Photo Flash: Music Theatre Wichita Presents PIPPIN
Music Theatre Wichita continues its 2018 Season with one of the first regional productions of the newly revised Pippin, reflecting the changes composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz and librettist Roger O. Hirson introduced in the 2013 Broadway revival. Directed and choreographed by Emmy-nominated Al Blackstone ("So You Think You Can Dance"), the lavish production features a 32-member cast in an all-new staging. The fourth of five self-produced musicals in MTWichita's 2018 season, the run continues through July 29. Disney's The Little Mermaid will conclude the season August 8-18.
Starring as Pippin and the Leading Player are Skyler Adams (National Tours of Pippin and Waitress) and Debra M. Walton (The Pajama Game, Cookin' at the Cookery), with Kim Fauré (Cats, Nice Work If You Can Get It) as Fastrada, Kristine Reese (Les Misérables) as Catherine, Jeffrey Coon as Charlemagne, and Karen L. Robu as Berthe. Musical Director Thomas W. Douglas leads the 14-piece orchestra.
Aerial choreography was designed and taught by Sihka Ann Destroy, whose circus school The Last Carnival is located in Lawrence, Kansas. Other members of the artistic team include lighting designer David Neville, sound designer David Muehl, and hair and makeup designer Danae Jimenez.
About Music Theatre Wichita - Founded in 1972, MTWichita is internationally recognized for self-producing five high-quality Broadway-scale productions each summer during an intense 10-week period, while providing unparalleled learning experiences for young up-and-coming artists. It has been the site for the world premiere of the revised Good News!, the U.S. premiere of Betty Blue Eyes, and the regional premieres of such Disney titles as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, and High School Musical. MTWichita has also created cast albums for Honk! and Good News!
Notable artists who began their theatrical careers in Wichita include performers Kelli O'Hara, Kristin Chenoweth, Jenni Barber, Christiani Pitts, Chris Mann, and Ashley Park, as well as choreographers Andrew Palermo, Josh Rhodes, Josh Prince, Sara Edwards, Dontee Kiehn and Nicholas Palmquist. MTWichita alumni performing on Broadway this season include Caesar Samayoa, Shina Ann Morris, Jeremy Davis, Riza Takahashi, Cory Lingner, Sasha Hutchings, Halli Toland, Max Clayton, Erin Clemons, Ryan Vasquez, Molly Rushing, Jacob Gutierrez, Cameron Hill, Michael Hartung, Becca Petersen, Wes Hart, Lauralyn Mcclelland, Gilbert L. Bailey II, Alex Finke, Kevin Munhall, Kathryn Boswell, Alex Michael Stoll, Kaleigh Cronin, Benjamin Rivera, Kimberly Elayne Sprawl, Max Kumangai, Ximone Rose, and many more.
Photo Credit: Jerry Fritchman.
The Leading Player (Debra M. Walton) and company have "magic to do" in MTWichita's production of Pippin, playing July 25-29 at Century II. Photo courtesy Jerry Fritchman.
King Charlemagne (Jeffrey Coon) and company proclaim that "War is a Science" in MTWichita's production of Pippin, playing July 25-29 at Century II.
Berthe (Karen L. Robu), Pippin's grandmother, encourages him to live in the moment in "No Time At All." MTWichita's production plays July 25-29; photo courtesy Jerry Fritchman.
Lewis (Jake Smith) and his mother Fastrada (Kim FaurÃ©) plot to ensure Lewis ascends to the throne sooner rather than later in MTWichita's production of Pippin, playing July 25-29 at Century II. Photo courtesy of Jerry Fritchman.
The company of Pippin, performing the choreography of Al Blackstone. MTWichita's production plays July 25-29; photo courtesy Jerry Fritchman.