Short & Sweet critics Shirlanne Lemm and Jamie Cheesebro review Pippin with Diana Martinez
Critics for the day - co-workers Shirlanne Lemm and Jamie Cheesebro of Carol Stream - joined forces to review Pippin. Lemm and Cheesebro, who work together at the GOA Regional Business Association, were particularly impressed by the talent. According to Cheesebro, the show was "amazing."
See below for a review by Diana Martinez of Broadway in Chicago
Pippin is Filled with Magic for You!
By Diana Martinez
The 2013 four-time, Tony Award-winning musical Pippin has popped up its circus tent at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago for a stop on their national tour. Pippin tells the story of a young man in search for his purpose and meaning in life. Will he choose a happy but simple life? Or will he risk everything for a singular flash of power and glory?
The story is told by a unique troupe of traveling players. As the play begins we see an acting troupe, with the Leading Player inviting the audience to watch their magic as they help in telling Pippin's story. This amazing ensemble is filled with a cast of quadruple-threat talent who can sing, dance, act and perform jaw-dropping acrobatics and circus stunts that leave you wanting more. This first-class cast had the audience up on their feet and stopped the show with an ovation halfway through the first act. This is a don't-miss production.
The show is presented in an avant-garde mash up of Fosse-style jazz dance and Cirque du Soleil acrobatics (with a dash of sexual innuendo). For instance, watching the king practice his knife throwing routine with his wife, while having a heated conversation with her about their kids, raises the stakes of the scene to a whole new level. There's so much going on that several times throughout the show I found myself thinking, "I want to come back and see this again to take it all in." The cast is led by "The Leading Player" performed masterfully by Sasha Allen, a 2013 finalist on "The Voice". She has a unique powerful sound and brands the role with her own style and flourishes. The music is catchy and features Steven Schwartz's timeless score that includes Broadway standards "Corner of the Sky," "Magic To Do," "Glory," "No Time at All," "Morning Glow," and "Love Song."
This tour features the very salty and seasoned Adrienne Barbeau who literally stopped the show in a touching and funny trapeze act, where she imparts her "time to start living your life to the fullest" wisdom on her grandson in a full on sing-a-long with the audience. Barbeau and the cast shatter the fourth wall throughout the show and the audience loved the interaction and spontaneity. The show's overall message endures its 70s origins and inspires us to live life to the fullest and remember it's the relationships and the simpler things in life that really matter.
The show runs about 2 hours and 35 minutes with an intermission. It's the perfect date night show night show and great for those 16 and up. Bottom line this is a FUN show and an uplifting night out! The show plays at the Cadillac Palace Theatre until August 9th. On behalf of the Daily Herald, thanks for reading! I look forward to seeing you at the theatre.