In the classic story, Peter Pan lives among the fairies in a place called Neverland. He visits the nursery of Wendy, John, and Michael, and flies them to Neverland where Wendy and Peter play at being Mother and Father to a group of boys. The dream doesn't last, as Wendy misses home and Peter realizes that it has become a little too close to the grown-up real life. Wendy and the boys return home, but not before they're kidnapped by Peter's nemesis Captain Hook and his band of pirates. Never fear, Peter is there to save the day with his new friend Tiger Lily.* Back at home with their parents and beloved dog Nana, Wendy and the boys grow up, but never forget their adventure with Peter Pan, who continues to be a beacon to children everywhere.
|Peter Pan takes flight (photo by Dan Norman)|
|Smee and Captain Hook with the pirates|
(photo by Dan Norman)
Another reason that Peter Pan is a perfect choice for CTC is that there are many roles for children in the cast. CTC doesn't just provide the highest quality entertainment for children, they includs children in the creative process, giving children an opportunity to learn and play alongside the best professionals in our community, growing the next generation of theater artists (e.g., Maeve Moynihan and Brandon Brooks). The child actors at CTC are always so engaged and enthusastic, never more so than in this production, from the darling Darling boys, to the sweet and funny Lost Boys, to the fierce snarling Pounce-girls. It's an absolute delight to watch each and every one of them in their natural and present imaginative play.
|Wendy, Peter, and Tiger Lily lead the gang|
(photo by Dan Norman)
The CTC stage is as bright and colorful as always. Walt Spangler's scenic design creates four distinct worlds - the Darling home, the boys' Neverland lair with oversized flowers, a magical tree with a fire pole inside, and the dastardly pirate ship. Linda Cho's costumes also help create the magical world, from the Darling children's darling period pajamas, to the boys' nature green garb and the Pounce girls' feline inspired tawny gear, culminating in Captain Hooks frilly pirate look.
Whether or not you have children, CTC's production of Peter Pan, directed by that other magical Peter - Peter Rothstein, is a completely wonderful and joyous journey into the imagination, freedom, and poignancy of childhood. But yet we're still reminded that it must only be a dream, although a pleasant one, to remain a child forever. We must grow up, but thanks to CTC, Neverland is never very far away. Peter Pan continues through June 21.
*Read about the changes that CTC made to the script around the character of Tiger Lily here.
This article also appears on Broadway World Minneapolis.