Friday, December 05, 2014

PETER PAN LIVE -- My review

Friday Questions will not be seen this week so that we can bring you this special program. Friday Questions will return in its normal time next week. But now, we proudly present: PETER PAN THE DAY AFTER.

The very fact that everybody is talking about PETER PAN LIVE today makes it a huge success in my book. How often in these days of 900 channels (600 of them featuring cooking shows) does the country experience a shared event? And you had to watch it last night because it was live and you knew it would be the topic of conversation in every school, office, and maximum security prison in the land.

Oh, and it wasn’t all that bad. Certainly not like that SOUND OF MUSIC train wreck last year when all of America was screaming, “Bring on the Nazis already!” And PETER PAN LIVE was an enormous undertaking. Kudos to the hundreds of people behind-the-scenes who pulled off this highly ambitious project with no room for error. Yes, there were wires but no nets.

Do I have quibbles and snarky comments? Oh yeah. It wouldn’t be me otherwise, but on the whole I thought everyone involved should be applauded for a job well done.

First off, Allison Williams surpassed my expectations as Peter. She can sing well enough, crow well enough, and if she threw every teenage boy into a frenzied state of sexual confusion, well, so be it. At least we had Clarissa there to explain it all to you.

On the other hand, Christopher Sleep-Walken – what the fuck was he doing? Even for Chris Walken he was clueless. If there ever was a “lost” boy on the set it was Walken (who you know I normally love). Half the time he couldn’t remember his lines and the ones he said were probably snippets of dialogue from DEER HUNTER.

Now let’s go through the show:

The opening scene was slow and endless – the MUPPET BABIES version of DOWNTON ABBEY. Nana, the dog, however, knew her cues better than Christopher Walken. Did they have to make the wires SO noticeable? They couldn’t have found clear wires? I mean, we know it’s a special effect, but if they’re going to do that, why not just have a Teamster come into the set and double check her harness?

The best singer and most accomplished actress in the entire production was Kelli O’Hara and she disappears for 2 ½ hours.

Maybe it’s because I saw the original Mary Martin versions but some songs like “I’m Flying”, “Wendy”, and “I’ll Never Grow Up” still get me every time.

Off to Never-Never Land. First stop: a gay bar with a pirate theme. When they all started prancing around with tambourines all I could think was “where were the cowbells?”

And what was with that strange pirate musical number that cut to commercial while Walken was straining to hold the last note, and then after five minutes of spots, they went back to him choking the note to death for ten more seconds, and then another five minute commercial break? I bet Walken thought he was on the entire time. Either that or he didn’t know he was on television at all.
The Jolly Roger didn’t need an anchor. It needed cue cards.

Lots of cleaning went on at Never-Never Land apparently. The pirates were swabbing the deck and the Lost Boys were sweeping their pad. I was beginning to think we were watching Felix Unger’s childhood wet dream.

The Lost Boys should be called Lost Men. Was there one of them under 35? Really. I would not have been surprised to see Woody Allen in short pants as part of the group. And what was with the German schoolboy uniforms they all wore? Did wardrobe get a deal on the costumes from SPRING AWAKENING?

It was only mildly creepy that 35-year-old men wanted a 25-year-old girl to be their mother. But let’s be real – PETER PAN is a pretty weird story no matter who does it. Children are abducted. Hot girls play young boys. Father-figures play the villain. And there’s more killing than an episode of 24.

I’m assuming the show got big ratings. If I know Mark Burnett, this spring expect to see SURVIVOR: NEVERLAND on CBS.

Update:  The ratings were disappointing.  Down 46% from last year's SOUND OF MUSIC.  Either the novelty has worn off or they should have gotten Lady Gaga to play Peter. 

Tiger Lily was pretty hot. I think Cher wore that same outfit during her Vegas stint. Her tribe consisted of authentic native-professional wrestlers. Glad they didn’t sing “Ugg-a-Wugg.” That’s a song that belongs in “Never-Never-Again Land.”

Those wildly day-glo Neverland outdoor sets that just exploded with every color in the rainbow looked like the backyard in every Disney Channel family sitcom. Hey, NBC, we all have color TV’s now. It’s no big deal.

Loved the Brian Williams promo in his daughter’s show.

Was that a sad crocodile? Did they hire a second grade class to design and build it? So scrawny. Hook shouldn’t be worried, even if he’s eaten. Clearly this is the one bulimic crocodile.

When the Lost Boys were kidnapped it looked like one was holding a Torah. Never growing up means putting off your Bar Mitzvah indefinitely.

So let me get this straight – the Captain’s name is James Hook and he just coincidentally lost a hand and has to wear a hook? Thank goodness his parents weren’t the Dickless family.

Certainly one of the highlights of any production of PETER PAN is when Peter addresses the audience and asks children to clap and show they believe in fairies. I’m sure when I saw this as a kid it wasn’t at 10:45 at night.  But we didn't have Wal-Mart back then.

In the big climactic scene when Hook blames Wendy for all the misfortune saying that a woman on the ship was bad luck, how I was hoping he’d slip and call her Natalie Wood.

During the program they invited viewers to Live Tweet. If I may be cynical for a moment, I wouldn’t be surprised if NBC didn’t care whether you hated the show. As long as you were tuned in. Hate-watchers count in the ratings just as much as adoring fans. And by suggesting people Live Tweet, knowing they were going to get crushed, they were encouraging hate watching. If this is the case, NBC, Allison Williams deserved better. She worked way too hard to be held up as a target.

Yes, part of the fun of a big live event is goofing on it. And when you take the big stage you have to know that’s part of the bargain. But all kidding aside, adapting Broadway musicals to television is incredibly difficult. It’s so hard to capture the thrilling experience that only live theater can provide. Add to that, all the commercial breaks – each one lasting as long as a normal theatrical intermission. So imagine trying to weave a magic spell when you have twelve intermissions during your show. And for the most part, you’re not using seasoned Broadway veterans who know how to keep the energy up for an entire performance. In this case you're using a former movie star who is a caricature of himself.  For all those reasons, I give PETER PAN LIVE high marks.

Allison, feel free to crow.

47 comments:

Scooter Schechtman said...

I learned all I needed by observing the show's time slot. 8 to 11. That's 3 hours and unless this special was "Berlin Alexanderplatz" I knew NBC was going to cornhole the viewer with with commercials as usual.

Logical said...

I understand that they had to do this show in primetime, but the show seems to me to be the wrong choice; all the young kids who would love it can't stay up to watch it because it's a school night. And many adults wouldn't watch a kids' show, except to hate-watch it.

Anonymous said...

I tuned in ~hour after it started. It was like a local production company doing a show, and all I could think of, why are they doing this on TV? Because it is live? SNL has been live for a long time. Big whup. Wish I thought of the "more cowbell" line...

Hamid said...

Hook blames Wendy for all the misfortune saying that a woman on the ship was bad luck

Right wingers would have nodded along and wondered why he was the villain.

Joe said...

It is a little odd that the weakest point of both live musicals have been the leads... Carrie Underwood in SoM and Walken here. I get that they need big names to attract viewers, but I can't help wondering what the result would be if they got some true Broadway vets (or strong TV people who can handle it, like Allison Williams did). I thought Allison and Taylor Louderman as Wendy both were great. The production values were off the charts and all the 'flying' came off well (though I agree, it would be nice if the wires could have more obscure).

MikeK.Pa. said...

I love Walken and will watch him in anything. I proved it last night - although I did switch off to the Cowboys-Bears game from time to time - and kept asking myself why. Something about Allison that didn't click with me. Mary Martin was warmer (also older).

Spot on about the Lost Boys. Looked like were from the original 1960s cast of "Oliver!," all grown up. But Walken, I just didn't get. He looked like he was spoofing the whole time. Little effort in his dance and at times it seemed like his mic was off or on "low." His makeup made him look like a drag queen, which probably helped the ratings in LA and NYC.

Maybe next year NBC will do "The Wizard of Oz" and the Lost Boys could play Munchkins. No more a stretch than playing adolescents last night.

SarahB said...

There is no reason, when they have multiple cameras, to use the camera directly in front of the wires. And they probably should not do close ups of the characters attached to the wires.

I love Christian Borle and spent most of the time wondering why he was not Captain Hook.

Ben said...

I had no real interest in this production but did record it for my daughter to watch because, well, it was a school night and she had homework to do!

However, I did watch the "Flying" number and the Walken intro. Was it too much to ask that after all the rehearsals that the cameramen keep the kids on the wires in frame? And am I the only person who thought that Walken's line readings sounded like a Kevin Spacey impression of Christopher Walken?

Cap'n Bob said...

I watched a Pawn Stars marathon.

Jane said...

I never realized until last night how out-of-control the amount of time devoted to commercials in prime-time programs has gotten. It took NBC three hours to broadcast the same production that the Mary Martin version did in two.

Tom Parker said...

Walken was the surprising low point for me. He was obviously doing a riff on himself, but a little more umph and an extra hour or two learning his lines would have helped.

I missed the campy Cyril "Little Old Me!" Ritchard version of Captain Hook.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlmWmGHZpHM

Cat said...

Someone I know said they should have gotten Ewan McGregor to play Hook--now THEN I would have watched!

Glenn said...

The best part was when Christopher Walken's Hook walked off the plank and the crocodile handed him his paycheck in mid-air. A strange moment in an otherwise fine show.

Bob Sassone said...

I thought it was fun, and I'm really glad that NBC (which has been dumped on the past several years) is actually doing live TV like this again. Think what the production and cast had to do, especially the kids, and it was mightily impressive.

You can't please people on Twitter though. So many people - especially TV critics, who I thought would know better - spent the night snarking on it/hate-watching it. People can't simply *enjoy* something anymore.

DOT said...

I have a history in both live theater and also live television production, so I too must applaud the immense effort it takes to pull off something like Peter Pan Live or last year's Sound of Music. That said, I found myself thoroughly bored by the first commercial break. After that, I kept watching to see technical details like camera shadows and how they hid the actors being hooked in to the admittedly visible wires. At some point, though, it is not enough to make the good effort. Sooner or later the novelty of a live musical on TV wears off and the show must stand on whether or not it is entertaining. So far NBC is 0-2 in that department.

Ben K. said...

So let's see if I've got this straight... A girl who's undergone early puberty and her younger brothers are being cared for by a love-withholding father and a constantly singing mother, but mostly a dog and their maid. Then an adult woman claiming to be an ageless boy flies in through the window while the parents are away. The girl immediately falls in love with him-her, but he-she wants her to be his mother. And his-her tiny fairy woman friend gets jealous. He-she lures the kids from their home without so much as an Amber alert, and takes them to a magic land where they're menaced by a geriatric sailor and the extras from "Pirates of the Caribbean." They meet a group of "boys" who stopped aging at 35, and who also want the little girl to be their mother. The world is also inhabited by a group of Chippendale's dancers in tiny outfits pretending to be Native Americans, and young girl who's also a sexy babe who's also in love with the man-boy-woman. Stuff happens. Then the kids go home with the adult "boys," and for some reason their strict, distant parents immediately agree to adopt everybody. The college girl grows up, has a little girl of her own, yet still lives in her childhood bedroom. The man-boy-woman returns, sees that the girl has turned into the mom from "About a Boy," and loses all interest in her. Instead, he-she abducts the woman's own little girl, which the woman happily allows. But by then none of it matters because you've been asleep on your sofa for the last hour and a half. The end.

Norm said...

As a huge fan of the Mary Martin version, I had a trepidations as well.

Martin's version(s) in the 50's aired from 7-9PM (when Sunday prime time started earlier), AND, until they recorded it in the 60's, they did it LIVE to the east coast, took an hour break, and did it LIVE a 2nd time for the western half of the country! (Original running time: apx. 100 minutes.)

The only grief I had with Allison's signing is (as many singers do) she kept chopping off the end of sentences. Where should she be singing half-notes, she sang quarter notes at the end of every line. (UGH!) Why throw it away when you should let it simmer?

I'll never understand the "must- have-a-name in the lead" mentality. Great product will be watched, listened to, read, no matter who is in it.

I was hoping to have the early ratings from

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/category/overnight-tv-ratings/

but as of this moment, they are not posted.

Bob Sharp said...

I thought it held up pretty well with the Martin version I grew up with, but as other have noted there were problems.

Really, as the kids are flying around the room, it looked like they were wearing backpacks, because the harness and wires was stretching out their night gowns. I know they used the same company that wired Mary Martin, but in nearly 60 years of improving technology you'd think the wires would be less noticeable.

My first reaction at seeing Walken was to ask if he was playing Hook or Ming the Merciless. Maybe it was just me, but I thought he looked Asian.

The sets were interesting, but the cast was often walking on water. It's Peter Pan, not Jesus Christ Superstar. At least I assume the blue areas on the stage were supposed top be water. Maybe dirt in Neverland is blue.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

I would not have been surprised to see Woody Allen in short pants as part of the group. - Hysterical!

Hugh Jackman should have been Hook. Great live song/dance actor and still a draw. Perhaps he didn't want to devote the time?

Allison Williams was fine, but she had no charisma. Her singing was fine but she herself was flat with personality.

The character of Peter Pan is exciting. Ms. Williams wasn't.

The boy who played Michael was the best actor of the best.

Norm said...

Numbers take a hit. Rerun of BBT beats/ties Pan.

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/12/05/tv-ratings-thursday-peter-pan-live-falls-from-2013-special-the-vampire-diaries-dips-gracepoint-reign-rise/335660/

Matt said...

Early ratings report the show down 46% from last year's THE SOUND OF MUSIC. On the other hand, ratings were 111% higher than usual for NBC on a Thursday night. It has been reported that THE MUSIC MAN will be NBC's next live musical.

Mike Doran said...

Side note:

Here in Chicago the CBS affiliate preempted the whole prime time lineup to show the Bears game instead.
I'll hazard the wild guess that this had a particular impact on at least the local numbers in Chicago and the other city involved (most likely, there wasn't much money being bet on the outcome of Peter Pan ["Who's got the over-under on the crocodile?"]).

Ron Rettig said...

I loved the "original" NBC TV black & white Peter Pan as a 12 year old. I lived in Bronxville, New York at the time and actually saw it "live". I don't know what they did for the Coast if it was kinescoped or taped for rebroadcast in the Pacific Time Zone. I don't think it had all the commercial breaks, maybe just a theatrical style intermission. As I recall that is what Hallmark did in the same era on NBC with "Ahmal and the Night Visitors".
It would have been difficult for Walken to top Cyril Ritchard as Hook.

Canda said...

Had to stop two hours in, then came back for the "battle"...worst sword fight choreography of all time.

Walken was clearly Captain "Give Him The" Hook. Why not go for the fun of it, and either cast Nathan Lane, so we can laugh where we're supposed to, or the previously suggested Hugh Jackman.

The camerawork was too claustrophobic, and too complicated, thus we kept missing people on the numerous pans.

The backgrounds and costumes seemed to blend into each other, making it impossible to see everyone clearly at times.

Naturally, a nod to political correctness demanded we have islanders instead of indians, but the islanders looked pretty stereotypical, too.

No pace, no joy (Mary Matin's exuberance and infectious spirit was really missing with Allison Williams).

It was Peter "Deserves A" Pan

Andrew Krigel said...

I agree with you. Allison was very appealing but Walken was Dead Man Walken. If he was going to phone it in why didn't he just do that. I know they needed a name for that character but I can think of many. The superannuated "boys" also caught my attention. Amazing tech achievement but they didn't even try to hide the rigging wires. What is next year's extravaganza going to be?

Bill Taub said...

You are way too kind, Mr. Levine. An accusation I'm sure you don't receive often. Just because it's 'water cooler' discussed, doesn't make it good. So is Eric Garner. The star of this production was the logistics. The show itself, blah -- Peter Pan - the Musical is fun, sly, tongue in cheek, irreverent -- this had none of that. Somebody posted a clip of Captain Hook from the 60's which only reminds me of what it could have been. At the second commercial break I gave it the hook, to return to it at the end for the sword fight, which I'm sorry I did. It made high school productions look good. I'm glad Mr. Greenblatt is happy with the ratings and knew they would be much less than last year's 'Sound Of Music'. Why that needed to be so, I'm not sure of. It could have been bigger than 'Sound of Music'. I have it on my DVR, but not for long!!!

Norm said...

Ron Rettig: see my earlier comment: In the 50's it was done twice, live to both coasts.

If you want to see the original:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJFtCfHDFfw

BetterYeti said...

Three things took me out of appreciating what, for the most part, was a very impressive technical achievement:

1) The choice to process the video for a richer, more "filmed" look. It took away the immediacy and felt less "live" than a pre-taped talk show.

2) Camera blocking still seemed like a work in progress. I felt like they couldn't decide what we should be looking at. As a result, some potentially great moments were stepped on.

3) I'm sorry, but the source material just doesn't stand up. There are a few great numbers but the book is a mess. I think NBC was counting too much on the nostalgia factor and it showed up in the ratings. For Gen X-ers on, the association with Peter Pan was, at best, the Disney animation and, at worst, Spielberg's "Hook." Not a lot to recommend it.

H J Rotfeld said...

When I heard the show was pre-empted in Chicago, I was womper-jawed. The CBS outlet in that city is not a contractual affilliate. The station is owned by the CBS network. The network could not get the station it owns in the nation's third largest market to carry the program. That alone says something of CBS' own view of the show.

SharoneRosen said...

the two leads were utterly joyless. I blame that on direction. Allison Williams sang well enough, but was so without joy and the necessary impishness to be Peter. Close ups of the back of her head during, "I'm Flying." What was that all about??? Christopher Walken seemed like he would rather have been anywhere but there. At least the other pirates were having fun. Could the pirate choreography been more Busby Berkley? The Lost Men were frighteningly old for short pants.Most odd.

I agree with earlier posters, Nathan Lane or Hugh Jackman are as big or bigger names than Walken and would have brought the proper joy and whimsy to Hook.

Ah well, at least they're trying to bring theater back to the audience

Charles H. Bryan said...

Honestly I watched it just to see what kind of job Allison Williams would do and I'm gonna say, "pretty damn well". First, she's playing a guy with Peter Pan syndrome. No, wait, forget that first. First, she's playing a boy -- an actual boy, and doing that convincingly. She had the posture, the swagger, the sorta jockishness down. Second, she had to sell the flying -- in a CGI age -- while knowing the whole world would see those wires. Third, she also sang and danced while doing the above. Fourth, she didn't start screaming at Christopher Walken. Fifth, she seemed to having fun. Sixth, is she known for stage acting, dance, or music? Maybe a little gutsy. Jesus, just think of the blocking rehearsals for this. So kudos to her.

@Glenn Thanks for that line. Made me laugh.

@Ben K. I find it better to never ever think about rational things.

Anonymous said...

Def needed more cowbell!!
Seriously, I thought the little I saw was OK with Williams. She did as well as any other young actress. It is Peter Pan, of course, not Chekhov. Williams is not Mary Martin and that is OK too. And let's not forget this show is for kids and I will bet the kids loved it and are not critiquing it today. I was surprised since Walken was a trained dancer that he did not do better. Even Richard Gere was more impressive dancing in Chicago. Regardless, my favorite Peter will always be Robin Williams anyway.
Janice B

Anonymous said...

Have you started writing music for your play A or B so you are ready when NBC or TCM approach you do it live on TV? Maybe that is a Friday question, Friday after 5.

Anonymous said...

@ H J Rotfeld, In chicago, Petered Panned was on NBC, channel 5. Bears game was on CBS, channel 2. The Bears game pre-empted the CBS programs. Maybe this is a Friday question, when the Bears play a Monday/Thursday/Sunday night game, it usually ends ~10:15, which premepts the local news. WHY is the 1st story a recap of the Bears game??? The only ones watching the news at 10:15 are those that just FINISHED watching the game. You did sports play by play, any insight?

benson said...

I'm playing catch up here on a busy day, but Peter Pan was on NBC. Locally in Chicago, CBS blacked out the regular lineup. Good Decision- Tribune says: "The game did a combined local rating of 26.2 on CBS2 and NFL Network. “Peter Pan” did a 6.1 rating in Chicago"

Nationally from John Ourand of Sports Business Journal: NFL Net's 8.0 overnight rating is well ahead of NBC's Peter Pan Live, which had a 5.9 overnight rating.

Igor said...

In the big climactic scene when Hook blames Wendy for all the misfortune saying that a woman on the ship was bad luck, how I was hoping he’d slip and call her Natalie Wood.

Versus calling her Natalie Wood on the ship and and then she unluckily slips?

Curt Alliaume said...

Maybe this is a Friday question, when the Bears play a Monday/Thursday/Sunday night game, it usually ends ~10:15, which premepts the local news. WHY is the 1st story a recap of the Bears game??? The only ones watching the news at 10:15 are those that just FINISHED watching the game. You did sports play by play, any insight?

Always lead with the biggest story, even if it's the obvious one. And the Bears are always the biggest story here in Chicagoland. Football trumps so many other more important issues.

Years ago, I was watching The Day After on the local ABC station in Washington DC, and then a Ted Koppel-led discussion afterward with friends. We had been watching this for some four hours, and were just stunned. Then, five minutes before the discussion program ended, the local news was teased, and the first thing out of the anchor's mouth was a jolly "Redskins win!!" It was stunning, and yet somehow reassuring.

Corey said...

Wife says: You want to watch THIS?
I say: NO
Wife says: GOOD!
"click", we see the they ompaciuTV channel changes to Cut Throat Kitchen

Corey said...

Should have been...

Wife says: You want to watch THIS?
I say: NO
Wife says: (with an undertone of PHEW)GOOD!
"click", we see the TV channel change to "Cut Throat Kitchen"...



Ron from L.A. said...

Kudos to Ben K. who nailed it.

The book of this is just miserable. Never mind the weird psycho-sexual undertones (wait, actually, do mind them, we'll get back to that). The bulk of the story consists of Hook explaining how much he wants to get Pan, and the Lost Boys explaining how much they want Wendy to be their mother. Almost nothing pushes the plot forward from the moment they arrive in Neverland.

Besides that, it's never really established that Wendy is on the cusp of puberty and that's what the show is really about (really shoddy book). So let's get back to those psycho-sexual undertones.

Wendy instantly falls in love with a man-child she's not allowed to touch (hellooo, Twilight!), plays mother to a group of her contemporaries to try to win him over, and finally when she doesn't win him over, she hopes aloud that all her female descendants will go through the same thing. WHAT?!

Last but not least, I can't believe no one on Twitter made the obvious Interstellar joke, so I will here:

Based on the time dilation involved in the last scene with Minnie Driver, Neverland must be located near the edge of a black hole.

ODJennings said...

I won't take any shots because I think it's great the NBC made the effort, and as long as Wal-Mart;s check cleared I'm sure they consider it a roaring success.

24 hours later what bothers me the most is the dog. In the Mary Martin version (in fact, almost every version) the dog is a person in a dog suit. He romps around the bedroom, he interacts with both the parents and the kids, one of the little boys rides him, and he hides in his dog house--he's funny and he breathes a lot of life into the scenes he's in.

Instead of that they use a real dog, a dog who looks like he's about to leave for the Westminster Dog Show, and all he does is stand there for 30 seconds. He added nothing. He was more wooden and lifeless than Walken, and there was no reason for it.

rob! said...

If they do this next year, why not go for a little comedy? I'd like to see WHITE CHRISTMAS starring Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon. NBC should be able to put that together.

Mike McCann said...

>>Either the novelty has worn off or they should have gotten Lady Gaga to play Peter. >>

I would have watched that. Instead, I was out on Long Island having my eardrums assaulted by Joe Walsh. Looks like I made the wrong choice.

Anonymous said...

Have to strongly disagree with Ken.

First, let me put the performance of Allison Williams in perspective, that any reader will understand.

As you read this, put a mile on your face. Your challenge is to register emotions without dropping the smile.

Be happy. Be sad. Be angry. Be frightened.

Remember, never lose the grin.

That was Allison Williams.

If you still think that is a great artistic choice for playing Peter Pan, then get in line with Ken.

Peter Pan is a god. Plain and simple.

Allison Williams' Peter Pan was some kind of mental patient.

I did not give half a hair on a rat's ass about this Peter Pan. That's like saying you don't give shit about what Superman does next. As an actress, that takes some doing.

You really have to fuck up as an actor, to fuck up the character of Peter Pan. I would probably give some credit to the director, who let her do it.

In any case, as other's have indicated, this was a carnival roadshow of Peter Pan. It was a technical achievement for television. Nothing more.

I had fun watching a bunch of jackasses doing what they do best, and the technicians behind the scenes keeping the rickety old thing from collapsing. So in that respect, Peter Pan turned out to be an "Assholepalooza Suspense Thriller."

RCP said...

My two pesos: I was also impressed with the technical aspects of the production and the fact that nobody flew into a wall or was left dangling by a wire.

There's no reason for teenaged boys to feel 'confused' about this Peter Pan, as Williams is too feminine to be convincing as a boy - even from a distance. Though talented, she wasn't particularly charismatic in the role and there was zero tension between Peter and Hook - there was zero tension between Walken and anybody; he appeared to be on tranquilizers. Yet I couldn't keep my eyes off of him - in part out of concern he was going to trip and fall.

Wendy, Tiger Lilly, The Lost Boys, the pirates, and the Indian braves added presence and the dancing was energetic and fun. Special credit must be given to Nana the Dog for pulling down the bedcover on cue and keeping her nose out of crotches. The 'clap your hands' scene brought a smile to my face, imagining tots across the land clapping their little hands and crying that they believe.

Anonymous said...

Taylor Louderman was too old to play Wendy, but she did a solid job. It's just that if you're miscast, it doesn't matter.

At the beginning, when Kelli O'Hara showed up, I thought, "wow. they're really going to make something of this." Then everyone else showed up, and I knew I was screwed. Because Kelli was so outstanding, it made many of the others look worse.

However, Alanna Saunders really threw in as Tiger Lilly, and nailed it. I wanted to see more of her. Of course, my desire was not met.

The dog was the best trained dog I've ever seen in any production. He even looked from side to side on cue. Wasn't distracted by anything. Hats off to the trainer.

I guess that's what was so frustrating. Dashes of brilliance peppering ladles of lameness.

Mary Stella said...

You were a lot kinder to the show than I was. This is damning with faint praise but the best I could say about it was that it was better than Sound of Music and Allison Williams did a credible job as Peter. (Or Pee-TAH as most of the cast called the character.) Christopher Walken was horrible in the role. He was the least threatening, murderous pirate ever.