You know that place where dreams are born and time is never planned?
Yes, that place is in fact Neverland, and I am not speaking of Michael Jackson’s infamous estate.
This holiday season, the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia is performing the beloved Disney classic “Peter Pan.”
When I first sat down in the theatre, I kept asking myself numerous questions: Is Peter Pan really going to fly? Is there going to be an actual pirate ship on stage?
Sure enough, those questions and many more were answered better than I ever could have imagined.
Although the musical version follows the storyline of the animated motion picture when powerful singing and extraordinary dancing is added, the story becomes even more magical than the fairy dust sprinkled by Tinkerbell.
Unlike the majority of musicals, this engaging production included two intermissions.
This allowed for a smooth transition in the elaborate set. The set was the most exceptional aspect of the production.
From the Darling’s nursery to Neverland to the pirate ship and back to the nursery, the set designs were exquisite.
The bright colors and perfect resemblance of the film version really helped to bring this musical to life.
Most people are familiar with the story of Peter Pan; however, when performed in front of a live audience, this fantasy world almost seems as if it is reality.
Cary Michele Miller’s portrayal of Peter Pan and Paul Schoeffler’s portrayal of both Mr. Darling and Captain Hook were outstanding.
Miller’s enthusiasm and strong vocals, alongside Schoeffler’s stage presence and comedic timing, really made this performance an entertaining experience.
Led mostly by Toni Elizabeth White, dancing is also a major aspect of the production.
Her outstanding dance ability really made her character of Tiger Lily a much more interesting character than it was in the film.
There is not much criticism that I can give to this production. However, I did find one weakness.
Wendy Darling seemed to lose her British accent throughout the performance.
This may not seem like a major problem, but when the story is supposed to be believable, the accent must be present the entire performance.
I left the theatre that rainy evening with a smile on my face. Peter Pan did fly – with the help of wires of course! There was a pirate ship on the stage. There even was a life- size crocodile.
The excitement that I felt was definitely similar to that of the preschooler seated behind me, and I am not ashamed to admit that!
Peter Pan truly is a magical experience – one that everyone should have over winter break.
And if you should get lost remember:
“Second star to the right, and straight on ’til morning!”