Quote of the Day: (notes from the press release for Peter Pan)
Peter Pan has been thrilling audiences of all ages for close to 70 years and is now being brought back to life in a newly-imagined production directed by Emmy Award® winner Lonny Price (Sunset Boulevard, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill) with additional book by celebrated playwright Larissa FastHorse (The Thanksgiving Play, What Would Crazy Horse Do?) and choreography by Lorin Latarro (Waitress, The Who’s Tommy).
The adventure begins when Peter Pan and his mischievous sidekick, Tinker Bell, visit the bedroom of the Darling children late one night. With a sprinkle of fairy dust and a few happy thoughts, the children are taken on a magical journey they will never forget. This extraordinary musical full of excitement and adventure features iconic and timeless songs including “I’m Flying”, “I Gotta Crow”, “I Won’t Grow Up” and “Neverland”.
Based on Sir James M. Barrie’s classic tale and originally directed, choreographed and adapted by Broadway legend Jerome Robbins, Peter Pan features an iconic and unforgettable score by Morris (Moose) Charlap; lyrics by Carolyn Leigh; additional lyrics by Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Amanda Green; additional music by Jule Styne.
I enjoyed watching this playful fantasy about a boy who refuses to grow up, the Darling children who seek adventure, and the colorful cast of characters they meet in Neverland. The updated book by Larissa FastHorse gives this re-imagined classic a more inclusive, respectful feel, while keeping its charm and wonder.
The special effects are the most outstanding parts of this production, as well as the fine acting, singing, dancing and acrobatics. Nolan Almeida flies in as the iconic character of Peter Pan in a grand and magical entrance. Wendy, played by Hawa Kamara, sees him and is immediately curious about who he is and where he came from. She has aspirations of growing up and becoming a doctor, and is willing to go along with Peter on the adventure and meet his band of Lost Boys, but she grabs her doctor bag before flying off. Micah Turner Lee plays John, and Reed Epley nearly steals the show as Michael. Before taking off into the night sky, they are very cleverly hitched up to harnesses (how did they do that so sneakily?), and soar through an amazing series of projections that feel like one of those virtual ride experiences. This production has many wow moments!
The set, designed by Anna Louizos, provides a colorful backdrop that stimulates your imagination and holds several surprises, as well. We see the nursery in the Darling’s house, the jungle in Neverland, the hidden hollow where the Lost Boys live, and of course, Captain Hook‘s ship. Nolan Almeida flies through each of these scenes with ease. (Flying sequence choreography by Paul Rubin)
Cody Gracia plays the avenging Captain Hook, but with just the right amount of charm. His stage presence and performance are outstanding. His sidekick Smee, played by the hilarious Kurt Perry, produced many giggles from the audience. The band of pirates are exceptional dancers with dynamic choreography (Lorin Latarro).
Raye Zaragoza is terrific as Tiger Lily. She‘s strong, feisty, stands her ground, and has a gorgeous singing voice, as well. The ensemble cast represent indigenous peoples from around the world, and also have several spectacular dance numbers. Stunning costume design by Sarafina Bush really make these storybook characters come alive.
This newly re-imagined production of Peter Pan begins its tour at the Ordway in St. Paul, MN. It is full of magic and wonder and appropriate for the whole family.
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: If you could fly off to a magical place, where would you go?