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Peter Pan, undead?


bjluver80
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Anyone else totally underwhelmed by NBC's Peter Pan Live!? About as exciting as watching naked women's tits wiggle. Guess that's rather subjective.

Oh for Mary Martin, et. al., to return. Even in black & white, what I remember from the 60s was so much better. Or maybe I just didn't know any better.

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I watched it through - more for nostalgia than anything else. I too would have preferred seeing the original Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard production.

 

While I do appreciate the attempt to bring back entertainment for a whole family together, last year's "Sound of Music" was also (for me, but not for many others who commented back then) a disappointment. I understand the intricacies of filming these musical shows "live" but then... Broadway manages to do it night after night.

 

I kept thinking as we were into the 2nd and more the 3rd hour of the live show that it was getting more ponderous and ... dull?... - it lost a lot of the opening freshness and vitality that it began with, and I was more aware of glitches (from a live broadcast - so expected, and forgiven). But I watched it through to the end as the original production (and the original music from it) are etched forever in fond memories of my youth.

 

It was IMHO not stellar or spectacular, but it is always nice around Christmas to hear the music and lyrics, and think back on Neverland.

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Oops -- but then - most here already know the plot so I hope it is not a spoiler. I think, Deej, that by the first 20 minutes into the production you have a good enough idea whether it is worth it... but I watched it through to the end more for the music (and have to say... I am NOT a fan of this new tendency - like last year in "Sound of Music" - to add new songs).

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A couple of (my) thoughts on Peter Pan

 

1. I wasn't totally enchanted by it, but I liked it.

 

2. I remember looking forward to the Mary Martin version repeatedly for that period of multiple years when I think they showed it yearly. But I wonder if now I'd have the same feelings toward it, if it didn't hold nostalgia for me, as I had toward this one.

 

3. Compared to the Live Sound of Music Last Year, Peter Pan was a grand slam and touchdown combined where Music was a foul hit caught by the catcher behind the plate. I thought there was no comparison as all the main characters in Peter could actually act.

 

4. I realize it's traditional but I really think it's time for Peter to be played by a male actor again. It would obviously need to be a teenager just before or after puberty. While I had no problems with Ms. Williams' acting I just couldn't suspend my disbelief enough to accept her as male.

 

Yeah, I think we know how it ends. :cool:

 

But, man, if Christian Borle had bared those guns in "SMASH" it might have done better in the ratings. Just a thought.

 

5. How funny I had the same thought about Christian Borle. I noticed it particularly when he was hanging on the gangplank as Smee. I had my iPhone in my hand as I was watching the show, and during that scene, I immediately googled shirtless pictures of Christian Borle to see if there was any evidence of him having big guns in the past as I remembered him as being rather on the lean side without visible guns. Alas all the pictures a quick search could find showed him gun-less. I'm betting he worked out for this show.

 

And now a question- in many productions aren't Mr. Darling and Capt. Hook played by the same actor to give some Freudian subtext to the production?

 

 

Gman

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Although it is not unusual for directors to have the lines spoken or emphasized in such a way as to project an interpretation of

the director that may not have been intended by the original author, it would seem to me that a practical reason for having

Darling and Hook be the same actor in a professional production would be to lower expenses for salaries.

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This is one stage play that had a few actors playing multiple parts (and not just Mr. Darling/Cpt. Hook -- that here was switched up anyway) but also with some others. Honcho has the correct reason - it was a cost-saving device often used where a character is in small(er) parts and at different parts of the play.

 

On Christian Borle, my first thought (when he was out of his Mr. Darling attire and in the pirate dress) was -- does he have those faux nylon tattoos on his arms??? I thought they were hideous but was more drawn to the HUGE guns on his arms and also wondered if those were "make-up"? Loved too how he was dispatched over the gang-plank in enough time to get out of the pirate costume and into the Mr Darling outfit.

 

I too would like to finally see Peter Pan played by a male - Mary Martin carried the almost Tomboyish quality in it to make it realistic for children but later attempts (with pixie gymnists etc...) often leave me perplexed, and of course it leads to a lot of miscues in the Wendy-Peter scenes (she obviously in puberty, "Peter" just plain confused... but knowing Peter is played by a girl, more yucky than anything else).

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I didn't watch it... Sound of Music was such a disappointment, I didn't want to repeat the experience. I think if PBS did something like this, they would have a real winner, but I don't think there are any folks at the other networks that have a clue. Better to hire a Broadway theater and give the real pros a chance to do it right and then just film it there.

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Oops -- but then - most here already know the plot so I hope it is not a spoiler. I think, Deej, that by the first 20 minutes into the production you have a good enough idea whether it is worth it... but I watched it through to the end more for the music (and have to say... I am NOT a fan of this new tendency - like last year in "Sound of Music" - to add new songs).

 

No new songs were added to The Sound of Music last year. Yes, "Something Good" (added to the 1965 film) was sung instead of "An Ordinary Couple" from the original stage show, but that substitution has been made in stage productions for many years - there's nothing new about it. (The Rodgers and Hammerstein Library allows that change to be made in standard stage productions, as well as the possibility of adding in "I've Got Confidence" from the film as well.)

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Diverdan: I didn't watch it... Sound of Music was such a disappointment, I didn't want to repeat the experience. I think if PBS did something like this, they would have a real winner, but I don't think there are any folks at the other networks that have a clue. Better to hire a Broadway theater and give the real pros a chance to do it right and then just film it there.

 

Martin and Sandy Duncan were too old to play Peter Pan, but they had a wealth of show business experience and star power. They were real pros.

 

The much younger Williams seemed as if she just wanted to get though the three-hour live performance without any major mistakes.

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Did I think it was brilliant, no? Not a big Peter Pan fan to begin with. The comment about Ms. Williams trying to get through it without millions of people guffawing had to be on her mind. Say all you want about PBS, the reality is NBC is taking a big chance on the whole concept, this is not cheap by any standard, so I like the effort. I do remember as a kid watching the Mary Martin version and clapping for Tink. This is a one shot performance, no rewrites, no redos once and the show closes. Still my favorite live production is Lesley Ann Warren's Cinderella and they had a couple of Oscar nominated and winning actors in that production with Walter Pidgeon, Celeste Holm and Jo Van Fleet.

 

But how much fun the play would have been had they gone the way of the Once Upon a Time with a nasty Peter!

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NBC is taking a big chance on the whole concept, this is not cheap by any standard, so I like the effort.

 

I agree with deej and you.. I have the DVD of the 1960 Martin/Ritchard version, which is a hour and forty-one minutes without commercials. So last night was almost a hour longer. Most of the Martin cast had already performed on Broadway in 1954 in the musical and live on television in 1955 and 1956.

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I think someone at NBC hasn't grasped that today's audiences demand more sophistication in their entertainment. Recreations of "how it was done back then" may be interesting to academics and those wallowing in nostalgia, but will not reach a modern audience raised on computer animated fantasies. NBC is out-of-touch and out-of-date!

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I didn't see it but on the radio this morning, the description was given that this was the worst 3 hour drag show they have ever made.

 

LMHO -- I thought the production went way overboard making the pirates into a blown up segment of Ru Paul's shows. Christopher Walker's "Captain Hook" reminded me of Terrance Stamp's portrayal of the aging drag queen in "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" - but I want to give Mr. Walker his due, he can sing and dance as well as act, and kept up with the choreography. Still he really camped up his role (although, if memory serves me, so did the original - Cyril Ritchard - though in a more subdued "British" way).

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