Peter Pan, the boy who does not grow up, has been reminding all of us of childlike wonder and the joys of being young since 1902. His story blossomed as the magical toddler of Kensington Gardens, after which he became the mischievous leader of the Lost Boys and the instigator to Wendy. While wearing a green tunic, tights, and feathered hat, he adventures the Neverland as a free-spirited boy. Maybe you need an escape from the troubles of life right now; if so, it is finally time to bring out your inner child. Peter Pan will come knocking to take you on an adventure back to Neverland — this time to the beat of great music. Peter Pan The Musical will spread pixie dust and fun at the Procter & Gamble Hall this coming spring.
Peter Pan Tickets:
“This musical is one of the most loved shows in the USA.” – All Musicals
Peter Pan is the brainchild of James Matthew Barrie. He introduced the character in his novel “The Little White Bird” in 1902. The character was made for the sons of Barrie’s friends whose mother tragically passed away. The story was only made for a casual bedtime story, but it would then evolve into something more as he wrote the novel. Peter Pan is inspired by Barrie’s older brother, who passed away due to an accident at 14. His parents would always speak of the deceased brother as perpetually a young boy, hence the character’s timelessness.
In the said novel, Peter Pan is a seven-day-old baby who suddenly flew from home to play with animals at Kensington Gardens in London. The story was the stand-out from the adult novel, which led to Barrie creating a play specifically for it in 1904. The play was entitled Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. This original work is the blueprint for what people know about Peter Pan. It was a huge success when it was brought to Broadway in 1906. Since it was well-loved by children and adults alike, Barrie decided to turn the play into a novel. Peter and Wendy (now called Peter Pan) is the story that became the classic most people know of today.
In 1924, the Barrie masterpiece transferred to silent film. This film was hailed for its clever use of special effects at the time. The United States Library of Congress regards this iteration as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Then came Disney’s animated film in 1953, which further solidified Peter Pan’s hold in pop culture. The animated Disney film was a box-office hit, beloved by critics and viewers alike. It is an undeniable classic. However, it did not showcase the best representation of Native Americans. It might be considered a great film, but it is reflective of the time when stereotypes were the norm.
In 1954, Peter Pan the Musical was conceived. By this time, Barrie’s beloved story had been adapted to multiple media and was considered at the peak of its popularity. It was clear that the musical rode along with the popularity of the Disney iteration, which was quite helpful since the early works of the musical did not garner much attention from theatergoers. Jerome Robbins held the helm as the director of the musical, backed by music from Moose Charlap and Carolyn Leigh’s lyrics. Their work first had a pre-Broadway run on the West Coast. This pre-release did not hit off, which prompted Robbins to recruit composer Jule Styne and the great lyricist collaborators Betty Comden and Adolph Green. The addition of Styne, Comden, and Green helped the musical to reach Broadway.
“Don’t let the visuals and special effects fool you, this Peter Pan is still a well acted piece of theatre that deftly tells its story in a most robust manic manner.” – ChicagoCritic
A grand tradition of Peter Pan’s works was for the character to be played by a woman. Even before the development of the musical, one actress stood out among the producers to play the high-spirited magical boy, and that was Mary Martin. She was a prolific performer and would become one of the most popular, if not the best of the best, in portraying Peter Pan. She would also be recast in the televised version of the musical.
Peter Pan the Musical did not stray that much when it comes to the storyline for Barrie’s original. During the first act, Wendy and her brothers, John and Michael, are introduced as they play in the nursery room. They love the story of Peter Pan, which they got from their mother. One time, after one of their stories, their dog nursemaid named Nana seized a shadow from a boy whom she caught listening to the stories told by the children. This boy was Peter Pan, who loved the stories about him. To rescue his shadow, Peter Pan flew inside the room with his trusty pixie fairy friend Tinker Bell. He managed to get a hold of his shadow but was unsuccessful in reattaching it back. His frustrated mumbles woke Wendy up, who gladly sewed the shadow back to the boy. Thankful, Peter Pan invited Wendy to Neverland. She agreed to do so, bringing with her her brothers. They flew into the night sky with glee.
The second act introduces Wendy, Michael, and John to Neverland, a place where children do not grow old. They met the “Lost Boys,” a gang of children that followed Peter. On the other hand, in another part of the island, Captain Hook, with his crew, schemes to get revenge on Peter, whom he blames for his lost arm and his ticking crocodile pursuant. His evil mission would affect Peter Pan and Wendy’s growing friendship, which led to an ugly turn by the end of the second act. The whirlwind of events leads to a heated third act. The musical’s ending went beyond the original play and used the afterthought Barrie made for the story. In this ending, Wendy grows up, and by the time Peter visits her again, she already has a child named Jane. Saddened by this event, Peter decides to invite Jane instead, and Wendy allows her child to experience the magic she felt when she was a child.
This musical garnered multiple accolades in its many productions. The original Broadway production gained three Tony nominations and won all of them. Its revivals in 1979, 1990, and 1998 also earned many nominations.
The classic Broadway hit will bring childhood joy back to people’s hearts in Cincinnati as Peter Pan the Musical hits off at the Procter & Gamble Hall. The cast will be announced soon. See you there!