Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Las Vegas

Peter Pan: A Musical Adventure
Super Summer Theatre / Huntsman Entertainment
Review by Mary LaFrance

Also see Mary's review of Cabaret


Timothy Burris, Gabrielle Cook, and Joel Ruud
Photo by Sheree Flick Photography
The boy who won't grow up flew into Las Vegas this month, for Huntsman Entertainment's production of Peter Pan: A Musical Adventure at the Super Summer Theatre. With action that alternates between the Darling family's Victorian-style London home and the faraway seascape of Neverland, the outdoor venue is perfect for this musical adaptation of J.M Barrie's 1904 play, with book by Willis Hall, music by George Stiles, and lyrics by Anthony Drewe.

While this is a slightly updated version of Barrie's tale, it is still firmly rooted in boyhood fantasy, so if you aren't entertained by onstage battles and frequent threats of painful death, its charms might elude you. But if you can put yourself in the mind of a 10-year-old boy, it's all good fun.

In general, the cast are stronger singers than they are actors, but the lead roles are well performed. Joel Ruud and Gabrielle Cook deliver solid performances as Peter and Wendy, respectively, and Timothy Burris shines in the dual roles of Mr. Darling and Captain Hook. Cynthia Vodovoz does a fine job as Mrs. Darling; her act two duet with Wendy ("Just Beyond the Stars") is a musical high point. Nana the dog is a puppet (designed and built by Andres Ramirez), nicely manipulated by Kyara Isis Williams as the Darlings' maid Liza.

Some of the best scenes are those that feature Tiger Lily and the Neverland Natives, reimagined here as a band of aboriginal warriors. Jaida Albanito is a fierce Tiger Lily, with a strong voice and powerful stage presence. The Natives' dance number is a near showstopper, thanks to Dawn Campbell's sharp choreography and heart-pounding execution by the dancers.

The production is visually rich, with creative scenic and costume designs by director Steve Huntsman. Thanks to the venerable Flying by Foy, the flying sequences run smoothly, although they are too cautious to be thrilling. For the most part, Jay LeDane's lighting serves the production well; at the performance I attended, however, a crucial reveal involving the crocodile was shrouded in darkness.

And the show felt too long, to the point where the audience was almost too sleepy to save Tinkerbell. Hopefully the pace has picked up since I saw it; fairies are in short supply.

Peter Pan: A Musical Adventure continues through August 18, 2018 (Thursday-Saturday at 8:05 pm) at the Super Summer Theatre, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, 6375 NV Rte. 159, Las Vegas NV. For tickets and further information, go to www.supersummertheatre.org.

Cast:
Peter Pan: Joel Ruud
Captain Hook, Mr. Darling: Timothy Burris
Wendy Darling: Gabrielle Cook
John Darling: Blake Heller
Michael Darling: Leonidas Brown
Mrs. Darling/Mermaid: Cynthia Vodovoz
Tinkerbell: Vanessa Lopez
Mr. Smee: Andrew Driovich
Storyteller: Kate Sirls
Tiger Lily: Jaida Albanito
Curly: Cameron Yaksitch
Nibs: John Abrego
Slightly: Ryan Caviola
Tootles: Thomas Taylor
Twin One: Adelynn Tourendal
Twin Two: Mckenna Roundy
The Crocodile: TJ Branch
Cecco: Andrew Nranche
Skylights: Aliz Cruz
Mullins: Jennifer DeAnne King
Noodler: Ken Haley
Jukes: Nicholas Lamb
Starky: David McFarland
Cookson: Tatum Rajsky
Neverland Natives: Piper Huntsman, Selene Ibara, Kyara Isis Williams, McKenna Winesett
Liza: Kyara Isis Williams
Young Wendy: Violet King-Davich

Additional Creative:
Sound Design by Katherine Gonzalez, Orchestration by Martin Laniel, Fight Choreography by Sean Crichfield, Ballroom Choreography by Monica Johns, Flying direction by Harold Christenson


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