'Peter Pan' flies onto Renaissance Center stage
The Renaissance Players present the timeless tale of the boy who wouldn't grow up in a community production of Peter Pan, the classic musical that has been enchanting audiences for more than 50 years.
Peter Pan will be presented Nov. 30-Dec. 16 at The Renaissance Center in Dickson, with performances at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and matinees at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 55 and over and $7 for children under 13.
A special Lunch Matinee will be presented Saturday, Dec. 1, with a buffet lunch beginning at 12 p.m. and the play at 1 p.m. Tickets are $17 and include lunch, drink, dessert and the performance. The lunch is limited to 250 tickets.
Amy Scott, managing director of the Renaissance Players, will direct Peter Pan with its cast and crew of more than 70, making it one of the largest community productions the center has presented. Nathan W. Brown is musical director, Bryan J. Wlas is choreographer and Trudy Whiting is serving as stage manager.
The production features Markus McClain of Nashville making his Renaissance Players debut as Peter Pan. The Nashville School of the Arts freshman has appeared in productions with Boiler Room Theatre, Theatre Craft, Pull-Tight Players and on the General Jackson Showboat.
Eric Deiboldt will be playing Captain Hook in his first Renaissance Players production. The Albion, N.Y., native is a graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre/Dance. He is a member of the Renaissance Repertory Theatre Company for which he has appeared in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Christmas Carol.
The show's Darling family includes dentist Dr. Steve DeLoach and Rachel Gunn of Dickson as Mr. and Mrs. Darling, Natalia Dyer of Nashville as Wendy, Christian Albright-Redden of Cumberland Furnace as Michael and Zane Jordan of Charlotte as John, while Tom Whiting of Charlotte will be Nana, the dog.
Dale McCoy of Nashville is making his Renaissance Players debut as Smee and Julianne Lawson of Franklin is Tiger Lilly in her first show at The Renaissance Center.
The cast features dozens of Lost Boys, Indians and pirates and a spectacular set from The Renaissance Center's Toy Shop that includes Never Never Land, the Darlings' home and a pirate ship.
"Between plays, books, musicals, movies, television shows and animated versions, everyone has experienced the innocence and wonder of Peter Pan," said Scott. "It is truly a wonderful story that has captured the hearts of multiple generations and appeals to children and adults."
Scottish playwright James M. Barrie debuted his fantasy play Peter Pan at the Duke of York's Theatre in London in 1904. It made its Broadway debut in 1905 and over the next 45 years was revived three times for a total of more than 700 shows. Each production featured a girl in the title role and the 1950-51 production starred Jean Arthur and Boris Karloff as Captain Hook, the pirate nemesis of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys in Never Land.
The musical version of Peter Pan debuted on Broadway in 1954 with Mary Martin as Peter and won three Tony Awards, including Best Actress for Martin. Peter Pan would return five more times through 1999, featuring Sandy Duncan and Olympic gymnast Cathy Rigby in the title role, earning five more Tony nominations.
Barrie himself created a novel from his play and it has spawned numerous film and television versions, including a 1924 silent movie, the 1953 classic Disney animated movie, a 2003 live action movie, countless television shows and the 1991 Steven Spielberg movie Hook, which featured Robin Williams as a grown-up Peter Pan, Dustin Hoffman as Capt. Hook and Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell.
The 2004 movie Finding Neverland starred Johnny Depp in an Oscar-nominated portrayal of Barrie and how he befriended the Davies family who inspired him to write Peter Pan.
"Peter Pan is a story for the ages," said Scott. "It's a story that our great-grandparents enjoyed as much as our great-grandchildren will. It will never lose its appeal."
Even more exciting for Scott and her crew is that the Renaissance Players production will feature a flying Peter Pan.
"We have already begun making the technical preparations in the Performance Hall that will allow Peter Pan to fly," said Clint Pilkinton, technical director for The Renaissance Center. "Working with ZFX, Inc. from Louisville, special equipment is being put in place and we are beginning the process that will make it possible for Peter and others to fly."
For more information on the Renaissance Players production of Peter Pan, call (615) 740-5600 or visit The Renaissance Center's website at www.rcenter.org. To purchase tickets, call (615) 740-5601.
The Renaissance Center is a fine arts education and performing arts center at 855 Highway 46 South in Dickson, just 35 miles west of Nashville on Interstate 40 at exit 172.