'Pippin' set to delight audiences

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Thu., Oct. 31, 2013
Meredith Coon (left, as Fastrada) and David Brewer (as Lewis) rehearse a scene in the Creative Experiences' production of 'Pippin,' opening on Nov. 7 at Gideon Welles School. Photos by Steve Smith.
Meredith Coon (left, as Fastrada) and David Brewer (as Lewis) rehearse a scene in the Creative Experiences' production of 'Pippin,' opening on Nov. 7 at Gideon Welles School. Photos by Steve Smith.

Glastonbury's Youth and Family Services' Creative Experiences will be performing the popular Broadway musical "Pippin," with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, based on Roger O. Hirson's book. The unconventional play uses the world of a mysterious acting troupe to showcase the story of Pippin – a young prince who is searching for a more meaningful life, away from that of his father's army of soldiers.

Max Konken plays the title role, and said that being on stage for most of the show is a bit of a challenge, but one that he is getting something out of. “It's really tiring, but it's all worth it,” he said. “He really wants to find something fulfilling to do with his life, but he finds out that relationships are the key to that.”

One of those relationships is with Catherine, a young widow and mother played by Katie Muldoon. “He's worrying about his life, but she kind of helps him out,” Konken said. “She relates to him, and that causes him to fall in love with her.”

Muldoon said Pippin is really shy and wants to make his life special, but finds several trials and tribulations along the way. Catherine teaches him some of his most valuable, but simple lessons, and also reflects some of his traits back to him.

“She's a little ditzy, but happy,” Muldoon said. “Underneath, she's a very smart person. He falls in love with her, but he has to decide on his own if that's what he wants.”

The troupe only had a short six weeks to pull off the production, but Muldoon said the cast has pulled together, helping each other to constantly improve. “We're like a family,” she said. “This cast is awesome.”

As part of one of the musical numbers, the cast members make a human pyramid, cheerleader-style. As of a week before opening, they had yet to master it, but felt confident they would by the time the curtain rises. “We've yet to successfully build it, so it's kind of funny to see how that's going to come together, but hopefully it will for the show,” Muldoon said.

Konken said audience members will relate to Pippin's story and how he feels. “He wants something in his life, but he realizes that he already has it,” Konken said, adding that the story often uses little ironic lessons to teach that.

Muldoon said she thinks the cast brings some of the show's Broadway success to Glastonbury. “It's funny, and it's got a lot of cool dancing. It's also very touching. It's easy to laugh at, but you'll laugh at yourself, too.”

"Pippin" will be performed Nov. 7, 8 and 9 at 7 p.m. at Gideon Welles School. For ticket information, call 860-652-7662.


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