National Youth Arts - ArtsDig - Resource for youth arts
 
Review

THE SHOW:  

Music by Mark "Moose" Charlap, with additional music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, with additional lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, with a story based on J. M. Barrie's 1904 play Peter Pan and his novel “Peter and Wendy.”  

Somewhere there’s a land full of pirates and Indians and fairies and Lost Boys who never grow old. The land is Neverland, an island so small there is hardly any room between one adventure and another. The leader of the Lost Boys is, of course, Peter Pan – the magical boy who flies the Darling children from their home in London to his latest adventures. But in this musical adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s immortal fairy tale, you can only finish the adventure if you’re still young enough to believe in fairies.  

THE PRODUCTION:  

Valley Youth Theatre brought this back to the Herberger in downtown Phoenix, with Director Bobb Cooper and his team providing a visually magical return to Neverland. The sets, rented from FCLO Music Theatre, give us some grand scenery and backdrops. Mike Eddy offers his exquisite lighting touches to set the proper moods. ZFX adds to the wonder as Peter Pan and the Darling children learn to fly. And Karol Cooper’s costumes, hair, and makeup complete the picture with the primly dressed English children, playful Lost Boys, and a colorful band of pirates.  

Bringing those characters to life are some strong talents from throughout the valley. Hannah Blaile is our Peter Pan, delivering good vocals whether on the ground or in the air, and leading her Lost Boys with gusto in their I Won’t Grow Up lesson. Caroline Wells is an excited Wendy Darling, infatuated with Peter and relishing the idea of adventure. With her younger brothers Hayden Skaggs and Bryson Holl, they give us a memorable flight toward Neverland.  

But danger lurks there, namely in the form of Captain Hook and his relatively loyal band of pirates. Connor Baker is an eccentric and amusing Hook, given to bouts of fear when it comes to ticking clocks (fainting on one occasion, wiping away some tears while trying to look brave after another scare). Hook and Smee (a lovable Sam Primack) make for an impressive comic duo. And their band of pirates might just make you root for them as they Tango and Tarantella and Waltz it up.  

Helping make sure they don’t win is a group of athletic Indians led by Payton Bioletto as Tiger Lily, leading a huge Ugh-A-Wug dance number that is one of the many nicely choreographed numbers by Katie Casey. A few of the other highlights include Jessica Sinodis as the concerned Mrs. Darling, Alex Partida as the equally concerned dog Nana, and Ally Lansdowne as their maid Liza who follows the group to enjoy her own adventures in Neverland. And last but not least is that gang of Lost Boys who kick off the Darling trip with their accidental shooting of the Wendy Bird (when Tootles’/Vincent Jacovo’s arrow initially doesn’t go far enough, he grabs it off the ground and launches it skyward with an impressive throw), go on to build their new “mother” a house, and capture the spirit of the story so well with a heartfelt I Won’t Grow Up.

Performed June 13 - 29, 2014

Rob Hopper
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Executive Director
National Youth Arts

~ Cast ~ 

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Wendy Darling: Caroline Wells
John Darling: Hayden Skaggs
Michael Darling: Bryson Holl
Liza: Ally Lansdowne
Nana: Alex Partida
Mrs. Darling: Jessica Sinodis
Mr. Darling: Connor Baker
Peter Pan: Hannah Blaile
Slightly: Justin Vaught
Tootles: Vincent Jacovo
Curly: Andy Wissink
Nibs: Alexandra Kirby
1st Twin: Owen Watson
2nd Twin: Makenna Jacobs
Captain Hook: Connor Baker
Smee: Sam Primack
Crocodile: Brennan Metcalfe
Tiger Lily: Payton Bioletto
Starkey: William Deihl
Cecco: Adam Hays
Noodler: Anand Khalsa
Mullins: Harrison Redmond
Jukes: Alberto Flores
Wendy Grown Up: Rebecca Caswell
Jane: Oriana Valcamp
Indians:
Cameron Benton
Brandon Brown
Tatum Dial
Carly McClain
Karlie O'Hearn
Alex Partida
Brandon Reyes
Clay Rollon
Lost Boys:
Olivia Fearey
Mitra Matin
Ethan Shanker
Charlie Siegel
Never Bird: Thea Eigo

Director: Bobb Cooper
Musical Director: Mark Fearey
Choreographer: Katie Casey
Costume Designer, Hair & Make Up: Karol Cooper
Lighting Designer: Mike Eddy
Production Stage Manager: Jenissa Yauney
Scenery: FCLO Music Theatre
Flying Effects: ZFX, Inc.
Sound Designer: Brian Honsberger
Technical Director: Tom Holmberg



   

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