door. The box office opens an hour before each performance. For ticket information, call 262-521-5212.