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Armenian Culture, Science and Education Development Foundation
02/12/2014

Theater Review: Andrea Martin Flies High In ‘Pippin’

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BY ARAM KOUYOUMDJIAN

The word “showstopper” is often used loosely and, as a result, its meaning has come to be diluted. A true “showstopper” is a moment in a play or a musical so wondrous that the prolonged applause it inspires actually brings the performance to a halt. It is a remarkable feat of theater that Andrea Martin achieves in the revival of “Pippin” that originated on Broadway and is playing at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood through November 9.

“Pippin” is set in the Middle-Ages but tinged by the kitschy 1970s – the decade of its premiere. Named for the eldest son of the emperor Charlemagne, it depicts the younger royal’s search for a life of meaning and fulfillment. His adventures are myriad, as recounted by an enigmatic performance troupe that re-enacts the journey.

Conceived as a big top circus by director Diane Paulus, this incarnation of “Pippin” features acrobatics in the style of Cirque du Soleil; the staging lends visual spectacle to a show that’s long in duration and short on memorable songs.

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