Theater/Dance/Performance Art

Pippin

When: Fri., July 20, 8 p.m., Sat., July 21, 8 p.m. and Sun., July 22, 2:30 p.m. 2012

Ruling a fair chunk of the known world, the son of the great Emperor Charlemagne wasn't satisfied. So the young Pippin set out to find greatness, happiness and fulfillment. The life story leads us far and wide as Pippin tastes the glories of the battlefield, the seductions of the flesh and the aphrodisiac of political power. Strangely enough, the biography is delivered to us in a series of vaudeville-style sketches by a gang of com media dell'arte clowns. Or it's strange until we remember that composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz brought Pippin to Broadway in 1972 while his Godspell was still in the first third of its five-year run off-Broadway. Clowns were pretty much stamped as Schwartz's heroes-of-choice once Pippin was produced — with notable songs that include "Magic to Do," "Corner of the Sky," "Morning Glow" and "On the Right Track." Pippin was last seen hereabouts at Theatre Charlotte in 1993, and that's where it returns this week, presented by the Theatre Charlotte Student Theatre Guild (students aged 14 through college). Theatergoers familiar with Charlotte's amazing teen groups won't hesitate.

Perry Tannenbaum

Price: $12-$15

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