Last night, I had the absolute privilege of watching the live musical Peter Pan at the historic Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts in Wilmington. I had a wonderful evening and this production is absolutely worth going to see.
I’ve been to the Thalian Hall Center several times now and I’m fairly familiar with the layout. I’m always excited now every time I get to see a show because I enjoy looking out onto the stage and seeing how everything is set up before the show starts. The stage design really sets up what kind of mood the performance will have and I could tell based on the colors of the set, with the pink walls and the brightly colored quilts on the beds, that this was going to be a lot of fun. I’m very familiar with Peter Pan by this time, having recently read the book and watched several of the movies, so I was hopeful that the musical would be as fun and light-hearted as the stage setting indicated.
I think that this is the most enjoyment I’ve gotten out of any of the live shows I’ve attended so far, including shows I saw before I started heading down to the Thalian Hall Center. I’ve seen plays in Seattle, Minneapolis, and some smaller venues across different states and this was definitely the most fun that I had with any of the shows I’ve been to.
Holy buckets, the characters got to fly around the stage! Peter Pan did a great job with the acrobatic tricks and the flying around the stage and I really enjoyed watching Wendy, John, and Michael learning how to fly. I also liked how Peter Pan was able to fly around in the final battle with Captain Hook. It was a lot of fun to watch.
The costumes were well-done and fit each character exactly. Peter Pan’s outfit was fantastic and blended so well with the scenery and some of the other characters that I sometimes had difficulty keeping track of where Peter Pan was at certain times throughout the show, which is exactly how it should be, especially when Peter Pan is messing around with the pirates. The costumes for the pirates, the lost boys, and the Indians were all distinct and wonderfully done. I was a huge fan of the costumes for the Indians because of how bright and different they were while still being true to the source content meant from the book or the movies. I think everyone in the theater had an “awh” moment when the small humans in animal costumes went on the stage. Even though their roles were very small, they were very cute and played their parts well. The animal costumes for Nana and the crocodile were also very artfully done. The crocodile itself looked amazing and as though it required a vast amount of work both to make it and to use it.
I really enjoyed the sets for the show as well. The distinct difference between the bedroom where the story starts and ends and Neverland during the adventures were fantastic. The bedroom was bright and filled with colors and Neverland was a more nature forest environment. When the pirate ship rose up from the stage, I was impressed. That was a pretty neat trick and I liked how they did it. I liked how the show used all of the parts on the stage effectively.
Overall, the characters were a lot of fun, the story was good, the stage settings and costumes were bright and colorful, and I had a great time. The performer who won the role of Peter Pan did a fantastic and amazing job with all aspects of the role and performed superbly.
I have to admit that my reading of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie a few months ago combined with where I was at in my life gave me some negative residual emotions in regards to Peter Pan. I felt sorry for Peter Pan because the ending of the book makes it absolutely clear that he would never truly have love in his life and that he was selfish and cold. I can’t think of anything worse in life than living without love. I think that the ending of the musical did a great job of having a more positive residual effect and I left the theater feeling cheered and in a much better place with Peter Pan as a whole.