Oh, Peter! Can you really teach me how to fly?”
So begins Wendy Darling’s fantastical journey to Neverland, home of the boy who would never grow up. Ever since that fateful night when Peter Pan flew through the nursery window and whisked Wendy and her brothers away with a sprinkling of pixie dust, nothing ever was the same for the precocious English girl.
First, there was the flight through the night sky, past Big Ben and Parliament, to the “second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.” Then came the land of the Lost Boys (who rolled off their prams when their nurses weren’t looking), the mermaids, and the Indians. And let’s not forget the lair of Captain Hook and his band of tarantella-dancing pirates.
It all comes to life beautifully in The Wick Theatre‘s production of Peter Pan, on stage until August 23. This is undoubtedly one of the most technically challenging productions the Boca Raton theater has staged, with elaborate projections, a wire system for “flying,” and sets and costumes straight out of J.M. Barrie’s imagination.
In the acting category, Shanon Mari Mills pretty much owns the lead role. Whether flying across Neverland or belting out “I’ve Got to Crow,” her energy is electric throughout the performance. Robin Haynes’ Captain Hook is hilariously villainous, but it is Mr. Smee (Wesley Slade) who steals the show. With his elastic facial expressions and bumbling ways, he is the perfect goofy foil to Hook’s scheming.
I don’t know who in the audience had more fun: the kids or the grown-ups. On the way out of the theater, I heard a gleeful crow and, thinking it was my 6-year-old, turned and saw a lovely gentleman try his hand at Peter Pan’s signature call. It takes a good show to make one laugh, but it takes a great show to bring out the child in someone.