An all-new production of the 1954 Moose Charlap-Carolyn Leigh musical version of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan will launch in December at Saint Paul, Minnesota's Ordway Center. An official opening will follow in February 2024 at Baltimore, Maryland's Hippodrome.
As previously reported, Tony nominee Lonny Price (Sunset Boulevard, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill) will direct and Lorin Latarro (Waitress, The Who’s Tommy) will choreograph, with the non-Equity tour produced by NETworks Presentations.
As always, the production will feature the Charlap-Leigh score, with additional songs by Jule Styne, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green. Though Jerome Robbins' adaptation of Barrie's original script will also be used, this new tour will feature a revised book by Native American playwright Larissa FastHorse (The Thanksgiving Play), who has been brought on to tackle the musical's depiction of Native Americans.
“I am thrilled to be part of bringing Peter Pan to life for a new generation,” said FastHorse in an earlier statement. “If you loved this musical before, you will still see the show that enchanted you, while discovering a Peter Pan that everyone can enjoy, without harm, for many years to come.”
Sixteen-year-old Nolan Almeida will star in the title role, joined by Cody Garcia (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tour) as Captain Hook, Emerson College graduate Hawa Kamara as Wendy, and recording artist Raye Zaragoza as Tiger Lily. Additional casting will be announced.
About the newly announced cast, director Price says, “Nolan embodies all the beautiful contradictions of Peter. He’s an extraordinarily gifted young actor, a wonderful singer, and nothing short of magical. Cody Garcia as Captain Hook is utterly modern, surprising, and one of the most engaging actors I’ve ever worked with.”
“I also want to celebrate Hawa Kamara, making her professional debut as Wendy! A wildly charismatic young actress, who’s as talented as she is beautiful," Price adds. "And rounding out this sensational group is Raye Zaragoza as Tiger Lily—brilliant multi-faceted recording artist and actress. This company is simply going to blow people away, and I cannot wait for audiences across the country to fall in love with each of them.”
Based on Sir James M. Barrie's classic tale and originally directed, choreographed, and adapted by Jerome Robbins, Peter Pan has a score by Morris (Moose) Charlap, lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, additional lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and additional music by Jule Styne.
The upcoming tour will also have aerial choreography by Paul Rubin, music supervision and additional arrangements by Andy Einhorn, dance arrangements by David Dabbon, scenic design by Anna Louizos, costume design by Sarafina Bush, lighting design by Amith Chandrashaker, sound design by Kai Harada, projections by David Bengali, hair and make-up design by J. Jared Janas, fight direction by Rick Sordelet and Christian Kelly-Sordelet, and Tinker Bell design by Paul Kieve.
Though there are many musical adaptations of Barrie's play of the flying boy who won't grow up, this 1954 edition has proven the most perennial. Originally written as a vehicle for Mary Martin, the musical would play a brief Broadway run in 1954 before closing so that the production could be broadcast live on TV. The telecast was so successful that it was re-mounted twice more with much of the same cast, and then again with an all-new cast led by Girls star Allison Williams in 2015. The musical is frequently revived on Broadway and at regional theatres around the world, with Sandy Duncan and Cathy Rigby among the most prominent Peter Pans in more recent years.