John Paul the Great Catholic High School Peter Pan and WendyBy Cappies • Nov 10th, 2012 • Category: Cappies
“Quickly, everyone! Clap your hands if you believe in fairies!” On second thought, keep clapping to give a round of applause for John Paul the Great Catholic High School’s hilarious, vivacious production of Peter Pan and Wendy.
Based on J.M Barrie’s classic novel and adapted by Doug Rand in 2006, Peter Pan and Wendy is a semi-darker adaptation of the story of the little boy who refused to grow up. Honing in intently on the stories of both Peter and Wendy, Rand’s work, modified from original adaptations, maintains the familiar, captivating tale that has dazzled audiences throughout the ages. Flying to the Darling household, Peter immediately entrances Wendy Darling and her two brothers, John and Michael, with stories of faraway magical lands. Together, the trio of siblings and Peter embark on a journey to Neverland, home of the Lost Boys and Peter’s arch nemesis, the evil Captain Hook. Faced with battling pirates, escaping floods, and mothering the Lost Boys, Wendy is swept away into this bizarre world, unsure of whether she and her brothers will ever be able to return home.
Notable features of the production included flying stunt effects and fog. Garrison Primeau’s original music composition was a subtle addition to many scenes. As a whole, the cast’s remarkable dedication and commitment to each individual character was widely apparent.
With a sprightly, young boy persona, Sarah O’Donnell tackled the difficult title role of Peter Pan. Though playing a part originally intended for a male actor, O’Donnell successfully handled the challenge, using her aesthetic nimbleness and acrobatic skills to tumble and jump all around the stage with unwavering energy. Opposite her was Monica Loesel as the cheerful Wendy Darling. Displaying a dynamic range, Loesel effectively conveyed Wendy’s transformation from a perplexed, naïve girl to an eloquent, motherly figure for the Lost Boys. O’Donnell and Loesel complemented each other nicely.
Portraying Captain Hook was Jacob Barkett, showcasing a pronounced understanding of his character by using adept enunciation to fully assert Hook’s leadership and power, with a hint of entertaining swagger. Also notable was Leonardo Colon as the ever-so-lovable Lost Boy, Tootles, whose innocent, childish charm was depicted through Colon’s body language and high vocal pitch. Perhaps among the most memorable cameos, Nana and Mullins were played by John Paul Frank. In a “human” dog suit, Frank’s physical, canine-like movements were realistic, yet highly comedic as various characters interacted with him.
Christine Connor’s makeup designs were both appropriate and varied, serving a diverse range of all characters, from pirates to Indians. Heading the collection of props, Katherine Virostek’s choices fit well into the story’s time period and added positively to the production. Though there were some technical mishaps and cue issues, the actors handled these with creativity, professionalism, and poise.
Despite some articulation problems and a few scrambled lines, the cast and crew of Peter Pan and Wendy delivered an admirable production full of endearing moments and plenty of laughs, entertaining audiences of all ages with an iconic story that continues to stand the test of time.
by Jamie Joeyen-Waldorf of Langley High School
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