National Youth Arts - ArtsDig - Resource for youth arts
 
Review

 
Westchester Broadway Theatre keeps the story of the boy who would never grow up as young and fresh as ever with their summer dinner theatre production in Elmsford, New York. After cast members pass out the selected dish (the spinach Florentine was quite good) they later head back stage, entering again to start the magic. The Darling’s maid Liza, on the night I attended played by the graceful and playful Alex Bradsell (who also stars as the amusing and athletic Tiger Lily), picks up three little kids in stuffed animal costumes and guides them to the toy box. Although not without some reluctance from the toys – toys that are cleverly used at other times during Liza interludes throughout Director George Puello’s creative and magical show.

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

Rob Hopper
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Executive Director
National Youth Arts

~ Cast ~
 

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Peter: Rebecca Simpson Wallack
Hook: John Fogarty
Smee: Daniel Carlino
Wendy: Lauren Moore
John: Conner Ives
Michael: Alex Pasieka
Mrs. Darling: Maggie Thompson
Tiger Lily/Liza: Alex Bradsell
Nana: Carly McLam

~ Pirates ~
Mullins: Tim Stout
Starky: Joey Sanzaro
Cecco: Sam Sultan
Noodler: Joe Coppola
Jukes: FaTye
Calico Jack: David Arzberger

~ Lost Boys ~
Slightly: Shannon Stout
Twin 1: Ryan Fanelli
Twin 2: Kayla Moore
Tootles: Allison Muccioli
Nibs: Alyssa DiPanfilo
Curly: Johanna Rosen
Lefty: Raffaela Cicchetti
Righty: Stephanie Ferreira
Bootsy: Briana Dunlay
Piggy: Connor Groppa

~ Indians/Birds ~
Indian/Bird:
Madison Schindele
Nola Donkin
Bear/Indian: Sami Naus
Kangaroo/Indian: Jolie Denburg
Indian/Nana: Kira Goidel
Lion/Crocodile/Indian: Davyd H. Suber, Jr.
Jane: Shannon Stout
Children's Ensemble:
Gianna Cicchetti
Elizabeth Montemurro
Sofia Tome

Director: George Puello
Assistant Director: John Fanelli
Musical Director: Michelle DeAngelis
Choreographer: David Arzberger
Stage Manager: Lindsey Porter

   

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