By Michael Ray Cantrell
The production of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell consisted of some of today’s biggest stars from Disney, television’s Seinfeld, American Idol, and country music. Adorned with fairy dust and twinkling lights, the production opens in the land of dreams, in Wendy’s bedroom, where Peter Pan, brilliantly played by Garrett Clayton of Disney Channel’s Teen Beach movie, magically appears from the land of lost boys, followed by Tinkerbell as nothing but a green floating light merely appearing across the stage. It is then when Peter Pan asks Wendy and her brothers to return back to Neverland so Wendy can be the mother of the lost boys.
With the sprinkle of pixie dust, the lights go down and Peter Pan, Wendy, her brothers, and Tinkerbell are lifted into the air holding hands as to give the illusion of flying off into the night sky. Neverland is a truly magical place where there are absolutely no rules, and nobody ever has to grow up. Betrayed by Tinkerbell, stunningly portrayed by Diana DeGarmo, Peter Pan, Wendy, and friends face death as Captain Hook (John O’Hurley) and his wretched pirates raid Neverland in hopes of Captain Hook getting his revenge on Peter Pan for losing his hand to the crocodile. In the end, Peter Pan saves the day once again as he and Tinkerbell team up on Captain Hook causing him to walk his own plank. The audience cheered at the victory of Peter Pan saving the day.
The production is overwhelmed with humor maintained by the character called “Smee” played by Ben Giroux, who hilariously uses names of local Nashville attractions throughout the production and calls out audience members as jokes and famous one-liners as part of the interactive experience. The production was brought to Nashville by the Lythgoe family who was involved in such television hits such as American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. The Lythgoe’s dedicate themselves to bringing affordable theatre to families across America. This year it was announced that about 1,000 students will get to attend the production of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell at TPAC for free. The Lythgoes pride themselves in helping families share memorable experiences together. Last year alone, over 6000 students in Title I shared in the joy of the Lythgoe family’s incredible live theatre experience, through the celebration of Panto. I give this production five stars.
There are still four more chances to see this amazing production showing in the James K. Polk Hall at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center this coming Thursday-Sunday December 20-23, 2018. You may purchase tickets online at TPAC.org or by phone at 615-782-4040.