Peter Pan – Marple Newtown High School in Newtown Square, PA
March 21, 2017
Review submitted by Colleen Williams of Interboro High School
Want to see Marple Newtown High School’s latest theatrical production? Just go to the second star on the right! Peter Pan gains a musical twist that is bound to invoke nostalgic childhood memories.
The story of Peter Pan begins in the nursery of the Darling household. Once abed, Wendy, John, and Michael are swiftly roused from slumber by a magical young boy named Peter Pan, and are amazed by his powers of flight. Enticed by his tales of Never Never Land, they are sprinkled with Tinkerbell’s fairy dust and join Peter and his Lost Boys. Upon arrival, Wendy finds herself pressed into being the mother of a horde of unruly boys. Meanwhile, the threat of the murderous Captain Hook is omnipresent.
An enthusiastic band of thespians revitalized the fairy-tale’s beloved characters. Sarah Hendricks embodied the impudence of Peter, and Owen Mannion’s comedic pomp as Captain Hook resulted in a memorable performance. Also noteworthy were the various ensembles and their antics; the Brave Indians, Captain Hook’s Crew, and the Lost Boys all brought a certain flair to the show.
Marple Newtown’s student orchestra put notable effort into controlling its volume. Throughout the show, the instrumentalists maintained a reasonable volume. The cast could easily be heard, and important musical elements were not drowned out by the vocals. The orchestra also played a key role in the acting; the voice of Tinkerbell was a series of notes played by the vibraphonist.
Another praiseworthy facet was the cast’s costumes and makeup. These parts of the show were entirely student created, though at times this was hard to believe. Hook was dressed as a regal rapscallion with his plumed pirate hat, thin mustache, and red velvet coat, and The Lost Boys’ raggedness was emphasized by their torn clothes and smudged faces. The outfits and makeup designed by Vinnie Cavallero, Belle Galante, and Abby Pancoast were suitably eclectic.
Though the overall sound quality of the production was tolerable, the breathing of the cast was frequently heard; this could be observed mainly in large numbers. Also, the cast was powerful when grouped together, but when the number of actors dwindled, such as in dialogue scenes, the energy slacked off. However, the jauntiness of the ensembles allowed the show to run smoothly.
Marple Newtown High School’s performance of Peter Pan was an energetic recreation of the famous fairy-tale that made the audience never want to grow up.
Review submitted by Maureen Tibbetts of Archmere Academy
Marple Newtown High School transformed into Marple Neverland High School Thursday night with its production of Peter Pan.
Most people know the story of Peter Pan from the Disney movie of the same name. First appearing on Broadway in 1954, Peter Pan the musical has been delighting audiences for decades. The musical tells the tale of Wendy Darling and her friend Peter Pan, a young boy who is determined to never grow up.
Marple Newtown High School’s production was anchored by its enormous cast, made up primarily of three main groups: the Lost Boys, the Pirates, and the Indians. The large cast brought lots of energy—and fairy dust—to the stage. One of the most prominent elements of the production was the impressive use of harnesses for flying.
Marple Newtown carried on the tradition of Peter Pan being played by a female. Sarah Hendricks captured Peter’s mischievous nature and committed herself fully to her character. Sarah Hendricks and Katie Rice, who played Wendy, made a lovely pair, playing off of each other’s energy and harmonizing nicely in several duets. Owen Mannion also gave a noteworthy performance as Captain Hook; he brought humor and charm to his villainous character.
Mira Sadeghi showed off her dancing abilities both as a dance captain and as Tiger Lily, the leader of the Brave Indians. Another noteworthy dancing performance came from Vinnie Cavallero, who played Nibs and headed the costume committee as well. Ryan Naughton, who played both Nana the dog and the Crocodile, spoke no lines but captivated the audience whenever he appeared.
Many of the musicians in the pit orchestra were students; they provided a strong musical foundation throughout the show. Hair, makeup, costumes, and props were all authentic and well done.
Full of large, high-energy numbers and childlike charm, Marple Newtown High School’s production of Peter Pan left its audience feeling reluctant to grow up.