Pollard Theatre's 'Peter Pan' as good as peanut butter 

Guthrie's Pollard Theatre hosts "Peter Pan" through May 10.

When James M. Barrie wrote the original "Peter Pan" stage play around the turn of the 20th century, he could hardly have dreamed what an international industry he created: multiple musicals, live and animated films, recordings, dolls and Halloween costumes, not to mention pages of memorabilia on eBay.

Arriving at the theater, then, it's easy to assume that one has seen the tale told in so many venues that there will be no fresh feelings about the famous boy who won't grow up. But that would be a mistake. Seeing this live with all the bells and whistles will take you back in time with a thrill.

CAST
Renee Anderson fashions a Peter who is adorable, but always rough-and-tumble, hands defiantly on hips and chin jutted forward.

Michael James fills the villain's shoes with style and panache, finding a perfect balance between genuinely being a vicious opponent, but never scaring the younger viewers off. He was a triple threat for this production, also turning in clever and colorful scene designs and costumes.

Director Jerome Stevenson moves his enormous cast beautifully through multiple settings and technical effects that could go wrong without notice. Although Hui Poos' choreography obviously had to be created for beginning dancers up to quite advanced levels, it all looks sharp and snappy. The full stage rhythmic rendition of "Ugh-a-Wug" nearly brought down the house.

The thrill of seeing live actors flying through the air, the contagious energy of the cast, and hearing perennial favorites like "I Won't Grow Up" make this a nostalgic trip to the past that feels fresh and new. 

"?Linda McDonald

 

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