KAT-2nd Stage is back at the Kentlands Arts Barn with their latest family offering: Peter Pan, Jr.
Peter Pan tells the story of the flying boy who never wants to grow up, the magical world he inhabits, and the friendships he makes with the children of the Darling family. Based on the beloved J. M. Barrie novel, the musical version features music by Morris Charlap and Jule Styne, and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green.
The large ensemble cast, comprised predominantly of area students, showcases strong performances from by Nora “Aiko” Suliman as Peter Pan, and Mathew Rubin as Captain Hook.
Several groups of ensemble characters brought joy to the show. The “Mean Girls,” led by Ava Silberman as Tiger Lily, offer a contemporary update on the Native American princesses from the Peter Pan of yore. Their satirical dances featuring lyrics about high fashion and yoga add a dash of 21st-century whimsy to the production.
The scruffy Lost Boys delighted the audience with a variety of group dances and solos as they sang of their love for Wendy (tenderly portrayed by Elena Yeatts-Lonske) and their admiration for Peter Pan.
Captain Hook and his pirates were a delightful ensemble group. A swarthy crew, they brought a good dose of humor as they tried to outsmart Peter and quaked with fear in the presence of Hook’s enemy: the tick-tocking crocodile (played by Caroline Axley).
Mathew Rubin stood out as Captain Hook, delivering a consistently lively performance. His line delivery was well-paced and tuned in to the comedy of the character. As Peter, Nora Suliman showed off a powerful singing voice and ability to belt on iconic tunes like “I Won’t Grow Up.”
Now, we all know that flying is a central part of the Peter Pan story, which is a tricky thing to pull off in the Arts Barn, which is not equipped with the necessary equipment to make “flying” a genuine possibility. Director Fred Zirm came up with a charming and innovative way around this challenge. I won’t spoil the surprise for you, but it was fun and believable.
The production is helmed by the creative team of Zirm, Musical Director Arielle Bayer, Choreographers Ian Brown-Gorrell and Olivia Herlein, and Costume/Makeup Designer Jennifer Morrissey Dallasta. Doe Kim produced the show.
Peter Pan, Jr. offers family fun sure to delight the youngsters in your brood.
Running Time: One hour with no intermission.