The Adventures of Peter Pan
As a child, I was never interested in J.M. Barrie’s 1911 novel Peter Pan. Over the years it has graced Broadway stages and been featured in television and film, but I didn’t budge. When given the chance to see Synetic Theatre’s adaption, The Adventures of Peter Pan, I was a little skeptical. Let me say that I am glad I decided to see the performance.
What sets Synetic Theatre’s rendition apart from others, is the way they use various kinds of dramatic art. Synetic fuses narration, music, various forms of dance, acrobatics and gymnastics, pushing the envelope in ways I haven’t seen on most stages outside of New York City.
While waiting for the show to begin, the intimate theater was made more so by the sounds of birds in the jungle. The audience was a mix of young and old, proving Peter’s belief that one never really grows up.
“Wow. It’s beautiful,” said my 10-year-old of Tinker Bell’s fiber optic costume which lights up in a myriad of colors. The curtain slowly unveils with Tink over a headstone next to a grieving Peter. The music, haunting like the sounds of Enigma. Peter duels with his shadow in a comical version of dance off.
“This is funny,” my daughter continues as we flip to the two Darling brothers having a contest to see who jump the highest on their beds. From behind the curtain appears Peter Pan as a force to be reckoned with. “I’m not afraid of anything,” Peter says. Wendy Darling replies, “you’re creepy.”
There were a few stand out scenes. The entire audience enjoyed the celebration dance for the Darling children’s arrival to Neverland. Set to Irish music, there was Celtic and Russian dancing infused with some elements of hip hop and other dance forms. The mermaids dancing in the water were like sea sirens; the creativity is electric. Tink’s resurrection with the phoenix rising from the darkness was eerily haunting yet illustrated the circle of life in such a poignant way. The Adventures of Peter Pan evokes various emotions and some mature drama, but also some comedy.
Even though Captain Hook is a crooked pirate, you empathize for the Pirates of the Caribbean lookalike leader. We all know Hook has quite the ego. He shares the feeling that many people do…fear of dying. Jealous that Peter is unafraid and is forever young, he questions How Peter does it? Smee, the always sarcastic swashbuckling sidekick replies, “with a healthy diet and yoga.” I think Smee is on to something!
Peter awakens from a nightmare and asks “Why do people have to grow up? Grownups forget to live. They worry about money and growing old.” Without spoiling Hook’s demise, let the show tell you through bungee jumping, an angry storm and a hungry crocodile. Intrigued, aren’t you?
We took a vote in our household to see who was our favorite character. My husband said Captain Hook who is played by Ryan Sellers. My choice was Peter Pan played by Alex Mills. Mills is the quintessential choice for this production. With his handsome look and boyish demeanor, he effortlessly portrays Peter Pan in a natural light. Not surprised that my daughter picked Tinker Bell whom she took a photo with after the show. Anna Tsikurishvili, who plays Tinker Bell, keeps it all in the family, which is synonymous with the play. Anna and her brother, Vato, who is the show’s co-director, are the children of artistic director Paata Tsikurishvili and choreographer Irina Tsikurisvili. We all agreed that Kendra Rai’s costumes designs are exceptional. The whimsical approach combined with the makeup illustrate the magnitude of this production.
The show concludes with Wendy telling Peter Pan that while Neverland is magical, she and her brothers need to return home. Wendy says, “Neverland is a beautiful place. The real world is too.”
- The Adventures of Peter Pan is on stage until November 19, 2017. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 866-811-4111. Tickets are $15 for students and $35 and up otherwise. Senior citizens and military receive $5 off.
- The production is recommended for ages 7 and up and we agree.
- On October 29th, there will be a Pirate’s Ball. Tickets include a 2 p.m. performance of the show plus post-show family activities.
- There is a parking garage around the corner from the theatre and it’s free weekday evenings and all weekend long.
- Photography and recording of any kind is prohibited.
Photos courtesy of Johnny Shryock and Brittany Diliberto.