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    Pippin 

Pippin

  • Audience Surrogate: Pippin is a type 1 and 3.
  • Becoming the Mask: Happens to the actor who plays Pippin in the play within a play. He becomes obsessed with finding a unique purpose in life, like the character he plays, to the point where he contemplates suicide at the players' behest.
  • BSoD Song: Pippin's final song.
  • Call to Agriculture: This is what Pippin ends up settling for. Not that he's not happy with it.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Definitely one for Pippin. Though not in the way you might think...
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Pippin, though it wasn't originally in the script. The original actor for Pippin had absolutely no luck with the costume department in regards to shoes. He could never find a pair of shoes that were comfortable, so one night, fed up, he decided to do the whole show barefoot. It wasn't easy. In his dressing room after the curtain call, Bob Fosse came in. The actor prepared himself for a grovelling apology, but instead Fosse gushed, "I love it! Barefoot! Gives you that innocence." Since then, there's been an Original Cast Precedent for Pippin being barefoot, with the 2013 revival one of the few exceptions.
  • Glory Seeker: At one point Pippin takes after his Miles Gloriosus half-brother and becomes a glory-seeking warrior, but it doesn't take long for him to become disillusioned.
  • The Good King/Royals Who Actually Do Something: Pippin tries to become this but it turns out to be much harder than it looks.
  • Grumpy Bear: Pippin, as Catherine observes in "I Guess I'll Miss the Man" qualifies as one.
    Catherine: Some days he wouldn't say a pleasant word all day. Some days he'd scowl and curse, but there were other days when he was even... really worse.
  • Historical Domain Character
  • "I Am" Song: "Extraordinary"
  • It's All About Me: Pippin. When you think about it, this is really the whole point of the show. He has a freakin' song just about how special he thinks he is. Notably, the first action that he takes in the show that isn't about his own fulfillment ("Prayer for a Duck", which he sings after deciding that life at Catherine's manor is too ordinary for him) ends up forming the connection to Catherine and Theo that allows him to find an alternative to death at the end.
  • "I Want" Song: "Corner of the Sky" is Pippin's, and one of the best examples of the trope.
  • The Magnificent: After Pippin is crowned king, the Leading Player dubs him "King Pippin, the Charitable" for distributing money to the poor, "King Pippin, the Just" for giving land to the peasants, and "King Pippin, the Peaceful" for abolishing taxation and the army. Then, when the threat of war forces Pippin to suspend all these reforms, Fastrada dubs him "King Pippin, the Unpopular."
  • Tenor Boy

    Charlemagne 

Charlemagne


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    Fastrada 

Fastrada

"Enter: Fastrada. Pippin's step-mother. Devious: crafty, cunning, untrustworthy: but a warm and wonderful mother. Dedicated to gaining the throne for her darling son, Lewis."
Leading Player
  • Catchphrase: "After all, I'm just an ordinary housewife and mother, just like all you housewives and mothers out there."
  • Evil Matriarch/Mother Makes You King: She wants to make her son Lewis king, and she's down with killing Charles and Pippin to do it.
  • Historical Domain Character
  • Hot Consort: To Charles, of The Vamp type.
  • "I Am" Song: "Spread A Little Sunshine." Also her Villain Song.
  • Incest Subtext: Due to Original Cast Precedent, some productions have subtext between Lewis and Fastrada. It's usually shown more through choreography and subtext than dialogue.
  • Playing Gertrude: She is often played an actress close in age to Lewis, which contributes to the Incest Subtext.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    Fastrada: Events move so swiftly it's hard for a simple woman like me to keep up. But something tells me that one day… soon… I will be able to say what every mother wants to say… "My son, the king."
  • Xanatos Gambit: She encourages Charles to attend his annual prayer, where he will be unguarded. Under the pretense of conciliation, she then tells Pippin where Charles will be, and when. If Pippin assassinates Charles, Lewis will be next in line to the throne. If Pippin is caught and executed, Lewis will be next in line to the throne.
    Lewis: Mama… if Pippin kills Father…
    Fastrada: You'll be next in line for the throne, darling.
    Lewis: But if Father discovers Pippin's plot and executes him…
    Fastrada: You'll be next in line for the throne, darling.

    Lewis 

Lewis

  • Ambiguously Gay: Lewis is often played this way. Some productions cast a gay actor as Lewis to enhance this.
    Lewis: And oh—those Visigoth women. I don't mean to shock your bookish sensibilities.
    Pippin: I'm only shocked that you're interested in women now.
  • Incest Subtext: Due to Original Cast Precedent, some productions have subtext between Lewis and Fastrada. It's usually shown more through choreography and subtext than dialogue.
  • Historical Domain Character
  • Miles Gloriosus: Lewis is a strong but stupid type who likes wearing shiny breastplates, swinging a sword around and boasting about the number of enemies slain by his hand.

    Catherine 

Catherine

  • "I Am" Song: "Kind of Woman"
  • Nice Girl: One of the nicest characters, as she takes care of Pippin in the late stages.

    Leading Player 

Leading Player

  • Affably Evil: Despite being a Treacherous Advisor and a Chessmaster, she/he is quite friendly to the audience.
  • The Chessmaster/Manipulative Bastard: Leading Player controls everything that goes on in the play. Everything.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Leading Player wears a black costume.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Leading Player doesn't have a name.
  • For the Evulz: Let's face it, if Leading Player has any other motivation for killing Pippin(s), we don't know it.
  • Gender-Neutral Narrator: Original Cast Precedent has the Leading Player as male, but numerous productions, including the 2013 Broadway revival, have cast females. Aside from the changing of keys, it doesn't make much difference. Ben Vereen (in the 1970's) and Patina Miller (in 2013) have the distinction of the first time a man and a woman have each won a Tony for the same role. The original actor was an African-American man, and the role has since been played by people of different ethnicities as well.
  • Large Ham: Ben Vereen impressed the producers with his audition so much that the role of the Leading Player was created for him out of what was previously two smaller, less important roles. The Hamminess of the Leading Player has continued ever since.
  • Lemony Narrator: The Leading Player definitely has a separate agenda, often makes comments on the actions of the other players and as we eventually realize, is a very fleshed-out character.
  • Terms of Endangerment: The Leading Player often calls Pippin "baby" and has the final line, "You try singing without music, sweetheart." It happens more and more as the play goes on, especially in the Grand Finale.
  • Treacherous Advisor: The Leading Player is one to Pippin, pretending to be a Mentor Archetype.
  • The Vamp: Productions with a female Leading Player tend to portray her this way.

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