by Brenda W. Clough
This is a review of the touring theatrical production, which I saw last weekend at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. The show is based on the children’s novel of the same name, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, which I have bounced off of a couple times. The problems inherent in a prequel, especially a prequel of a well-known book written by someone other than the original author, are issues I don’t want to go into here.
However! Consensus seems to be universal that the stage show takes the book to a whole different level! When I tell you that the director is Roger Rees, who played the title character in Nicholas Nickleby in London in 1980, you know what the production is like. It is theater to the max. Minimal sets, hardly any props, nothing but raw actor inventiveness to create an utterly convincing illusion. The Broadway production (still running) won five Tony awards, richly deserved.
The story is clearly directed towards 21st century tastes. Young Molly Astor, a girl of enormous courage and competence, takes charge of a trio of orphans and essentially transforms one of them into the Peter Pan we all know and love. The script is funny, punny and paced like a rocket ship. You get an origin for Captain Hook, and even Tinkerbelle, played by a yellow rubber glove!
The most wonderful thing about Peter Pan is that he really is forever. Adaptable in every decade, apparently. This production is just lovely, not to be missed.
The ebook version of my novel How Like a God is now available from Book View Cafe.
My newest novel Speak to Our Desires is out from Book View Café.