★★★½☆ - Satisfying
The Nevada Conservatory Theatre (NCT) presents a most satisfying 3½ Star production of PIPPIN through May 6th in UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theatre.
This wondrous visual treat is set in the circus-like court of the 8th Century Holy Roman Emperor. At the start, two Leading Players introduce the audience to their world, a theatrical caravan. The large ensemble cast joins the Leading Players in welcoming the audience with magic tricks, dance and other elements of spectacle, preparing the audience for the story that they are about to tell ("Magic to Do").
Pippin is the story of a young prince, heir to the throne, who is searching for his own “corner of the sky.” Pippin returns from university certain that he will find a fulfilling purpose in life. As encouraged by the Leading Players, Pippin dabbles in bloody battle, licentious and lusty sexual entanglements, and savvy political maneuvers, only to discover that true happiness is more complicated than he thought. Pippin is both a humorous allegory about growing up and a dark tale of the danger of false appearances and empty promises.