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Peter Pan and Wendy
Photo Maria Vartanova

 

Peter Pan and Wendy

By Doug Rand, directed by Riley Stewart

Based on the novel by J.M. Barrie

 

American playwright Doug Rand’s recent adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s 1911 novel gives Wendy equal time with Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up.

The script maintains most of the well-known elements of the story of how Peter Pan enticed the Darling children to fly away with him to Neverland. Captain Hook, the crocodile, the fairy Tinker Bell, the lost boys and the pirates all make appearances as the story moves slowly to its unlikely fairytale ending.

The intentionally low-tech Ottawa Little Theatre production directed by Riley Stewart is part determinedly traditional and part modernistic — a combination, which does not sit well.

While having some female pirates does not jar too much, the odd double casting of Amanda Jonz as Mrs. Darling and Captain Hook makes little sense if a traditional path is being followed. And the usually reliable Ann Scholberg is rather too schoolmarmish as the narrator to keep the tone light. It would also help if there were a greater sense of Peter and the children flying at some point. (Actual flight might be too difficult but paper silhouettes could give a greater impression of flight than changes of light and actors moving to the upper level of the set.) Further, although Tinker Bell has no lines, it is something of a shame that she is relegated to appearing as a twinkling light only.

 

On a positive note, Elie Dib is suitably perky as Peter and Kate Carmanico is bright and appropriately motherly in stepping in as the lost boys’ pretend mother.

William Verreault Milner has some good moments as the Neverbird and such effects as a blue sheet being raised and lowered to drown pirates as they walk the plank work well.

But, in general, this production of Peter Pan and Wendy is unlikely to fly into the memory books.

Peter Pan and Wendy continues at Ottawa Little Theatre to December 16.

Director…………………………………………………….Riley Stewart

Set………………………………………………………….Patti Vopni and Riley Stewart

Lighting…………………………………………………….Karl Wagner

Sound design and composition…………………………….Riley Stewart

Costumes…………………………………………………..Trish Murray

 

Cast:

Peter…………………………………………………………Elie Dib

Wendy………………………………………………………Kate Carmanico

John…………………………………………………………Kyle Fournier

Michael……………………………………………………..Eric Anderson

Mrs. Darling/Hook………………………………………….Amanda Jonz

Mr. Darling/Smee…………………………………………..Lawrence Evenchick

Starkety/Narrator/Liza……………………………………..Ann Scholberg

Jukes……………………………………………………….Margaret keith

Cecco……………………………………………………….Stephen Beneteau

Cookson…………………………………………………….Morris Rothman

Snarls……………………………………………………….Elliott Stewart

Tootles/Nana………………………………………………..Sarah McKay

Nibs…………………………………………………………Sam Van Dusen

Slightly/Neverbird/Kite……………………………….……William Verreault Milner

Twins………………………………………………………..Heather D’Alessio

Curly………………………………………………………..Jack Guigue

Lost Boy……………………………………………………Jannis Dupuis

Tiger Lily/Jane……………………………………………..Leia Ferguson