Peter Pan (1950 musical)

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album of original Bernstein stage adaptation
Boris Karloff as Captain Hook in the 1950 musical production of Peter Pan

Peter Pan is a 1950 musical adaptation of J. M. Barrie's play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up with music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein; it opened on Broadway on April 24, 1950.[1] This version starred Jean Arthur as Peter Pan, Boris Karloff in the dual roles of George Darling and Captain Hook, and Marcia Henderson as Wendy.[2] The show was orchestrated by Hershy Kay and conducted by Benjamin Steinberg.[3] The show ran for 321 performances, closing on January 27, 1951.[1]

The production was initially intended as a full-blown musical, with Bernstein composing a complete score for it, but was staged with only five songs – "Who Am I?", "Pirate's Song", "Plank Round", "Build My House", and "Peter Peter" – to accommodate the limited vocal ranges of the principals.[4]

In 2000, conductor Alexander Frey learned about the full score, and restored the omitted material, which included about 45 minutes of previously unperformed Bernstein music. The restored songs included "Captain Hook Soliloquy" and "Dream With Me".[4]

A recording was released on CD in 2005, conducted by Frey, and featuring Broadway star Linda Eder in the role of Wendy Darling, and baritone Daniel Narducci as Captain Hook, on the Koch International Classics label.[5]

In December 2006 the full musical was produced for the first time on stage by The King's Head Theatre in Islington, London with Katherine Kastin as Peter Pan and Peter Land as Captain Hook, directed by Stephanie Sinclaire and featuring new musical arrangements by Mike Dixon.[6]

In September 2008 the score was performed in concert, with dialogue adapted from the original J. M. Barrie play by Nina Bernstein Simmons, in Cascais, Portugal, featuring Geraldine James (narrator), John Sackville-West (Peter Pan), Charlotte Ellett and Rachel Nicholls (Wendy) and Nicholas Lester (Captain Hook).

In November 2008 the entire score was performed for the first time in the United States with the original J. M. Barrie play at Texas Tech University under the direction of James Bush with Jacob Miller conducting.

It was produced in a full dramatic presentation by Santa Barbara Theater (California) in December 2008, directed by Albert Ihde and again conducted by Frey.

Musical numbers[edit]

Song Title
Prelude - Act I
Who Am I?
Peter's Tears
Shadow Dance
Flight to Neverland
Flight Music
Prelude - Act II
Pirate Song
Croc Music
Wendy's Entrance
Build My House
Scene Change
Pirate's Song (Reprise)
Lagoon Fight
Scene Change
Peter Peter
Indian-Pirate Fight
Hook's Poison
Tinker Bell Sick- Tink Lives!
Captain Hook's Soliloquy
Prelude - Act III
Crew Dance
Plank Round
Scene Change
Dream With Me
Scene Change
Spring Will Come Again