Peter Pan

“Can you fly?”  “Do have any pixie dust in your pocket?”

Peter Pan

These questions from my friends did not surprise me.  After all, my name was Wendy, and Peter Pan was very big when I was a girl.  The Disney movie opened in 1953.  Mary Martin played Peter on Broadway in 1954 and performed the role live on NBC in 1955, 1956, and 1960.  I owned the original cast album and knew every song by heart.  When we watched the show on TV, I would run out of the room when the lost boys shot down the “Wendy Bird.”  The scene was too emotional for me!  But I loved this story whose heroine shared my name.

Today Peter Pan is everywhere. Disney has spun off Disney Fairies and Jake and the Never Land Pirates.

Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have written several prequels to J. M. Barrie’s original story.  One of them, Peter and the Starcatchers, has been adapted into a play.

The beneficiary of the Peter Pan copyright, the Great Ormond Street Hospital, ran a contest to select an author to write a sequel to Peter and Wendy.  Geraldine McCaughrean, the winner, created a swashbuckling adventure in Peter Pan in Scarlet.

And this Thursday, December 4, at 7 p.m. CST on NBC a fresh live production of the Broadway show will be presented for a new audience in Peter Pan Live!  Once again Wendy Darling will sew Peter’s shadow back on, she and her brothers will fly to Neverland, the hungry crocodile will pursue Captain Hook, children everywhere will be asked to save Tinker Bell’s life by clapping their hands, and the boy who never grew up will continue to enchant young and old.

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