Pippin the Musical

CP Spring Play: Pippin The Musical

Carolina Viegas



This spring the Carle Place High School theater company presents Pippin the Musical. Pippin follows a traveling performance troupe who invite the audience to witness their show. The story is based on the trials and tribulations of Pippin, the son of King Charlemagne. The group introduces the pippin as an actor making his stage debut, with the actor playing Pippin changing each night. Once the actors get their Pippin of the night, they hand him a script and tell him to go along with the show. 


The show explores ideas such as “what does it mean to be an extraordinary person” and “Living a fulfilling life”. These ideas can be seen in the songs, story elements, and various characters that appear in the show. The Leading Player, who acts as the narrator, keeps promising Pippin that he will find something that is truly fulfilling and that he is destined to be great. As the story progresses, Pippin tries new activities like being King and joining the army, but in the end finds out that those activities don’t. Finding that being a king or war hero didn’t bring him satisfaction, Pippin tried to live an ‘ordinary’ life by settling down and starting a family. Although living as a farmer and husband was stable, Pippin didn’t want to settle for this because he believed there was something more fulfilling and exciting in life. Unbeknownst to Pippin, the leading player has been carefully orchestrating the events taking place in Pippin’s life and is planning something nefarious. 


In the finale of the musical, the Leading Player tells Pippin that the only thing in life that will be truly fulfilling is setting himself on fire and becoming “one with the flame”, exiting the world in a fiery aura. As Pippin slowly makes his way up the stage, he comes to the realization that his ordinary life as a husband who loves his wife was what brought him genuine happiness. He realizes that life is more than just money, power, and glory. In the end, Pippin  decides to step away from the flame, defy the Leading Player and live out his life with the love of his life. In another twist of events it’s revealed that Catherine, the widow with a son who marries Pippin, is a part of the show. At first, Catherine wanted to see Pippin die but as she got to know the gentle and caring side of Pippin she started to develop actual feelings for him. The show ends with Catherine and her son, Theo, standing next to Pippin as they resist the Leading Player’s plea for Pippin to light himself on fire. Angered that her plan didn’t work, the Leading Player tells the crew to put the lights out and get rid of Catherine, Theo and Pippin’s costumes and make up, and declares that the show is over. In the dark, Pippin and his new family sing a song together and they exit the stage, signaling a new life for Pippin. The show ends when Theo walks back on stage and starts to sing by himself. This causes the troupe of performers to reenter the stage and surround him, seemingly choosing their next victim. This ending was extremely mysterious and creepy because the audience is left with a feeling of uncertainty about what’s going to happen to Theo. 




Pippin teaches us valuable lessons on life. The overarching theme in Pippin is for people to persevere and never give in to temptation. Throughout Pippin’s journey to find fulfillment, he never loses hope on finding what truly makes him happy. 


Although Pippin faces many hardships throughout the course of his life, he is still determined to be extraordinary. Pippin is able to avoid temptation, when the Leading Player and the other actors try to get Pippin to go into the fire. 


  In the end, Pippin realizes he is already extraordinary and he doesn’t need wealth, popularity, or power to prove that he is special. By accepting who he really is, Pippin is able to finally lead a fulfilling life. This is the powerful message that the play teaches to teenagers. Although people may dream for a life filled with opulence and luxury, it’s often the simplest things in life that bring joy. The real lesson of Pippin is that life itself is extraordinary, and we should live it to the fullest.