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PIPPIN A musical comedy in 1 act, 8 Scenes. Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz: Book by Roger O. Hirson Directed & choreographed by Bob Fosse Imperial Theatre, Broadway - 23 October, 1972. Moved to Minskoff Theatre 15 March, 1977. Closed 12 June, 1977. (1944 perfs) Her Majesty's Theatre, London - 30 October, 1973 (85 perfs) SYNOPSIS The man 'born to be King' or rather Emperor, has a problem - boredom. Pippin, eldest son of Charlemagne, tired of books, war, love and politics, in his quest for happiness finally finds fulfilment only in peaceful domesticity. This brilliant score is set in the dazzling court of the 8th Century Holy Roman Emperor. Once upon a time, the young prince Pippin longed to discover the secret of true happiness and fulfilment. He sought it in the glories of the battlefield, the temptations of the flesh and the intrigues of political power (after disposing of his father King Charlemagne the Great). In the end, he found it in the simple pleasures of home and family. STORY Act 1 This musical begins with the Leading Player of a traveling performance troupe and the accompanying Players inviting the audience to witness their show, breaking the fourth wall (“Magic to Do”). They begin telling the story of Pippin, (who they say is being portrayed by a new actor making his stage debut), the first son of King Charlemagne. Pippin tells the Players of his wish for satisfaction, believing he must find his purpose in life (“Corner of the Sky”). Pippin then returns home to the castle and estate of his father. Charlemagne and Pippin don’t get a chance to communicate often, as they are constantly interrupted by nobles, soldiers, and courtiers vying for Charlemagne’s attention (“Welcome Home”). Pippin also meets with his stepmother Fastrada, and her dim-witted son Lewis. Charles and Lewis are planning on going into battle against the Visigoths soon, and Pippin begs Charlemagne to take him along as a soldier to prove himself. He reluctantly agrees and proceeds to explain the battle plan to his men (“War is a Science”). Once in battle, the Leading Player and the Players express the battle through dance (“Glory”), with the Leading Player and two lead dancers in the middle (performing Bob Fosse’s famous “Manson Trio”) whilst depictions of violence and dismemberment occur behind them. Pippin believed that combat would give him satisfaction, but he is instead horrified and decides to flee to the countryside (“Simple Joys”). There, Berthe (his paternal grandmother, exiled by Fastrada) tells Pippin to stop worrying about his future, and rather to enjoy the pleasures and comforts of the present (“No Time At All”). Pippin takes this advice to heart and searches for more lighthearted pastimes. He begins to enjoy many meaningless sexual encounters, but it soon becomes overwhelming and Pippin forces all the women away (“With You”), discovering that relationships without love leave you feeling “empty and vacant”. The Leading Player enters and talks with the now exhausted Pippin, suggesting that fulfillment can be found in fighting against his father’s tyrannical ways. He agrees, and becomes the leader of a revolution against his father. Upon Fastrada’s realization of Pippin’s plan, she takes advantage of it by devising a plan of her own— If Pippin either successfully kills Charlemagne, or if Pippin is arrested for treason, Lewis will be next in line for the throne either way. She gets Charlemagne to go to his annual prayer early, and she tells Pippin that he will be at the chapel unarmed (“Spread a Little Sunshine”). At the royal chapel in Arles, Pippin murders Charles, and the people bow to their new king, rejoicing that the tyranny has come to an end (“Morning Glow”). The Leading Player mentions to the audience that they will break for now, but to expect a thoroughly thrilling finale.[Note 1]