Trevor Wingerter, Sean Brandt and Annika Tupper are getting ready to wow the crowd with Pippin by Fireside Singers in Saskatoon on May 22, 2017. (Michelle Berg / Saskatoon StarPhoenix)
Sean Brandt lives a double life. By day he’s a mild mannered teacher at Warman High School, by night, he’s a powerhouse of musical theatre. Brandt is set to play the title character in the Fireside Singers production of Pippin. “Many of my students have no idea I moonlight as a singer,” says Brandt. “It’s not uncommon these days to have a day job that puts money in the bank and then to have a second life in what feeds your soul.”
Brandt’s duality mirrors the character he plays and the whole plot of Pippin. This show is a play within a play. It follows a travelling troupe of actors, singers and dancers as they arrive in Saskatoon to stage a musical. The show they are staging follows Pippin who has just left University and is trying to figure out what he wants to do with the rest of his life and find his passion. “The minute he thinks he’s sure of himself, something comes along and rips the rug right out from under him,” explains Brandt.
This show is unlike anything the Fireside Singers have staged before. Artistic director Marilyn Whitehead says she wanted to bring something new to Saskatoon audiences this year. “This performance gives us the chance to put 72 cast members on stage for almost the entire time,” says Whitehead. “There’s no waiting in the wings while three or four performers do their thing.”
“This performance gives us the chance to put 72 cast members on stage for almost the entire time. There’s no waiting in the wings…”
Well known in musical theatre circles, Pippin is a huge undertaking because of the staging itself. Whitehead credits director Albert Couture and choreographer Kelsey Stone with creating a production that lives up to the hype. “The staging and choreography that has been created by our team, some amazing dance numbers, they all add energy and magic to the show.” Adds Whitehead, “Our cast has grown so much artistically in preparing for this light-hearted show. We want the audience to come along for the ride and leave the theatre happy.”
For Brandt, Pippin has been a great challenge. “It’s very demanding musically, we are pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone trying to get the notes right.” He says, “The best part of this whole show for me is that in this rendition, Pippin can’t dance which is perfect for me because I also suck at dancing!”
Pippin is a show about finding your home and Brandt says he’s found a home on the Fireside Singers’ stage. “We share a love of musical theatre. I met my wife through this group,” he says. “This really becomes a part of everything you do.”
June 1 & 2, 2017
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
Click here for more details on tickets.