Pippi first appeared on the Scottish Rite stage in April 2013 and is back by popular demand in February 2016.
Our first experience at the Scottish Rite Theater in Austin (21st Century Arts in a 19th Century Opera House) was for a concert back in August for the Red Yarn show. It was intimate, magical, and both our kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves…as much as us parents. We’ve been meaning to go back, but schedules have been hectic since Brooke began kindergarten yet when I saw that they were going to be doing a performance of Pippi Longstocking (some of my favorite books when I was little), I knew I had to take the girls. We saw one of the first showings and the theater is doing the play from February 6 through the 28, 2016. There are two showings each Saturday and Sunday this February, so your family has plenty of chances to catch the show!
Who is Pippi Longstocking?
Pippi Longstocking is a scrappy 9-year-old little girl who asks a lot of questions and always put bullies in their place. Pippi Longstocking (Swedish Pippi Långstrump) was created by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren back in 1945 and she began a series of children’s books based on Pippi. Pippi was named by Lindgren’s then nine-year-old daughter, Karin, who asked her mother to write her a book when she was home sick from school one day and Pippi’s literary history began! There were three original picture books that were translated into English and there are many picture books and short books based on chapter excerpts from the original three. Two final stories were printed in 1979 and 2000. The books have been translated into 70 languages and adapted into several films and television series.
Nine-year-old Pippi is a beloved character, especially for girls, because she is seen as unconventional, assertive, and even has superhuman strength! Pippi is playful and unpredictable and frequently makes fun of unreasonable adult attitudes such as pompous and condescending adults. Her father is a buccaneer captain lost at sea and she has many adventurous stories to tell. When her father’s crew takes Pippi back to live at her family’s house as basically an orphaned child (who still whole-heartedly believes her father is alive somewhere out at sea) she has four best friends: two animals (her horse and monkey) and two humans (the neighbor’s children Tommy and Annika.) While Pippi is a friendly and kind girl, she doesn’t appear to have any “proper” manners and having no training or experience in how to behave in normal society, other than the very freewheeling and non-regimented one aboard her father’s ship. Along with a horse on the porch, a monkey in the kitchen and her best friends Tommy and Annika, this freckle faced, red-pigtailed, whirlwind of a girl in mismatched stockings is a delight for both children and adults. Pippi is considered “the strongest girl in the world”, which amazes people although the small town eventually take it all in stride. Pippi does not brag or even mention her extraordinary strength, though she is obviously aware of it. She is not a violent child but when circumstances require her to protect herself or others, she usually takes great care not to hurt anyone. In the first Pippi book, she neutralizes five large bullies singlehandedly, and she also engages two policemen, who were determined to take her to an orphanage against her will, in a game of tag. Naturally, Pippi ends up winning her freedom and becomes the ‘adult’ of her house living under her own rules and making life quite interesting for her childhood friends.
There are three full length Pippi Longstocking books:
- 1945: Pippi Longstocking
- 1946: Pippi Goes on Board
- 1948: Pippi in the South Seas
Join Pippi and her friends in this wonderful tale adapted to theater at the Austin Scottish Rite Theater as those around her indulge in a villa-full of zany antics! We were looking forward to seeing the show, especially Brooke and I who just finished reading the original Pippi Longstocking book, and I can’t wait to give you a full report of the show because it did not disappoint. Make sure to buy your tickets now before they sell out!
Our Pippi Longstocking Review at the SRT Austin!
The girls and I dressed for the occasion, and we even brought little toy monkeys (AKA Mr. Mr. Nilsson) to represent Pippi’s monkey friend. We were ready! By the way, I tried to get my husband, Bob, to dress as Tommy, but he politely declined. Ha ha.
The most fun thing about seeing a children’s play at the Scottish Rite Theater is that children have the center stage in the audience. There are rugs right in the front area for kids (and any accompanying adults) to see the show at their eye level. It’s a wonderful opportunity and if you haven’t taken your young child to see their first play yet, I highly recommend taking them to a Scottish Rite Theater production. On top of the children’s seating area, they have boxes of crayons for children to color on their show pamphlet. It’s the little things like that which make this theater so special.
The Pippi Longstocking play will be very familiar to those who have read the original Pippi Longstocking book. From her first meeting with Tommy and Annika, going to the carnival, to having a ‘fun’ chase with the police, Brooke was very familiar from our reading of this book of the events that were about to happen. That didn’t take away from Brooke’s excitement, though, and in fact made her more excited to see the events unfold. There is one spoiler alert to those who haven’t read the two follow-up books in this play which I won’t mention here. I want you to be surprised and check it out for yourself. The characters were funny and delightful, and Megan Ortiz, who played Pippi did a remarkable and believable job of being the precocious tween Pippi. I laughed out loud on several occasions. Since this play is geared towards children, the hour long feature is just the right amount of time for kids to stay engaged and afterwards children were invited on stage to meet the cast and crew and get autographs. Of course, Brooke was excited to do that! It was a wonderful play and I highly recommend any Austinites with young children to come and enjoy this show, which plays until the end of February. More details below!
Oh, and on another fun note: Brooke, Brie, and I may be in a picture on the Scottish Rite Theater Facebook page soon. The Will Call personnel liked our Pippi costumes so much they asked us to pose and asked if we were okay with having it posted to their page. We certainly didn’t mind!
- Sunday February 14 – 12:20 PM & 2:30 PM
- Saturday February 20 – 11 AM & 1 PM
- Sunday February 21 – 12:20 PM & 2:30 PM
- Saturday February 27 – 11 AM & 1 PM
- Sunday February 28 – 12:20 PM & 2:30 PM
- Pippi: Megan Ortiz
- Annika Settergren: April Garcia
- Tommy Stettergren: Julie Moore
- Bobby, Ms. Granberg, Hoptoad Crew: Robert King
- Teacher, Accordionist, Ms. Settergren, Hoptoad Crew: Chris Humphrey
- Olaf, Adolf the Strongman, Captain Longstocking: Donato Rodriguez III
- Ms. Pryssileus: Laura Freeman
- Larsson the Police Officer, Bloom the Robber, Puppeteer: Vicki Yoder
- Klang the Police Officer, Thunder the Robber, Puppeteer: Robert Dieke
207 W 18th St
Austin, TX 78701
Supporters: This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Economic Development Department / Cultural Arts Division, believing an investment in the arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.
List Price: Child (12 and under) $8.00 ($9.27 w/service fee) Adult $12.00 ($13.41 w/service fee) 13 and older (Tickets Available at Will Call)