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Pippin paves “Extraordinary” Launch of Inauguration Week


The spring musical “Pippin” was presented by the Muskingum University Communication, Media, & Theatre and Music Departments March 30 – April 2.

The musical, performed in the Sandra Wolfe Thompson Theatre in Philip and Betsey Caldwell Hall, was the final theatre performance for the school year.

“It has been a major commitment from vocalists, accompanists, and a massive collaboration from all departments,” said Professor of Theatre Diane Rao.

Elijah Branham, as the lead Pippin, sings “Corner of the Sky” in the first act.
Muskingum University sophomore Eli Branham played Pippin during the four-day production. The musical focused on the journey of the title character as he attempted to find his pace in life.

“This is a lot of hard work but it does pay off, we all have dedicated a lot of time and this has been a very satisfying experience,” said Branham.

“Pippin” was the final production for Technical Director and Associate Professor of Communication and Theatre Ron Lauck, who will retire after a 31-year career at Muskingum.

“Since this is Ron Lauck’s last show here at the university, we really want to send him off with a bang,” said Rao.

Mallory Fischer, the Leading Player, guides Pippin on his journey to a fulfilling life. Photo: Marty Kurtz
The Tony Award-winning “Pippin” made its Broadway debut in 1972. The playwright was Roger O. Hirson and music was composed by Steven Schwartz, who is known for his work with “Wicked.” This was the first time “Pippin” was performed at Muskingum.

The “Pippin” cast included Branham with Mallory Fischer as the Leading Player, Johanna Whetstone as Fastrada, Nicholas McInturff as Charles, Lane Hunt as Lewis, Kaylee Piatt as Catherine, Zackary Devoll as Theo, and Caroline Heading as Berthe. The Band of Players included Kenzie Back, Ryan Burkhart, Sarah Crawford, Brian Lewis, Elyse Meyers, and Donald Purkey.

The cast of “Pippin” finish their rendition of “Magic to Do.”  Photo: Marty Kurtz
The musical was under the direction team of Rao, Assistant Professor of Music Emily Oehrtman, Associate Professor of Communication Gene Alesandrini, and Stage Manager Tricia LePage with Assistant Professor of Music David Turrill as conductor for the live 12-member orchestra.

The Sunday finale performance of the show kicked off Inauguration Week, celebrating Muskingum’s 21st President Dr. Susan S. Hasseler.

Crumb and Cup Changes Name


The Crumb and Cup Alley Café owner, Garrett Chapman, is changing the name of the local coffee shop to Chapman’s Coffee House.

Chapman has been the owner of the Crumb and Cup since October 29, 2016 and recently felt change was needed for his coffee shop in order to promote his own unique brand.

Garrett Chapman, owner of The Crumb and Cup Alley Cafe, is in the process of changing its name to Chapman's Coffee House.
Garrett Chapman, owner of The Crumb and Cup Alley Cafe, is in the process of changing its name to Chapman’s Coffee House.

“We kind of wanted to tweak it, make it our own, and put our name on it,” said Chapman.

He had many discussions and conversations with his wife before they decided on changing the name since the coffee shop had gone through previous owners and names before the Chapmans took control.

“I wasn’t really sure if I wanted do it at all,” said Chapman. “It had change[d] names so many times, the previous owners did a good job and had a good following, and I didn’t want to scare people off.”

He ultimately decided on Chapman’s Coffee House because he wanted to keep it simple, smooth, and he felt like the previous name was too long.

As far as their services, Chapman said there will only be small tweaks to the menu but most things will stay the same.

Chapman hopes the name change results in better branding, especially on the coffee side, and would like to open a second shop in the future.

He isn’t worried about negative backlash from the change.

“We’ve built our own customer base, and I think we’ve done pretty good, so I feel comfortable changing the name,” said Chapman.

The coffee shop is located in the rear of 68 W Main St. in New Concord. Their business number is 740-826-0299.