Up, Up, and away! “Think lovely thoughts” and come along on a fantastic flight as Arlington Players takes you for a ride to remember during their playful production of Peter Pan. Set to live orchestrated music arranged by Morris Charlap, Director Christopher Smith did justice to the popular adventurous tale of the boy who never wants to grow up. The Darling kids-Wendy, Michael and John meet the fascinating Peter Pan who takes them on an adventurous journey to Never Land where they encounter numerous foes; notably the evil Captain Hook. Full of fanciful frolics and unadulterated fun, the youthful cast brought tons of enthusiasm to their performance based on the original play by J.M. Barrie.
Kelsey Meiklejohn soared in her performance as Peter Pan. She brought vitality to the character, with a childlike boyish freshness. Light on her feet and graceful as a swan, Meiklejohn has the exuberant energy of 10-year-old boy! Meiklejohn amazes with her unexpected beautiful, big voice in “I Gotta Crow,” “Neverland,” and “Wendy.” As she bounces from set piece to set piece, you definitely feel the excitement and joyousness that embodies the character of Peter Pan.
Up, Up, and away! “Think lovely thoughts” and come along on a fantastic flight as Arlington Players takes you for a ride to remember during their playful production of ‘Peter Pan.’
Who’s the swiniest swine of all? Brian M. Lyons-Burke (Captain Hook, Mr. Darling) that’s who! Lyons-Burke “Hooks” you in with a crazy comical performance! “Hook’s Tango” proved that there’s nothing funnier than a hoodwinking pirate plotting and planning schemes to an up-tempo beat while twisting his hips to the tango! Wendy played by Haley Shea, lived up to her “darling” surname, as she bravely and lovingly cared for her brothers Michael and John (Jack Keaney, Stuart Orloff) and the rough and tumble lost boys (Ransom Cain, Preston Cain, Ian Alcorn, Dara Kearney, Patrick Kearney, Hannah Hess) in Neverland.
The sneaky, creepy crocodile played by Nolan Hughes, is a hoot as he shows up sporadically during the performance slithering across stage on a skateboard. Hughes was equally as funny and lovable as the Darling family’s oversized Saint Bernard.
The genuine costume designs (Barbara Esquibel, Joan Lada, Kevin Lane) and intentionally chaotic fight scenes (choreographed by Steve Lada) added to the authenticity of the Peter Pan story that most of us grew up listening to and seeing.
Scott Stark’s imaginative sets-Wendy, John and Michael’s nursery, Neverland, and Hook’s pirate ship were all designed with special and distinct detail, allowing each set to stand out uniquely from the other. Sound and lighting designers Drew Moberley and Ryan Desmond came together flawlessly to produce amazing effects. They cleverly brought Tinker Bell to life with a flickering, glowing green light that fluttered from one end of the stage to another, and topped it off with lovely accompanying sounding “tinks” that enhanced the illusion of her twinkle. The most memorable for me is the moment the stage transformed from the Darling nursery to the sparkling, glittery-lit, pitch-black sky, defining their magical midnight flight to Neverland.
Peter Pan is a lively story that represents what childhood should be; full of freedom, being present and believing that any and everything is possible.
Running Time: 2 hours with one 15-minute intermission.
Arlington Players’ Peter Pan runs through April 25, 2015 at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 2nd St S, Arlington, VA 22204. For tickets, please visit online.