BWW Reviews: PIPPIN is an Extraordinary Spectacle at the Fisher Theatre!
Pippin is an extraordinary experience that should not be missed at the Fisher Theatre. A show filled with spectacle from start to finish that keeps the audience entertained with its amazing stunts, gorgeous costumes, and outstanding musical numbers.
At the start of the show, the Lead Player, Lisa Karlin, who does a fantastic job in the alluring yet mysterious role that weaves the story along through her narrations, brings the audience into the world of Pippin. Karlin is contracted in specifically for the entire Detroit leg of the run while Sasha Allen, who normally plays the role, is out with an injury, but the audience does not miss out on anything with her in the role; she is completely captivating from start to finish. Her amazing expressive features, beautiful voice, and great dancing bring the Lead Player to life and make her hard not watch when she is on stage.
The show is the story of Pippin, son of Charlemagne (the leader of the Holy Roman Empire), who just is unable to find his meaning in life. He knows he is extraordinary, yet cannot seem to find the purpose to make him that and has to decide if the spectacle of stage life is for him or where his path should take him. Sam Lips, University of Michigan alum, is Pippin and absolutely perfect in every way. He projects emotion and really connects with the audience, making them feel everything that he is going through. Lips' is also very expressive with his facial features and his smile lights up the whole theatre. Most of all, his singing is wonderful; it just flat out makes whoever is listening to it happy, even if it a sad song, because it is such a beautiful voice.
Other notable standouts in the cast are Kristine Reese, who plays Pippin's love interest Catherine and Adrienne Barbeau who plays Berthe, his grandma. Reese is just lovely as the quirky girl. Her comedic timing is spot on and she has a melodic singing voice that is full and joyful. Her duet with Lips' in the second act of "Love Song" is especially beautiful to hear their two voices blend so perfectly together. Barbeau steals the spotlight when she is on stage. Her number, "No Time At All" is one the audience talked about at intermission and after the show, but is something that needs to be witnessed and not discussed in a review. What can be said about Barbeau is that she a true performer in every way. She captivates the entire theatre and has the stage presence and voice to do so. Her standing ovation was well deserved.
You may have seen a version of a Pippin before or heard the old cast recording, but this is not that show. This is the new Pippin; this is the revival, the four time Tony Award winning show, including Best Revival of 2013 and it needs to be seen. It is an experienced unlike any other and when you leave the theatre, it will have touched you and moved you in ways like you could have never imagined. Experience this spectacle of emotion and amazement while you have the chance.
Pippin is currently playing through June 21st at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit. For more information or tickets, visit www.BroadwayInDetroit.com.