Music Theatre Works Presents PETER PAN Review — a magical evening for all ages!

Music Theatre Works PETER PAN
Aubrey Adams (Peter Pan), Elizabeth Stenholt (Wendy Darling), Patrick McDermott (Michael Darling) and Zachary Scott Fewkes (John Darling) in Music Theater Works’ PETER PAN Photos: Brett Beiner

One of the things that clearly stands out about this production of the timeless classic Peter Pan is the amount of work and the love that has been put into it. Based on the 1954 Broadway show that was brought to TV a year later, baby boomers will instantly recognize the story and the songs like “I Gotta Crow,” and “I Won’t Grow Up.” It was staged several times between 1954 and 1999, first with Mary Martin, then later with Sandy Duncan and Cathy Rigby playing the role of Peter Pan.

Music Theatre Works Brings A Classic Tale  to Life

Wendy (Elizabeth Stenholt), John (Zachary Scott Fewkes), and Michael (Patrick McDermott) Darling are whisked away to Never Never land where they meet the Lost Boys (Miles Chong, Daniel Shoemaker, Billy Sims, Isaac Zumann, Brandon Nieves and Asher Alcantera). 

As can be expected, the kids often steal the show, and these are some very talented youngsters who dance and sing their way through the play. Tiger Lilly (Anna Marie Abbate) is the leader of a band of Indians who eventually help Peter and his band fight the despicable Captain Hook, played marvelously by Larry Adams.

Many other performers add their talents as members of Captain Hook’s band of pirates, including the comic foils of Smee (Cary Lovett), and as Tiger Lilly’s Indians. There’s a lot of action on stage with big dance numbers, featuring a few hip hop moves here and there, showcasing the choreography by Clayton Cross. The heart of any musical production is its musicians, and this one has a full orchestra, conducted by Roger L. Bingaman, adding to the magic of the show.

Rounding out the cast are the animals of Never Never Land, played to campy perfection; the Lion (Jake Ganzer), the Kangaroo (Kat Geertsen) and a very imaginative Ostrich (Madeline Bunke). And of course there’s Captain Hook’s arch nemesis, the Crocodile (Clayton Cross).

The story starts in the home of the Darling family where Nana the dog (Clayton Cross) unsuccessfully tries to protect the children from the mysterious flying boy who eventually teaches them to fly and carries them away. Abrey Adams plays the mischievous Peter Pan displaying her skills not only as a singer, but as a dancer and something of an acrobat. It’s easy to forgive the fact that the rigging used for flying is clearly visible as she skips and flips through the air.

Larry Adams (Captain Hook) and ensemble Photo: Brett Beiner
Miles Chong, Daniel Shoemaker, Billy Sims, Isaac Zumann, Brandon Nieves and Asher Alcantera (Lost Boys) with Madeline Bunke (Ostrich) Photo: Brett Beiner

Family friendly fun

Peter Pan is a magical afternoon of entertainment for the young and the young at heart. There was little distinction between children and adults in the audience when it came to the joy, the laughter and especially when Peter needed help to save his fairy friend Tinkerbell (played by a little green laser).

The program with intermissions runs nearly three hours. It’s an excellent opportunity to expose young people to live theatre.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read – Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.

When:

Through January 1, 2018
Tuesday, December 26 at 2:00 PM
Wednesday, December 27 at 2:00 PM
Friday, December 29 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, December 30 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Sunday, December 31 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Monday, January 1 at 2:00 PM

Where:

Cahn Auditorium
600 Emerson Street,
Evanston, IL

Tickets:

$34+   Ages 25 and younger half price

For tickets visit the Music Theatre Works website or call (847) 920-5360

Photos: Brett Beiner

 

Note: An excerpt of this review appears in Theatre in Chicago.

Steve Bellinger

Steve Bellinger was born and raised on the West Side of Chicago by a single mom who worked nights for a printing company. She would bring home books and magazines to encourage her kids to read. This is how he discovered Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke and the other masters of classic science fiction. It didn’t take long for him to get the itch to write. Over the years he’s written everything from newspaper articles, comic strips and radio drama to short stories and fan fiction. He is the author of the science fiction time travel novel The Chronocar. His second novel, Edge of Perception is due to be released in 2018.

www.SteveBellinger.com

 

Click here to read more Picture this Post reviews by Steve Bellinger

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