PETER PAN Flies Into The Rose This Month
The classic story of the boy who never grew up, Peter Pan shares the story of a boy who escapes growing up by spending his life in the magical realms of Neverland. There, he battles pirates, flies with fairies and befriends the natives. On a random flight to London, he encounters the Darling children -- Wendy, John and Michael -- who follow him on the adventure of a lifetime. Together with the Lost Boys, they do battle with the sinister Captain Hook and his pirate crew.
"All of us who have read Peter Pan know that this story tackles what it means to be an adult and what makes childhood special," says Rose artistic director Matthew Gutschick.
The Rose's production of Peter Pan is being led by guest director Amy Lane, whose work was last seen in The Rose's world premiere of Buffalo Bill's Cowboy Band. "Amy is the perfect person to lead this show," says Gutschick, "She is the most creative and kind individual and is someone who embodies what we all want to be when we grow up."
Lane explains that she plans to bring a very traditional story to the stage, deeply inspired by Victorian-era fairy tale books. "This is truly the fairy tale version of Peter Pan," she says. "I almost imagine the design as a sort of pop-up book that the audience is invited into."
Peter Pan begins in the Darlings' nursery, which will be filled with beautiful Edwardian designs. As the children fly away to Neverland, the scene unfolds into an almost Technicolor world, with scenic designs by Tim McMath. "We have imagined that in Neverland it is every season all the time, giving us a full range of vibrant color to work with," says Lane.
In a twist from the traditional casting of an adult female, the role of Peter Pan will be played by 14-year-old Danny Deneberg, who was last seen on The Rose stage in the lead role of Ralphie in A Christmas Story.
Ablan Roblin will portray the villianous (but highly humorous) Captain Hook. "Although Hook is definitely a villain, we are looking at his character through a hilarious and fun lens," says Gutschick.
Unique lighting techniques will be used by lighting designer Craig S. Moxon to bring the fairy Tinkerbell to life. "Traditionally Tinkerbell is done with a simple follow spot that darts across the stage, but I wanted to give her a bit more life," says Moxon. He will use modern animated lights that will allow Tinkerbell to sparkle as she flits across the stage. This cutting edge technology will be juxtaposed with traditional Victorian-looking lighting, including traditional antique footlights (but lit with modern LED techology).
Considered a musical masterwork, Peter Pan features orchestrations from the Broadway show, including the favorites - "Never Never Land," "I Won't Grow Up" and "I'm Flying." Jerry Brabec serves as musical director, leading a live 10-piece orchestra that includes instruments ranging from trumpets to oboes to a harp. Choreographer Sue Gillespie Booton gives energy and movement to the musical numbers, especially with the "Pounce" dancers -- Neverland natives who greet the new arrivals to the island.
"This is a classic story that enchants everyone," says Gutschick. "It looks at that position we all face where we are looking at the world on the precipice of adulthood. In the end, we learn that we don't have to leave the best of childhood behind."
The high-flying fantasy Peter Pan will delight children ages four and up.
Peter Pan runs June 2-18, 2017, with performances on Fridays at 7 pm, Saturdays at 2 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm. The June 10 show will be interpreted for people who are deaf or hard of hearing; this show will also include audio description services for audience members who are blind. Contact The Rose Box Office at (402) 345-4849 for more information.
Tickets for Peter Pan are $27 Main Floor and $22 Balcony. Discount ticket vouchers are available at all area Hy-Vee stores. Members of The Rose receive discounted tickets to the production.
Peter Pan is sponsored by Children's Hospital & Medical Center, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Mutual of Omaha, the Whitmore Charitable Trust, the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Special opening night activities are sponsored by Kiewit Companies.
About The Rose
The Rose Theater is one of the largest and most accomplished children's theaters in the nation, with a reputation for enriching the lives of children and families through top-quality professional productions and arts education. In 2016, American Theatre magazine named The Rose one of the 20 top children's theaters in the United States. The Rose is committed to making the Arts Accessible to all children, providing opportunities for thousands of children throughout the community to attend shows and participate in classes each year. Over the course of a year, approximately 70,000 people attend the public performances held at the theater, and nearly 30,000 students attend field trip shows annually.
The theater strives to introduce young people to a mix of both traditional favorites and ground-breaking original productions. A number of plays and musicals have made their world premiere on The Rose stage, including Pete the Cat: The Musical, Sherlock Holmes & the First Baker Street Irregular, Zen Ties, Buffalo Bill's Cowboy Band, and The Grocer's Goblin & The Little Mermaid. We take pride knowing that The Rose is the place where children of all ages experience theater for the first time, and we are dedicated to helping them appreciate theater for a lifetime.