Neverland comes to Kenai this weekend

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Peter, Tinker Bell, Wendy, Lost Boys, Capt. Hook and a full cast of Neverland characters take center stage of the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium at KCHS this weekend for the Kenai Performers opening of Piers Robinson's Peter Pan Musical. And just as Mary Martin did in the original Broadway production of the musical, Peter will soar through the atmosphere in the local performance of this enchanting tale. "We've contracted with a professional company, ZFX Flying Effects, out of California to come up and train us to fly. He says he does 450 flying shows a year and has lots of fairy dust and happy thoughts, so expect to see a show like nothing ever seen before in Kenai," said director Phil Morin. Peter Pan, who is portrayed by 15-year-old Annaleah Ernst, says she is more than ready. "It's who I am! I've always wanted to do stuff like this and never get old. I always want to be a little kid and never grow up - just like Peter," Ernst told the Dispatch during a rehearsal interview.

The evil Capt. James Hook is played by none other than Kenai's own Bill Gary, who admits he it may have been a little bit of type casting that got him the part. "People like seeing me play the bad guy, so I like to give them what they like," scowled Gary. Although almost everyone has either an animated or preconceived image of the classic Peter Pan, you might want to leave those images at the door for this particular performance. "This is not your Disney or Broadway production that you may be familiar with," says director Morin. "We're not doing the classic Peter Pan that most people are familiar with, it is not the Mary Martin or even Cathy Rigby version. Our production is actually a version out of London and most of the songs you won't find familiar, songs such as 'I Won't Grow Up' isn't even in this version. But our live orchestrations are really jazzy, upbeat, and exciting. There is only one song that even conjures any nostalgia that's at the very end, and don't expect Tinker Bell to be very nice, I'm warning you our pixie isn't any Julia Roberts. But we do have fairies, little and big ones, and Hook is more of a codfish then he is mean, so there are some issues that will be resolved," explained Morin.

The musical Peter Pan will run for three weekends opening February 18th-20th, 25th-27th, and March 4th-6th. "The last two musicals the Kenai Performers have done have left people clamoring for another weekend of shows so we are giving it a try this time and hope people will be faithful to show up for the third weekend. We have a cast of over one hundred and are doing a lot more dance than we have done in years and years, and the sets, costumes, pageantry, and special effects will definitely be something worth seeing more than once to appreciate the full measure of the show," added Morin. Showtime Friday & Saturday's is 7:00pm, 3:00pm Sundays, with tickets available at Charlotte's, King's Treasures, and Curtain Call Consignment in Kenai, River City Books in Soldotna, Coffee Roasters in the Red Diamond Center, and at the door. For more information call 252-7929.

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