Peter Pan Live! originally aired Dec. 4, and while the ratings were down nearly 50 percent from last year's The Sound of Music Live!, on Twitter, about 5.3 million unduplicated Twitter users saw 475,000 posts about the live staging. There were approximately 147,000 users tweeting the three-hour broadcast; over one million Twitter impressions were made.
Producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan previously told Playbill.com that the live television broadcasts of Peter Pan, which starred Mary Martin, inspired them to pitch The Sound of Music Live! to NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt.
Based on the J.M. Barrie play, Peter Pan has music by Morris Charlap and Jule Styne, with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, Betty Comden and Adolph Green. It features such songs as "I'm Flying," "I've Gotta Crow," "I Won't Grow Up" and "Never Never Land." Read the full Opening Night Playbill for the original 1954 Broadway production of Peter Pan here.
The NBC broadcast has been adapted for television by Irene Mecchi. Tony Award winner Rob Ashford (Evita, Thoroughly Modern Millie), who also directed The Sound of Music Live!, returns to direct and choreograph Peter Pan Live!
New songs include "Vengeance," an entrance song for Captain Hook, adapted from "Ambition" from the musical Do Re Mi; "Only Pretend," a song for Wendy about her feelings for Peter Pan, adapted from "I Know About Love" from Do Re Mi; and "A Wonderful World Without Peter," a duel song between Hook and Peter, adapted from "Something's Always Happening On The River" from Say Darling.
Additionally, the second-act number "Ugg-a-Wugg," a song for Peter Pan and Tiger Lily, which shows the opposing worlds of the Indians and the Lost Boys, has been updated — due to lyrics and phrases that have been deemed offensive in recent years.
The song, now titled "True Blood Brothers" (a lyric in the song's original version), replaces lyrics such as "ugg-a-wugg" and "gugg-a-bluck" with traditional Native American terms that have been approved by Native American consultant Jerod Tate. "Now and forever, this will hopefully be the version [in the show]," Meron said.
The cast of Peter Pan Live! also includes five-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O'Hara (The Bridges of Madison County) as Mrs. Darling, Tony Award winner Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher) as Mr. Darling and Smee, Taylor Louderman (Bring It On) as Wendy and Alanna Saunders (Gypsy) as Tiger Lily. Minnie Driver will narrate and play adult Wendy.
The Lost Boys are played by Ryan Steele (Curly), Jason Gotay (Tootles), Jacob Guzman (Twin 1), David Guzman (Twin 2), Chris McCarrell (Nibs), F. Michael Haynie (Slightly), Dyllon Burnside (Prickles), Daniel Quadrino (Bunting), Garett Hawe (Patches) and Michael Hartung (Sniffler).
The Pirates are played by Bryce Ryness (Starkey), T. Oliver Reid (Oliver Shreeks/Islander), Michael Park (Cecco), Chris Sullivan (Noodler), Alan H. Green (Cookson), Austin Lesch (Bill Jukes), Gary Milner (The Vicar/Islander), Matt Wall (Skylights/Islander), Ryan Andes (Admiral Chrichton) and John Arthur Greene (Robert Mullins/Islander).
Also featured are young actors Caitlin Houlahan as Jane, Jake Lucas as John Darling and John Allyn as Michael Darling.
The original Broadway production of Peter Pan, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, opened on Broadway in 1954. 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.