A typical production of Peter Pan juggles such stage variables as child actors, production numbers, dancers in animal costumes, sword play, elaborate set changes, lasers, pyrotechnics, three types of smoke (dry ice, hazers and chemical fog) and, ideally flying (I qualified the later because some older road houses cannot support the ZFX or FOY rigging but I am getting ahead of myself). When all this stage craft works harmoniously the show delivers on its promise to be a place where dreams are born. When they do not, such is the magic of live theater that the audience is usually in on the joke and, so long as it is only pride that gets hurt, everyone exits the main or stage door smiling.
To wit: my experience as an actor in a tour of Peter Pan included such unscripted moments as Captain Hook’s hook unscrewing and flying across the stage- forcing his fellow pirates to call him “Captain Stump;”, the child actor playing Michael falling asleep onstage forcing Wendy to scream in his ear: “Wake up!!!!” - prompting the kid to jump to his feet like he just saw Elaine Stritch under his bed, before being latched to his flying rig, and yanked into the air-where he woke up somewhere over the mezzanine. And of course the eluded to former vaudeville road house with such limited fly space only Peter Pan could sing, “I’m Flying,” while the little Darlings pondered how they were going to hitch a ride to Neverland.
Do you have a similar story? Share it below!
“You have the right to remain creative”… Michael Fletcher Tester