Pippin: Coming to a theater very near you

Nick Moone

Music, dance and comedy will grace the stage of the San Diego City College’s Saville Theater as the Broadway musical “Pippin” stands in the spotlight starting April 9.

“The play is the tongue-in cheek story of Pippin, son of the eighth century King Charlemagne, who is on a quest to find his true calling in life,” Director June Richards described through e-mail correspondence. “He goes through war, love, politics and other pursuits before settling down with Catherine and her son.”

The musical features the Leading Player role, played by Trevor Peringer, who “blessed with the gift of magic,” and acts as narrator for the story.

Peringer graduated from City College and then moved on to UCSD. He has performed throughout San Diego and created several performance pieces.

He could not be reached for comment.

Alicia Rincon and Richards, both co-chairs of the Visual and Performing Arts department will be co-directing the show.

Richards said they purchased a DVD of the original version of the play by Bob Fosse in order to “better understand his choreographic style.”

“The challenge was to find a way to integrate [his] concepts into the show,” Richards said.

Finding the “unknown” to be one of the most exciting aspects of choosing this musical, Richards and Rincon also said, “There were many aspects of the story to tell and finding a way to blend the sophistication and charm was the most challenging.”

The piece is being presented in a Commedia dell’arte style in which a large portion of the play will be improvised drama.

“[We] prefer to work with and utilize improvisation in our productions. This play lends itself to improvisation and is a joyful, charming and witty theatrical experience,” Richards said.

Richards also said this created challenges for the theater students performing on stage.

“We enjoy an excellent reputation in providing productions of excellence,” Richards said.

“What is seldom discussed is the rehearsal process. We are usually working with a large percentage of students with little or no experience,” Richards said.

The co-directors take responsibility for facilitating a successful showing with minimal experience to pull from.

“It is our job to help them look and sound as though they have been performing all their lives,” Richards said.

The musical will run through April 25. Performances will be on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and on Sundays at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $10.

For more information, call the box office at 619-388-3676 or email Richards at [email protected]