The North Carolina Theatre Kids on Broadway, an intensive theatrical training program for kids aged 7-20, will perform Pippin April 4-13 at the NCT Studios in north Raleigh. Pippin is a whimsical 1972 musical based on a footnote character in medieval history: Pippin (or Pepin), the bored and restless son and heir of the 8th Century Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne.

Originally directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, this delightful offbeat musical won five 1973 Tony® Awards, including the Best Director and Best Choreographer Tonys. Set around 780 A.D., Pippin features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell) and a book by Roger O. Hirson. Pippin ran for 1,944 performances at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway.

New York director Casey Hushion and New York choreographer Deb Leamy will stage the NCT Kids on Broadway production of Pippin, which stars John Arthur Greene (Leading Player), Noah Putterman (Pippin), Brian Letchworth (Berthe), Kyla McIntyre (Fastrada), Lauren Rodman (Catherine), and Daniel Tart (Lewis).

“Some people question doing a show like Pippin — which explores issues of war, politics, sexuality, religion, and love — with a group of young people,” says director Casey Hushion in preshow publicity. “I find it even more inspiring to share this story with young artists. If anything, Pippin has even more resonance to young people, especially to this particular generation. These kids are smart and not to be underestimated in their understandings of world events.”

Hushion adds, “It is a show about coming of age, rites of passage — the story of a young man searching for himself, for fulfillment and for his destiny. Pippin represents the quintessential adolescent….

“The show’s message promotes self-acceptance and individuality,” Hushion claims. “I think [adolescents] will relate to it much more than they would to another musical. Because of their passion and understanding of the story, it is my hope that the production will become a thrilling experience for the audience, as well as the actors. I am excited to give them this chance to let their voices be heard.”

The North Carolina Theatre Kids on Broadway present Pippin Friday, April 4 and 11, at 7 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, April 5-6 and 12-13, at 2 and 7 p.m.; and Thursday, April 10, at 7 p.m. at NCT Studios, 3043 Barrow Dr., Raleigh, North Carolina. $12. 919/831-6950. [inactive 9/04] and [inactive 4/04].