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Pippin Engages Audiences During Weekend Performances: A Review

Elements of an entertaining musical include songs that are memorable, lights that are appealing to the eye, and acting that’s amazingly convincing.  Nutley High School's performance of Pippin took place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 9, 10 and 11. This three-night spectacle of a show was directed by NHS English teacher Michael Gurrieri and choir teacher, Nicole Monte.


The cast, lighting, and costume team certainly made this show a night to remember.  The lead characters of the show were Pippin (Eric Sebek), Fastrada (Olivia Grzywinski), Leading Player (Matthew Rodriguez), Berthe (Alexandra Rubens), Lewis (Luke Surretsky), Charles (Wesley Gardner), Theo (Mark Surretsky), and Catherine (Katarina Zonic).  


The first song opened with a jazzy orchestra and gentle humming. This song was very significant because of how it set the stage for the entire performance. Right off the bat, I was enthralled by Rodriguez’s rich and strong voice carrying out the first verse of “Magic to Do.” 


Following this, the purpose of the show was revealed in the surprisingly energetic and vibrant chorus singing about the cast having “Magic to Do.” We were then introduced to the 11 featured dancers through a talented and well-choreographed number. “Magic to Do” ended with an uproar of applause, cheering, and even students shouting the names of cast members on stage.


The show exhibits the hard work of every actor and crew member who collaboratively put on the performance. While a lot of the responsibility to embody the energy and liveliness of Pippin fell onto the actors, the show itself would not have been complete without the stunning visuals of the set, lighting, and dedication of the crew. The perfectly-timed spotlights capitalized on every important moment and facial expression, while the set worked with the costume pieces with the intention of fully immersing the audience in the medieval setting. After the crowd-pleasing song was performed, the show went on, telling the story of a man who went on a journey to find meaning and fulfillment in his existence, and life.


“Overall, being the lead was really fun and a lot of work," said Eric Sebek who played Pippin. "I enjoyed being a part of the production so much. It was a wonderful experience. I would definitely do a show at NHS again, and I plan on it.”


The show was a success, in the sense that it wowed the audience, and was an enjoyable experience for those involved.