Thursday, June 17, through Sunday, June 27
Timber Lake Playhouse, 8215 Black Oak Road, Mt. Carroll IL
The winner of five Tony Awards for its 1973 debut and four Tonys for its 2013 revival, composer Stephen Schwartz's musical-comedy smash Pippin returns Mt. Carroll's Timber Lake Playhouse to the presentation of live theatre for the first time since 2019, kick-starting the theatre's 60th-anniversary season with a spectacle-driven extravaganza that ran on Broadway for a staggering 1,944 performances and was deemed “a thrilling piece of eye-popping razzle dazzle” by the New York Post.
As told by a traveling troupe of actors led by the cunning and charming Leading Player, Pippin is the story of a young prince and heir to the throne who, as his introductory song explains, is searching for his own “corner of the sky.” Pippin returns from university certain that he will find a fulfilling purpose in life. As encouraged by the Leading Player, however, the untrained royal dabbles in bloody battle, licentious and lusty sexual entanglements, and savvy political maneuvers, only to discover that true happiness is more complicated than he originally thought. With its infectious tunes and dance inspired by the original, Tony-winning choreography of Bob Fosse, Pippin is both a humorous allegory about growing up and a dark tale of the danger of false appearances and empty promises.
The Timber Lake Playhouse's season-opening production is being directed by the venue's artistic director Paul Stancato, who says, “Pippin holds a special place in my heart, as I had an opportunity to work with the book writer, Roger O' Hirschen, before he passed. Pippin brings together everything I love about musical theatre: comedy, spectacle, and heart. I believe this production will be truly magical as we return to live theatre once again.”
Featured among the cast are Timber Lake Playhouse veteran Nissi Shalome as the Leading Player, Jack Hale at the title character, Darren Mangler as Pippin's father Charles, Ciarra Stroud as the young widow Catherine, and Josh Lee as her child Theo. Rounding out Pippin's cast are Jenessa Altvader, Katelyn Baughman, Margot Frank, Luis Garcia-Gody, Megan Graal, Autumn Key, Joey LaPlant, Quinn Martin, Caleb Mathura, Eli Nash, and Emma Resek, and the venue's executive director Dan Danielowski says, “We are all very excited to be re-opening after over a year of closure.”
Pippin will be staged June 17 through 27 with scheduled performances at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, admission is $20-30, and more information on the show and the summer season is available by calling (815)244-2035 and visiting TimberLakePlayhouse.org.