Syracuse Stage Starts Off Holiday Season with High Flying Family Musical ‘Peter Pan’
Journey to Neverland in the high-flying family musical “Peter Pan” this holiday season at Syracuse Stage. “All children, except one, grow up.” So begins the magical adventure that has been delighting youngsters (and oldsters) for more than 100 years. With such songs as “I’m Flying,” “I Won’t Grow Up” and “Never Never Land,” “Peter Pan” delivers a musical and adventurous treat for the holiday season. Paul Barnes (Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” “The Miracle Worker”) directs with choreography by Anthony Salatino.
“Peter Pan” performs Nov. 28-Jan. 3, 2016, in the Archbold Theatre at the Syracuse Stage/Drama Complex, 820 E. Genesee St. The opening night performance is Friday, Dec. 4. at 8 p.m. Tickets and information are available at http://www.syracusestage.org, by phone at 315-443-3275 and in person at the Syracuse Stage Box Office (Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and two hours before curtain in the evening and on weekends). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more at 315-443-9844. Discounts are also available for seniors, students and U.S military personnel and veterans. Sign interpretation, open captioning and audio description services are available for select performances.
The musical follows Peter Pan and the Darling children as they fly to Neverland to explore new and fantastical worlds. With Peter’s fearless sense of adventure and Wendy’s strong will and nurturing spirit, the pair battle against pirates and crocodiles and find themselves up against the evil villain Captain Hook. Add the mischievous Tinkerbell and her fairy magic, and the show has what director Paul Barnes called a trigger for the imagination of our childhood dreams of flying.
To bring the dream of flying to life, Stage will work with ZFX Flying Effects, a performer-flying-effects company based in Louisville, Ky. ZFX’s credits include major Broadway productions such as “The Wizard of Oz,” “Tarzan” and “Peter Pan.”
“I think it is going to be a great production that’s going to be fun from beginning to end,” says Barnes.
To create a more relatable 21st century rendition Barnes says he will be introducing Tiger Lily as the leader of a “troupe” of female warriors, inspired by the popular mythical aspects of J.R.R Tolkien’s novels “The Lord of the Rings.”
The production also features a male Peter Pan, Department of Drama student Troy Hussmann, who appeared as Link Larkin in last season’s “Hairspray.” Since Mary Martin originated the role on Broadway, a female actor has typically portrayed the role.
“When you cast a male as Peter, it brings more truthfulness to the relationship between Peter and Wendy,” says Barnes. “Troy not only has the requisite boyishness and ‘Lord of the Flies’-like wild child in him, but also can sing the role beautifully.”
In all, 25 Department of Drama students make up the cast working with professional Equity actors. This show represents the 17th co-production offered by Syracuse Stage and the Syracuse University Department of Drama. The Stage/Drama co-productions started with a production of “Peter Pan” in the 2000-2001 season. These co-production have become so popular with audiences and critics alike that they have become an annual tradition at Syracuse Stage.
During the runs of “Peter Pan” and “The Santaland Diaries” (The Storch Theatre, Dec. 9-Jan. 3), Syracuse Stage will be collecting non-perishable food items for those in need and coats for students and families at Franklin Elementary School in Syracuse.
The “Peter Pan” cast includes Donald Corren (Captain Hook/Mr. Darling), Christine Toy Johnson (Mrs. Darling/Wendy grown up), Troy Hussman (Peter Pan), Cole Francum (Pirate Bill Jukes), Delphi Borich (Wendy Darling), Ana Marcu (Tiger Lily), Charity Van Tassel (Jane, Tiger Lily’s Troupe Raven Thistle), Kriag Swartz (Smee), Kim Roth (Liza), Ezekiel Edmonds (Pirate Starkey), Giovanni Da Silva (Pirate Cecco), Michael Roach (Pirate Noodler), Jon Paul Roby (Pirate Mullins), Matthew Caraccioli (John Darling), Séamus Gailor (Michael Darling), Meredith Bechtel (Tiger Lily’s Troupe Lavender Fox), Kelsey Broduer (Tiger Lily’s Troupe Scorpion Sundrop), Tristen Buettel (Tiger Lily’s Troupe Leo Thorn), Maria Bufalini (Tiger Lily’s Troupe Wolf Sage), Christy Soeder (Tiger Lily’s Troupe Stallion Rose), Justice Hayward (Lost Boy Nibs), Brady Richards (Lost Boy Curly), Connor Saccal (Lost Boy Twin #1), Brian Sandstrom (Lost Boy Slightly Soiled), Adam Segrave (Lost Boy Tootles), Richard Westfahl (Lost Boy Twin #2), Melissa Beaird (Nana, Crocodile), Stephen Gordon (Kangaroo), Lisa Graye (Lion) and Kyle Patrick Scanlon (Ostrich).
The “Peter Pan” understudies include Michael Roach (Peter Pan), Charity Van Tassel (Wendy Darling), Maria Bufalini (Tiger Lily), Lisa Graye (Jane), Tristan Buettel (Liza), Ryan Stryker Dunn (John Darling), Hunter Metnick (Michael Darling), Christy Soeder (Nana, Crocodile), Kyle Patrick Scanlon (Pirate Swing) and Stephen Gordon (Lost Boy Swing).
Designers are Lonnie Alcaraz (lighting), Susan Branch Towne (costume), Linda Buchanan (scenic) and Jonathan R. Herter (sound). The Stage Manager is Stuart Plymesser.
“Peter Pan” sponsors are KeyBank and Excellus. The presenting sponsors are CNY Arts Center and the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust. The season sponsor is Syracuse Media Group. Urban CNY is the Media Sponsor for “Peter Pan.”