BWW Previews: PETER PAN at North Shore Music Theatre
PETER PAN, the high-flying Tony© Award-winning musical, follows the adventures of Peter Pan and his mischievous fairy sidekick, Tinkerbell, as they visit the nursery of the Darling children late one night. With a sprinkle of pixie dust, they begin a magical journey across the stars that none of them will ever forget. From ticking crocodiles, to fierce warriors, bungling pirates and the villainous Captain Hook himself, this fun classic will delight all ages. With its iconic score featuring songs like "I'm Flying," "I Gotta Crow," "I Won't Grow Up" and "Never Never Land," PETER PAN is the perfect show for the child in all of us!
Beverly, MA native James Beaman will play Mr. Darling and Captain Hook. James has been seen at North Shore Music Theatre in The Sound of Music, Spamalot, and Guys and Dolls. In addition to starring in the First National Tour of Spamalot, New England audiences have seen him in 1776 (Cape Playhouse), La Cage aux Folles and Nice Work If You Can Get It (Ogunquit Playhouse), Guys and Dolls (Main State music Theatre); and Annie Get Your Gun, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Mame (Goodspeed Musicals).
I recently spoke with Mr. Beaman who grew up and attended school in Beverly, MA about what it means to return home, and to portray the much sought after role of Captain Hook.
BWW: So you grew up in Beverly MA tell us about it.
Mr. Beaman: We moved to Beverly when I was four when my dad was a professor at Boston University, he commuted into Boston every day and my mother had an acting school and dance studio for years in Beverly, and she still lives in Beverly. I grew up going on field trips to NSMT and this is my forth show performing here so it is very special to me to peform for the home town crowd, and I think this is the best show I have been in here.
BWW: What did you do after college?
Mr. Beaman: I worked as an actor in Boston for five years, then in 1993 I moved to New York and have lived there ever since.
BWW: What is special for you about NSMT?
Mr. Beaman: I grew up seeing productions here, my mom lives about two miles away from NSMT, as do other family. I think the quality of every single production they do is incredible, and it is amazing how creative they are working in the round. I also think that the theatre is very loyal to a group of actors including many Boston based actors and regional actors such as the great David Coffee. I think is a wonderful thing. It is very difficult for stage actors to find consistent work and it is great to find quality work close to home.
BWW: What attracted you to the role of Captain Hook?
Mr. Beaman: When I was twelve, I saw a production of Peter Pan at NSMT with the great British Actor George Rose as Captain Hook, (he later went on to perform the role on Broadway), on a school field trip and I was captivated. I think Captain Hook is one of the greatest classic and comic roles in musical theatre. My background is in classical theatre and this classic role requires, the ability to be at times funny and other time scary, but is also full of histrionics. I have four very funny songs and our choreographer Diane Laurenson gave me great choreography to accompany these songs. Captain Hook has always been on my list of roles I wanted to play and it is a great honor to play this role. It is very physically demanding and I love the challenge. In addition, our director Bob Richard gave me great freedom to interpret the role and I am thrilled with the outcome, and I can't wait for the audiences to see this wonderful production.
BWW: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about the production?
Mr. Beaman: Peter Pan is rarely performed regionally due to the Cathy Rigby tour controling the markets, so this is a great chance to see a high quality local production. Our creative team worked directly with the Barry estate to adapt this production to the theatre-in-the-round style, and they also worked hard to represent the role of Tiger Lilly and the Indians, in a way to be respectful and culturally sensitive to Native Americans. The production is very creative and there are several amazing surprises that you will have to come to NSMT to see and enjoy. We are all very proud of this production and cannot wait to share with the audiences.
Rounding out the cast and creative team are:
Elena Ricardo will play Peter Pan, Elena made her Broadway debuted in the ensemble, then starred as Sophie Sheridan in the closing company of Mamma Mia!Her other credits include the National Tour of Beautiful: the Carole King Musical and regional productions of Spring Awakening, Next to Normal, and Bring It On the Musical!Elena has also been a part of the development of new musicals such as Dear Evan Hansen and Freaky Friday.
Mr. Smee will be played by Paul Castree. Paul has been seen at North Shore Music Theatre in productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat andA Christmas Carol. His Broadway credits include Disaster!, 9 to 5, Young Frankenstein, High Fidelity, All Shook Up, Movin' Out, Saturday Night Fever, Footloose, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Grease. In addition to touring nationally in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Bye Bye Birde, he has also appeared in the Off-Broadway, Los Angeles and Toronto productions of Forever Plaid for which he won an L.A. Ovation award, and Canada's Dora Award.
Also featured in the cast of PETER PAN will be Victoria Byrd (Tiger Lily, Liza), Kate Fitzgerald (Wendy Darling), Jake Ryan Flynn (John Darling), Liesl Jean Jaye(Twin One), Maya Kazzaz (Tootles), Paige Sabo (Twin Two), AJ Scott (Michael Darling), Vinnie Smith (Curly), Kathy St. George (Mrs. Darling), and Josh Zacher (Slightly)
The ensemble of PETER PAN includes Joy Clark, Alexander Gil Cruz (Cecco), Daniel Gold (Bill Jukes), Ryan Jackson (Noodler), Karma Jenkins, Scarlett Keene-Connole, Christopher R. Morrissey (Mullins), Brian Padgett (Gentleman Starkey), Jonathan Quigley (Nibs), Pedro Rangel, and Ian Shain (Nana, Crocodile).Thomas Fitzgerald and Ben Choi-Harris will be the standbys for John and Michael Darling.
The creative team for PETER PAN is made up of Bob Richard (Director), Diane Laurenson (Choreographer), Peter Leigh Nilsen (Music Director), Kyle Dixon (Scenic Design), Kelly Baker (Costume Coordination), Jose Santiago (Lighting Design), Don Hanna (Sound Design), Gerard Kelly (Wig and Hair Design), Natalie A. Lynch (Production Stage Manager), Dakotah Wiley Horan (Assistant Stage Manager), and Robert L. Rucinski (Assistant Music Director). The flying effects will be designed by ZFX Flying Effects. PETER PAN is produced for North Shore Music Theatre by Bill Hanney (Owner/Producer), Kevin P. Hill (Producing Artistic Director), and Matthew Chappell (Casting, Interim Associate Producer).
PETER PAN playing at North Shore Music Theatre thru July 22, 2018. Show times Tuesday thru Thursday 7:30pm, Wednesday and Saturday, and Sunday 2:00pm, and Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00Pm.Tickets for PETER PAN are priced starting from $59 - $84. Kids Save 50%. For tickets and information call (978) 232-7200, visit www.nsmt.org, or visit the box office in person at 62 Dunham Rd., Beverly, MA.
ADDITIONAL FREE EVENTS
MEET THE THEATRE: Free post-show audience discussion with the artists and theatre management.
• TUESDAY, July 17 at 7:30pm
• SATURDAY, July 21 at 2pmOUT AT THE NORTH SHORE: An evening for the LGBTQ Community including a post-show reception with the cast at The Backstage Bistro.
• THURSDAY, July 19 at 7:30pm