To celebrate Tom’s birthday, we went to see “Pippin” at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore. It’s always been one of my favorite musicals, and I’ve seen it twice, on Broadway and at the Kennedy Center. It’s about the son of ninth-century emperor Charlemagne, who’s searching for what he should do, trying to find his “corner of the sky”—a theme we can all relate to. Stephen Schwartz created its memorable music, and Bob Fosse, the high-energy choreography.
The current revival features a circus theme, and the highest praise I can give is that I don’t think I ever want to see this musical again, because no other version could possibly be better! The acrobatics and magic that director Diana Paulus has added make the show perfectly entertaining, yet leave its core message intact. John Rubenstein is wonderful as Pippin’s father—he starred as the original Pippin back in 1972. If you ever get the opportunity, go to see this circus version of “Pippin”!
Afterwards, we ate an Italian dinner at Amicci’s in Little Italy near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, and I had spumoni for dessert: a delicious trifecta of cherry, pistachio and bacio chocolate ice cream.
A few days earlier, I went with some other Unitarian Universalist church members to an iftar (break the fast) dinner at a mosque in Fairfax. Every evening during the month of Ramadan this mosque, composed of mainly Turkish members, is inviting people from other churches over to share a meal cooked by a Turkish chef and provide an opportunity to get to see their mosque and learn about their beliefs from a moderate, peaceful imam.
It was sweet how they let a two-year-old boy run around and through them while the men prayed in lines—a very child-friendly place. The women wore head scarves, but we didn’t have to. One woman who looked as American as apple pie and was born in West Virginia, said she investigated various religions, and when she got to Islam, she said it felt like coming home. To each his/her own, as long as religions encourage people of the world to peacefully co-exist, as their style of Islam from secular Turkey does.