Directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun, the musical began previews at the CTG/Mark Taper Forum Jan. 15 and officially opened Jan. 25. The production boasts both deaf and hearing actors, who sign and sing.
Michael Arden (Big River, The Times They Are A-Changin'), a hearing actor, and Tyrone Giordano (Big River), a deaf actor, both play the title role at each performance. They are joined onstage by Ty Taylor as The Leading Player, Troy Kotsur as Charles, Sara Gettelfinger as Fastrada, Tony winner Harriet Harris as Berthe, Melissa van der Schyff as Catherine, James Royce Edwards as Lewis and Dan Callaway as the Voice of Charles. Nicolas Conway and José F. Lopez Jr. rotate in the role of Theo. The ensemble comprises Jonah Blechman, Rodrick Covington, TL Forsberg, Rebecca Ann Johnson, John McGinty, Anthony Natale, Aleks Pevec, Victoria Platt, Nikki Tomlinson, Alexandria Wailes.
Pippin features a book by Roger O. Hirson and a score by Stephen Schwartz. The musical, according to press notes, is "the captivating coming of age story about a young man's search for meaning in his life, as told by a lively band of troubadours in the Roman Empire. The episodic quest of Pippin, the son of the powerful Charlemagne, takes him through battlefields, orgies, revolution, and finally, love and domesticity, as he tries to find a place for his 'spirit to run free,' for his 'corner of the sky."
The production also features set and costume design by Tobin Ost, lighting design by Donald Holder, sound design by Philip G. Allen, illusions by Jim Steinmeyer, music direction and arrangements by Steven Landau and orchestrations by Tom Kitt.
CTG and Deaf West first paired up in 2002 for Big River, which eventually played Broadway. Tickets, which begin at $20, are available by calling (213) 628-2772 or by visiting www.CenterTheatreGroup.org. For the deaf community, call TDD (213) 680-4017 for tickets and information.