CCM’s “Pippin” Finds Its ‘Corner of the Sky’

"Sometimes I think men raise flags when they can’t get anything else up,” says Berthe...Pippin's grandmother

Review by Grace Eichler

“Sometimes I think men raise flags when they can’t get anything else up,” says Berthe. It’s hard to imagine a more timeless, yet current statement than that from Pippin’s grandmother (Michael E. Lee Jr.*).  Taking on the themes of war and love, fulfillment and expectation, and above all, magic, the College Conservatory of Music’s one weekend only production of “Pippin” brings a jubilance to the Corbett Auditorium stage once more. Styled in a mix of steampunk meets commedia dell’arte set against an industrial background (Ben Beardon’s scenic design), Director Eric Santagata brings a fresh filter on the beloved Stephen Schwartz musical. 

Pippin, the son of Charlamagne the Great, is fresh out of school and ready to find his “Corner of the Sky” and achieve his great purpose in life. Only trouble is, he can’t figure out what that is. With the help of the ensemble of Players and the guidance of the Leading Player, he sets off to find his “Extraordinary” fulfillment.

Sammy Schechter*, taking on the titular role of Pippin, has a voice that soars throughout the show, complemented by an excellent orchestra headed up by Roger Grodsky. The book is rife with jokes, most of which are enhanced by Sam David Cohen’s* Charlamagne, who helps maintain the comedic timing. The stage is dominated, however, by the real royalty of “Pippin”, the Leading Player. Christian Kidd* flits about the stage and demands you keep your eyes pinned on them from number to number. 

Costume Designer María Fernanda Ortiz a López* juxtaposes the spartan set with opulent colors and fabrics on the cast. Wig & Make-Up Designer Colin Gallaher* complements the whimsical silhouettes with ornate hairstyles and exaggerated features. 

With a score full of timeless numbers like “Magic to Do” and “No Time At All,” “Pippin” is sure to delight audiences. It’s a feast for the eyes and ears, with new surprises around every corner. After polishing a few opening night timing issues, this cast and crew are achieving their “Glory.”

CCM’s “Pippin” runs at the Corbett Auditorium March 3-6, 2022. Tickets are available at at or by calling 513-556-4183.

*CCM student

Grace Eichler is a Miami alum where she was past president of Stage Left and a mainstage performer.  She is also a Dentist, foodie, and an amazing aunt. 

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