Did you watch? A Review of Last Night’s Airing of “Peter Pan” by Addie Clark #PeterPan


By Addie Clark

Just think of lovely things and your heart will fly on wings to Never Never Land.

I was very excited when, not long after The Sound of Music Live!, NBC announced that they would be putting another family musical the following year. And even more excited when they announced it would be Peter Pan. When I was a child, I wore out the 1955 Mary Martin production on VHS.

Tonight, NBC put on their ambitious production of Peter Pan Live. In some ways it was traditional: Peter was played by a woman (Allison Williams), a tradition which dates back to the original production of Sir JM Barrie’s play. But Nana, the children’s dog nanny, was an actual dog, not a person in a dog costume. Tinkerbell was CGI, not a spotlight zooming across the stage.

The production started strong. The set was amazing to behold. The dog that played Nana was surprisingly well trained, Kelli O’Hara is an amazing talent and sang a beautiful Mrs Darling, and the children playing John and Michael weren’t too terribly annoying (as child actors in plays can be). Taylor Louderman’s Wendy was a touch on the annoying side, but got better as the night went on. But it was Allison Williams who stole the scene from the moment she flew in the window (not backwards like she’d expressed she’d feared she would). Her voice isn’t powerful, but it was still beautiful. And when they flew out the window to Never Never Land, I found myself grinning like a fool.

But when they got to Never Never Land, I lost a little of the magic. The set was still beautiful. But the Lost Boys, the Indians, and the Pirates…well, they took a little bit of warming up to. Except Christian Borle, who pulled double duty as both Smee and Mr Darling, but was a better funny man (Smee) than authority figure (Mr Darling). I don’t know what it was, but the others needed a little help. And Christopher Walken as Captain Hook took some warming up to. But the bumpers during the commercials of him still holding his end notes were hilarious!

But then Williams was back and they were building a lovely house for Wendy. And the magic had returned. The next time Walken appeared, it was better, keeping in mind that in this particular adaptation, he’s always been a little weird and crazy. All in all, Walken took some warming up to…but you had to be open to it. And Walken and Williams together worked better than I expected, though their final battle was slightly underwhelming.

And I haven’t even begun to talk about the dancing! The dancing and all the musical numbers were so fantastic. Even Walken, who boasted this would be the “dancingest Hook” audiences had ever seen, delivered (much to my surprise). Most of the Lost Boys were hot off the recently closed “Newsies” and didn’t disappoint after their initial appearance. And the Pirates were fabulous as dancers and comic relief.

Overall, Peter Pan Live proved magical enough to overlook the places it faltered. Part of that probably stemmed from the fact that I haven’t seen any version of Peter Pan recently, which meant I wasn’t comparing it to anything else (which is part of what ruined The Sound of Music for most). As a friend put it, it was ridiculously fun. I can’t wait to see what show NBC tackles next holiday season.

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

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