Saunders, who played June in Connecticut Repertory Theatre's multi-racial revival of Gypsy that starred Leslie Uggams earlier this summer, is a descendant of members of the Cherokee Nation. Earlier this year Peter Pan producers stated that they were seeking actresses of Native American descent to inhabit the role of Peter Pan's ally.
Louderman steps into the role of Wendy, with the previously announced five-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O'Hara (The Bridges of Madison County) as her mother, Mrs. Darling, and Tony Award winner Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher) as Mr. Darling and Smee.
Peter Pan will be broadcast Dec. 4 at 8 PM.
The original Broadway production of Peter Pan, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and featuring the songs “I’m Flying,” “I’ve Gotta Crow,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” and “Never Never Land,” opened on Broadway in 1954. The show had a book by J.M. Barrie and a score by Mark “Moose” Charlap and Carolyn Leigh, with additional songs by Jule Styne and Betty Comden and Adolph Green. It starred Mary Martin as Peter and Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook, both of whom won Tony Awards for their performances. Martin and Ritchard reprised their Broadway roles in a live telecast of the production, which aired on NBC in 1955. The production was so popular that NBC followed it in 1956 with a second live telecast — and in 1960 with a videotaped version, both also starring Martin and Ritchard. The 1960 videotaped version was rebroadcast in 1963, 1966 and 1973 and was released on home video in 1990.