Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Precocious Peter Pan

Tyler Michaels is perfectly cast as the infamous imp Peter Pan

Photo courtesy of Dan Norman
It's no secret that I'm a Tyler Michaels fan, but I promise, there's a reason: he's just so darn good.

Especially when it comes to musical theater. It's very difficult to find people who are equally great actors, singers, and dancers; Tyler is not only all of those things, but an accomplished acrobat as well.

Which is why, when I heard he had been cast in the new Peter Rothstein production of Peter Pan at the Children's Theater, I rushed to attend. I wasn't disappointed.
Photo courtesy of Dan Norman
This was my first time at the Children's Theater, and I can now confirm: the hype is true. This was a beautifully produced show with astonishing attention to detail. The sets were gorgeous and perfect for kids, a winsome mix of Dr. Seuss and Eric Carl come to life. Costumes were equally appropriate, hitting the fine line between silly cartoonish and way-too-much.

Peter Pan is not stingy with effects. There is a little of everything to be found here: sword fighting, dancing, STOMP, fairy dust, acrobatic tricks, and most spectacularly, flying. Michaels literally glides through the air, pirouetting with a grace that is rarely seen in a harness. His astonishing acrobatic talents totally sell the Peter Pan effect, despite the fact that you can see ropes and other props helping him out.
Photo courtesy of Dan Norman
The ensemble cast was also terrific, Michaels aside. In particular, Reed Sigmund (as a blustery Mister Darling and a simpering, devious Captain Hook) and Alanna Saunders (as silver voiced Wendy - honestly, she's a gorgeous singer) were standouts. The lost boys and other child performers were great too, and clearly well rehearsed; they flipped around on-stage with the precision only a Rothstein rehearsal can imbue. Performances are always more fun when the actors themselves are having a good time, and it's clear that this cast is having a blast.
Photo courtesy of Dan Norman
It's a testament to the quality of the show that of the innumerable children in the audience, not one made a peep throughout the performance. There was no crying, no talking - not even fidgeting. Each kid was completely entranced with the vision of Peter Pan, and it was super fun to witness.

This terrific show is running through the end of June. Make sure you get your tickets! For more information about the show and attending, click this link.