A Flight of Fancy

Hooked On a Legend


Once more the stage lights up at a place where dreams are born and time is never planned.  The musical Peter Pan  is up and flying again.

The 1954 show has been glowing ever since, four times on Broadway winning three Tonys plus seen in multiple telecasts.  And the story is such a legend that spin-offs have multiplied, including Broadway’s now-thriving Finding Neverland derived from the 2004 movie of the same name. You’ll have a chance to experience that at the Orpheum here in October. Plus, you may recall, there was Peter and The Starcatcher  at The Rose in December 2015. And there’s another spin-off, the 1991 movie Hook.

The story originated with Scottish novelist and playwright James M.  Barrie, as you may already know. Peter materialized in a 1902 adult novel. Then he was the center of the 1904 play Peter Pan or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.  

This musical take has a score principally by Mark “Moose: Charlap with some additions by Jule Styne. Most of  lyrics were written by Carolyn Leigh, supplemented with those of Betty Comden and Adolph Green. The book for the show replicates what Barrie himself wrote, as adapted by director/choreographer Jerome Robbins.

Charlap was mainly a writer of popular songs as was Carolyn Leigh with “Witchcraft,” “The Best of Yet to Come” and “Young at Heart.’ She also wrote lyrics for the musicals Wildcat, Little Me and How Now,Dow Jones. .

On the other hand, Styne, Comden and Green were major Broadway names. Styne’s best known shows were Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Bells are Ringing, Gypsy , Funny Girl and Hallelujah Baby. Comden and Green made names for themselves in Hollywood with Singin’ In the Rain and The Band Wagon. Stage-wise: On the Town, Wonderful Town, Applause, The Will Rogers Follies. They worked with Styne on two of them.  

The 26 member cast is directed by Amy Lane. This time there’s a lad, Omaha’s Danny Dennenberg, in the title role rather than, as was often the case on Broadway, a lady. FYI: He starred in Caroline or Change at The Playhouse last year and in A Christmas Story at The Rose in 2014.  Ablin Roblin takes on Hook.

Do you still believe in fairies? Tinker Bell hopes so.  

Peter Pan runs June 2-16, The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St. Fri.: 7 p.m.  Sat. & Sun:  2 p.m. Tickets: $22-$27. http://www.rosetheater.org


Category: Stage

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