Generic Theatre Company presents this weekend its first musical, Pippi, a humorous tale of a young prince trying to find his way in life.
The show was produced on Broadway under the direction of world-renowned choreographer Bob Fosse. Director and choreographer Frannie Rosenberg recreated this magical musical with a style that reflects the spirit of the Fosse production.
The choreography is original, clever and follows along with Fosse’s utilization of space and action, creating asymmetrical patterns across the stage with the dancers. Also, Rosenberg’s focus on sharp and seductive movement gives the show flare.
Costuming is kept simple and sassy with all the players dressed in black, gray, red and glittering silver. Following along the simple lines, the backdrop and stage set-up also incorporates the same color scheme as the costuming, giving the stage and actors more cohesion.
The immense amount of talent in acting, singing and dancing carries the show. Some actors definitely deserve commendation. Devin McCalla, the female leading player, has an incredible voice. Sarah Brown brings the right combination of conniving, sass and charm to her role as the scheming stepmother, Fastrada. Austin Myerson has a strong presence on stage as Charlemagne. He very well could be the king he plays. Cody Lindquist adds memorable moments to the show as the hilarious and spunky grandmother, Berthe.
Despite the many positive attributes of the show, there are some drawbacks. The show has been slow coming together, and the cast and crew only had their first full run-through Monday. At that point, lighting and sound was rather shaky; however, that should be amended by opening night. The actors seemed to rush through their lines at times when they should have drawn them out for either dramatic effect or to give the character better presence on stage. Again, it is a problem that should be taken care of by opening night.
Yet some drawbacks may not be easily resolved. In some scenes, the dancers are not as sharp or coordinated as they should be to get the full impact of the choreography.
Anyone familiar with theater knows that a show often comes together at the very last minute, and this could be the case with Pippin. Regardless of the quirks, the production’s strengths are enough to carry its weaknesses. By opening night, the Generic Theatre Company’s first musical should be magical like it’s advertised.
Pippin will be performed in Downstage Lisner Thursday through Sunday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $3.