by Westchester Broadway Theatre
With the toys put away, the story is set to take off with Peter Pan flying in through the window. That’s Rebecca Simpson Wallach – a talented young actress with vocals that soar whether she’s literally soaring through the air in Flying or capturing the wonder and excitement of Neverland or the poignancy of A Distant Melody, all while nailing the character so completely with his curiosity over a hobby horse, Peter’s boyish confidence and pride (especially that it was his kiss/thimble that saved Wendy’s life), and his fears and loneliness that are felt but never spoken. This side of Peter is most palpable with Wendy during A Distant Melody. Lauren Moore and Rebecca are real-life close friends, and their chemistry is clear throughout, but especially as Peter rests his head in Wendy’s lap, finally letting himself be touched, leaving Wendy visibly both sympathetic to all he keeps inside him and touched that Peter has opened up to her in this way. A great comedian as well, Lauren gets far more out of Wendy’s character than usual.
But if these friends are going to make it out of this show alive, they’ve got to deal with the dastardly Captain Hook. Jeff Schlotman is a hoot as the outrageous Hook, always accompanied very closely by lovable, devoted, brown-nosing attendant Smee (Daniel Carlino) who in the course of several scenes becomes intimately familiar with his boss’s butt. Hook and his pirates generate tons of laughs throughout and a bit of frenzied running as they chase after Tiger Lily and her Indians all around the stage and seats. Other highlights include an energetic Ugg-A-Wugg song and dance by the Indians, little John (Conner Ives) and Michael (Alex Pasieka) joining in on an exuberant Flying scene, and a lively group of Lost Boys always ready to celebrate Peter Pan or swear they’ll never grow up or cry over Hamlet or even teach kids in the audience how to crow. Not to mention a fun, suave, tap-dancing Crocodile (Davyd H. Suber, Jr.) who chases after Hook with unparalleled style.
Spoiler alert: Although Captain Hook’s fate seems bleak between the Croc and the bomb following him over the side of the Jolly Roger, we know at least his hook survives as it comes flying back out onto the stage of a rejoicing Neverland.
Performed July 8 - August 15, 2010
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