UPDATE: Neil Meron Confirms Christian Borle Casting for NBC's PETER PAN!
As BWW reported yesterday, preliminary reports speculated that stage and screen star Christian Borle was in final talks to join NBC's PETER PAN LIVE as 'Smee' and 'Mr. Darling'. The casting would mark Borle's return for the network special from executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron on December 4, following his role as 'Max' in last year's THE SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE.
Today, Peter Pan producer Neil Meron confirmed the news on Twitter, posting: "welcome to #PeterPanLive Christian Borle @craigzadan @nbc http://www"
Borle won a Tony Award for his performance as 'Black Stache' in 2012's PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, so it's no stretch for him to join the roster of PETER PAN. He will join previously announced Allison Williams as 'Peter Pan' and Christopher Walken as 'Captain Hook'.
Borle's other Broadway credits include Legally Blonde, Mary Poppins, Spamalot, Amour, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Jesus Christ Superstar and Footloose. He also starred in the musical TV series Smash.
The original Broadway production of "Peter Pan," directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and featuring the iconic songs "I'm Flying," "I've Gotta Crow," "I Won't Grow Up," and "Never Never Land," opened on Broadway in 1954. The show had a book by J.M. Barrie and a score by Mark "Moose" Charlap & Carolyn Lee, with additional songs by Jule Styne &Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
It starred Mary Martin as Peter and Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook, both of whom won Tony Awards for their performances. While Martin earned a Tony playing Peter on Broadway, other actresses have taken on the role for different Broadway productions. Sandy Duncan was the title character in the 1979 stage version and Cathy Rigby portrayed Peter throughout the 1990s on the Great White Way.
Martin and Ritchard reprised their Broadway roles in a live telecast of the production which aired on NBC in 1955. The production was so popular that NBC followed it in 1956 with a second live telecast -- and in 1960 with a videotaped version, both also starring Martin and Ritchard. The 1960 videotaped version was rebroadcast in 1963, 1966 and 1973 and was released on home video in 1990.