"If you believe in fairies, clap your hands."
Last weekend, Peter Pan opened at the Chanticleer Theater in Council Bluffs to a full house of enthusiastic youngsters and for those of us who have never completely grown up or are just young in heart.
This particular production has many outstanding performers. Caroline Hinrichs as Peter Pan has a phenomenal singing voice and perfectly creates a character conflicted with the responsibilities of growing up and having fun. Amanda Biller was the picture perfect Wendy with an angelic voice along with the responsibility of being the oldest in the family and becoming a mother to the Lost Boys. As her brothers John and Michael, both Kevin Mikuls and Austin Lempke are great singers and talented actors. Patrick Wolfe as Mr. Darling and Captain Hook and Sarah Query as Mrs. Darling and the adult Wendy, were also outstanding with their performances.
The entire brigade of pirates were an inspiration with their villainy, comedy, and choreography. Who could not enjoy the enthusiasm of the Lost Boys with many of the younger audience members dreaming of joining them? Tinkerbell was outstanding with her non-verbal lighted character. Mackenzie Storey as Nana, the dog nanny, was delightful with her protection of her children.
Peter Pan excelled with outstanding sets and props and all the characters wearing gloriously detailed costumes which had to be a challenge with this immense cast. The support production crews were superb with utilizing the space to create additional performance areas within the theater both high and low and within the audience.
D. Laureen Pickle excelled with coordinating and directing this massive production along with W. Jerald Brabec as music director, Michael Deatz on keyboard and Kristine Wolfe playing the oboe and English Horn. Kerri Jo Richardson-Watts demonstrated creativity in her choreography.
With opening night jitters there are always some areas that need tweaking. First there was a lack of continuity with the story. I don't know if some lines were missed, or if there were some gaps in the script, but there were a few "huh?" areas for the audience. Also, the flying seemed awkward and limiting while the harnesses were visible to the audience.
Peter Pan requires a large cast along with an attentive support crew which is outstanding in sound amplification, sound effects and lighting. Also wonderful is the volunteer staff assisting the audience in finding seats and assisting the guests throughout the theater. The show lasts about two hours with two intermissions.
You will want to arrive early to have the best places to park your vehicle. Tickets cost $ 20 for adults, $ 16 for seniors, and $ 10 for students and children and can be reserved by calling Chanticleer's box office at 712-323-9955. Also available are souvenirs being sold in the lobby.
Peter Pan is a fun-family show for children of all ages.