One of the most identifiable and beloved parts of Peter Pan, or any Disney movie that is, is the wonderful, lively music. That is why when I first heard that I was going to go to see Peter Pan on Broadway in Chicago, I was thrilled to see these songs (and the story) come to life again.
This was not to be so.
After doing a bit of research about the show, I quickly learned that this Peter Pan, although plotwise very faithful to other versions that I’ve seen, contained none of the songs that I was familiar with. Instead, it was replaced by a whole new set of music, which took me a bit longer to warm up to.
Despite this somewhat disappointing start, I still anticipated good things for the show, and most of my expectations were exceeded.
Peter, who was played by a woman, really was the star of the show. He, or she, was funny, energetic, and very talented at the many stunts she had to perform. The children, also all actresses, and the rest of the cast also mirrored this energy and excitement in their performances.
My favorite numbers, “I Won’t Grow Up” and “I’m Flying”, were both reprised, which was also a bonus. However, the most spectacular moments of the show were when Peter (and occationally others) flew. Being able to fly was a dream of mine when I was little, and I’m positive that the population of kids in the theater had the same amibtion, given their excited reactions.
The only slight downside, in my opinion, were the dance numbers performed by the pirates and “Indians”. Although it was all very entertaining to start with, the long, often repeated routines became dull. Also, Tiger Lily, whom I had always imagined as a helpless little girl, was transformed into an older, slightly vicious characer.
Overall, though, it really was an amazing show; one of my favorite childhood stories filled with new music and dance, and topped off with Peter flying over the audience, sprinkling fairy dust (which, given my front balcony seat resulted in lots of dust around me–I guess I can fly now).