Jun 28, 2007

[Theater] Pippin on DVD

Pippin DVDI'm quite the sucker for musicals and when I first got to watch this as a kid on laserdisc, I totally fell in love with this play. While it's not the most amazing one in the world and probably not one of the best-known, but I'm sure at one point or another you've encountered the song Corner of the Sky. Yes, this is that play.

The mother of a friend took the time to make a copy of the DVD edition for me and sent it over and I am eternally grateful to her for it. It had been ages since I last got to see the version of the play - heck any version for that matter - and it sent tingles down my spine just to watch the players come out for the very first number.

This 1981 recording of the hit play is pretty good and forever shaped my image of characters. I suppose it helps that Pippin was portrayed by William Katt, who totally makes you start singing the words, "Believe it or not, I'm walking on air!" hahaha.

The story follows the life of Pippin, patterned after the hunchback son of Charlamagne. What really made it for me in terms of the play was not just the music, which was good but not quite spectacular, but more so the dancing and choreography which are unmistakably the influence of the great Bob Fosse, whom I also love.

What is also striking about the play is how they often break through the "fourth wall" so to speak which often involves audience interaction or the players directly addressing the viewers off hand. Pippin runs this way from the very beginning with the role of Pippin supposedly played by someone in the audience, although previously seeded.

Katt was pretty good in this production (and rather hot too *winks) although some of the camera work leaves much to be desired. There are a lot of close-ups that force you to focus on characters or that end up making the play a bit dumber than it should be my pointing out visual clues that could have been more subtle. More wide shots please! Ah well, too late to change things now.

I'm not familiar with any other renditions recorded for this great play, so we do the best that we can with what has been provided.

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