Exceptional cast brings `Pippin' to life at Glenelg

Musical: A young man falls in love with a young widow, only to realize he wants more out of life.

March 11, 2004|By Annie Stephenson | Annie Stephenson,HOWARD HIGH SCHOOL

Murder! Mayhem! Betrayal! Lust!

Sounds a little too good to be true for a high school musical, huh? Not so with Glenelg High's production of the vivacious, energetic Pippin.

Pippin is the story of a young man on a search for meaning in his life. He tries being a soldier, but he just isn't cut out for it. He tries being an artist, but as Pippin says, "You have to be dead to find out if you're any good!"

Finally, he finds himself on a young widow's farm and falls in love with her, only to realize he wants more out of life. Pippin is a moving and captivating story, performed to near perfection by Glenelg High School's drama department.

The production opens to a literal show of hands, all wearing white gloves and glowing under a black light. From there, we meet the Leading Player, the narrator brought to life by the talented Caroline Bowman.

The Leading Player role is similar to Chicago's Velma Kelly. Bowman brings a truly unique character to the mix and plays her with style and confidence. What makes Bowman's performance more amazing is that the part of the Leading Player is written for a male. Bowman had never done any dancing, yet she was dancing with confidence throughout the show.

After meeting the Leading Player, we meet our hero, Pippin, played by senior Byron Asher. During the show, Pippin has some hilarious and beautiful moments. Hilarious, such as the awkward hug he and his father, Charlemagne the King, share. Touching, such as the romance between Pippin and Catherine. Catherine, played by Alyssa Ketterer, has a strong, smooth alto voice, like honey.

I've seen other high schools perform Pippin and fall far short of the show's great potential. This time, Glenelg High School lived up to what Pippin can be: a powerful, funny show with brilliant music. Glenelg's production went beyond my expectations.

Annie Stephenson reviewed "Pippin" for the Baltimore Cappies, a program in which high school students review student productions and vote on annual awards for outstanding performances. Glenelg High School presented "Pippin" on March 5-7.

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