Mines Little Theatre’s spring show season is now underway with the recently returned musical, Pippin. While its most recent incarnation involved flips, tricks, and every manner of circus style flash, MLT’s more modest take on the show promises to deliver an equally poignant piece of musical theatre.
The show will run from April 7th to April 16th at the Colorado Mountaineering Center, a venue change from Green Center. Abby Hentges, MLT president, hopes this change will benefit the club—suiting its technical needs while giving the club a more visual place in the community. With almost two months between auditions and the cast’s first rehearsal, Jan. 18, the club has finally started the ball rolling. At this point there is little more to the production than bare bones and enthusiasm, but in standard theatre kid style the entire cast and crew is fully ready to work hard for the next few months.
Wednesday night’s rehearsal brought together a rather large and boisterous group of friends, as well as a few welcome newcomers. The cast read through the show, peppered by spirited interjections and hilariously off key chorus numbers. The evening quickly revealed the amazing dedication and strong vocals of Leading Player, Abby Hentges, and brought the innocent Pippin of Blake Sanders’ to light. First time MLT leads Dalton Metz, Madeline Stelter, and Megan Beaudoin were not to be out done as they brought their characters of King Charles, Fastrada, and Grandma Berthe, respectively, to life.
The show itself is a curious analysis of one of life’s greatest challenges—finding oneself. And after that, finding meaning in every-day things. The show’s flexible use of narrative and the fourth wall cast a new perspective on these age old queries. The story of Pippin is told by a travelling theatre troupe, led by the Leading Player, and they certainly toy around with an audience’s sense of suspended disbelief. A careful balance between serious philosophical tones and well-timed comedic relief is carried through the show. The show boils down to one spectacular ‘unparalleled finale’ and the dilemma Pippin faces because of it.
Director Rory Pierce, an active member of Denver’s theatre scene, has set the tone for Pippin’s cast and he plans to use every opportunity to bring the show’s travelling troupe to the stage. The other half of MLT’s trusted directorial duo is Match Samu, an established musician and musical director. The two of them have previously worked on Jekyll & Hyde (2015) and Young Frankenstein (2016). They are excited to work with the club on Pippin as well.