Today I had my second experience with the amazing show “Peter and Wendy,” now running at the New Victory Theater on 42nd Street in New York City. Created and performed by the Mabou Mines theater company, I saw this truly magical production when it was presented in 1997 at the New Vic. Fourteen years later, this production in an expanded form captivated a preview audience of public school student, home taught students, parents, university students and corporate employees…for two and a half hours of pure brilliance.
Karen Kandel is the Narrator, and does the voices for every single character. An amazingly moving tour-de-force, Ms. Kandel brings every character voice to life, and with such specific detail to nuances, accents, pacing and style. Each one unique.
Oh..she does this with puppets. The rest of the cast are puppets, or manipulated objects that come alive in the hands of their expert puppeteers (in order from the program):
Lute Breuer, Basil Twist, Lindsay Abromaitis-Smith, Sam Hack, Jenny Subjack Piezas, Sarah Provost, Jessica Chandlee Smith, Jessica Scott, and Amanda Villalobos.
The staging flows beautifully, and the scenery and props are used with simplistic sophistication, so well thought out it becomes it’s own character. The musicians and singers are other characters, adding depth to an already touching production.
There are great moments of humor, laugh out loud humor, and moments that will cause even the most hard hearted to choke up. A woman who sat in front of me (we had a small discussion before the show and during intermission) turned around to me at the end, after the applause died down and the lights came up. Her eyes were teary, but the warmth of her smiling face showed how deeply this show touched her, an adult.
“Peter and Wendy” will be at The New Victory Theater from May 6th to May 22nd. I implore you to go and experience this show. You will walk out and want to fly yourself, to do some spring cleaning with Peter Pan, and visit Never Never Land. Just believe..and it’s second to the right and straight on till morning…..