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‘Peter Pan’ performance cheapens childhood classic

The most recent production of the Children’s Musical Theaterworks (CMT) cast explored the lives of children who never want to grow up in Peter Pan. The show ran from Dec. 5-13 at the Fresno Memorial Auditorium.

In the play, Peter Pan arrives at a house and teaches the children there to fly. With their newfound ability, the children accompany Peter Pan to Neverland ? the home of the lost boys where kids never grow up. Once there, Wendy fills the role of Peter Pan’s mother, although she harbors a crush on him.

After he and his companions rescue a captured Indian leader from a band of pirates, Captain Hook endeavors to take out Peter Pan and sparks a battle between the pirate and the lost boys allied with the Indians. The musical revolves around the conflict between Peter Pan and Captain Hook while also highlighting Wendy’s increasing attachment to the lost boys.

The CMT actors, aged 10 to adult, brought James M. Barrie’s classic novel to the stage. However, the slow pace of scenes and inactivity spoiled the celebrated musical.

Despite the well-constructed and professional set pieces, the performance lacked depth in the staging and limited the talented actors’ movement. Since they seemed to stay in one place throughout the duration of each scene, I lost interest and anticipated the first intermission.

The intermission came and went, but the momentum remained about the same. I awaited the climax of the musical to recapture my interest. With the characters now in Peter Pan’s native Neverland, the action escalated ? which made the performance more interesting ? but also confused the plot.

As the scenes alternated between unwanted and unnecessary, I again grew impatient for the second intermission. I expected the falling action to occur after this point ? it did, but with the same unbearable pace.

Near the end of the play, Wendy and her brothers leave Peter Pan and Neverland behind in order to return to their home. Until this scene, it felt like nothing exciting happened.

Later, when the ageless Peter Pan revisits his former friends, he finds a matured Wendy in place of the juvenile girl. After she hears story’s of her mother’s experiences, Wendy’s daughter Jane follows Peter Pan back to Neverland to live with him. The scene concluded the play on an ambiguous note.

Although not the best CMT musical I have seen to date, the Peter Pan cast ? including some of my friends and acting peers ? performed well and preserved some of the musical’s original merit.

For more drama reviews, visit the Dec. 12 article, ‘Nutcracker’ choreography mars Christmas masterpiece.

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  • S

    Sydney RayAug 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Aaron has the best unicycle skills I have ever seen. His balance is amazing! He never fails to brighten my day when he rides into class on his unicycle and is sternly told by teachers not to ride into class anymore.

    Great job, Aaron, and keep up the good balance! : )

    Reply
  • A

    Austin RurikAug 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

    I’ve always wanted to try unicycling, because unicycling is probably the coolest thing I’ve ever seen anyone do in my entire life! Aaron, your a boss.

    Reply
  • D

    Dean PotigianAug 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

    What a beast.

    Reply
  • H

    Hoi Ting WuAug 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

    How awesome that Aaron knows how to riding it! t’s hard to balance on the stairs.

    Reply
  • A

    AaronAug 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Unicycling is one of the funnest hobbies I’ve picked up. Being able to ride with the No. 2 unicyclist, Joe Campbell, in North America helps me get so much better everytime I ride. It’s really fun riding with him and our crew.

    It’s also really fun bringing my uni to school and showing my friends how to ride and watching them try to get the hang of it!

    Reply
  • Z

    Zac MiznerAug 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Thats so cool! I wish I could unicycle like that! I’M so Jealous! I’ll give you 50 bucks for your unicycling skill!

    Reply
  • C

    Cooper BelmontAug 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

    That takes a lot of skill and talent to do that! I wish I was as good as you
    Aaron!!

    Reply
  • A

    Andrew McCormickAug 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Aaron your the best; you are so talented. I wish I could be like you. I am so glad you are my friend. I would be nothing without you! Your the best around don’t ever let anything bring you down.

    Reply
  • M

    Michael HedrickAug 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Keep up the good work at school and on the baseball field. I love you a lot and hope to see you soon:)

    Love Michael

    P.S. I’m better at riding a uni than you:P jk

    Reply