We arrived last evening with high expectations, based on the marketing and video b-roll of the show on the website and the "testimonials" as well. WOW, what a disappointment. Though we knew very well that this was not the traditional musical version of Peter Pan, the show still did not deliver on so many levels. First and foremost, the content and style of the production is way above the head of an 8 year old or perhaps for child even older. We noted that several parents with young children left at intermission, and the fidgeting amongst those who remained in the theatre was more than noticeable. Why? Quite simply the show did not command their attention. The show itself is clever in many aspects in concept as it relates to the CGI incorporation (video) and some of the puppetry most notable being the crocodile. That said, the simple business of the flying rigs (connecting and disconnecting ones' self or another from the rig) is cumbersome, overtly obvious and distracting to the production. The set is minimal and non effective and I could not help to wonder why the nursery windows and walls and beds for that matter continued to make steady and cameo appearances throughout the show; again another distraction. The acting ranged in level from incredibly seasoned (Captain Hook) to slightly community theatre; example: John and Michael played by adults that wouldn't pass for a teenager or young boy if your glasses were fogged. Truth be told, I was concerned from the beginning when Wendy emerged from her opening slumber to reveal a 30’s something woman. Without going into each character and the portrayal there of, just suffice it to say that the casting and acting overall leaves much to be desired. The sequences were long, and at times boring. The dialogue rambled on helplessly at points and this is truly where most of the children in the theatre were left to their own devices. Now, some positive points. The score was magnifacent, there was just not enough of it. Perhaps if the entire show or a good portion thereof were underscored, it would have made for a much more enjoyable pacing of the show. The video imagery is stunning and the initial flight sequence to Neverland is gorgeous. The actor portraying Mr. Darling/Captain Hook was wonderful and spot on with this characterization. Tinker Bell ( a live actress and not the traditional ball of light) added a welcomed combination of spice and humor to the show. This was just about all of the humor we experienced for the night save for a few bumbling pirate instances, “live” Tinker Bell was a welcomed addition. Bottom line, the show is not all that it is cracked up to be by any stretch. The acting overall is subpar, the costuming is lackluster and unimagined and the spirit of J.M. Barrie’s story falls flat with this production. They say that sometimes the worst movies look amazing if you judge them by the commercials and the preview edits…I could say the same for Peter Pan 360.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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