He's Flying: Francis Jue Is Peter Pan at the Muny Beginning July 16

News   He's Flying: Francis Jue Is Peter Pan at the Muny Beginning July 16
In a bit of non-traditional casting, the role of Peter Pan — which has only been played by women on Broadway (Mary Martin, Sandy Duncan and Cathy Rigby) — will be played by a man when Francis Jue begins performances in Peter Pan July 16 at the Muny, the nation's oldest and largest outdoor theatre.
Francis Jue stars in the title role of the Muny's Peter Pan.
Francis Jue stars in the title role of the Muny's Peter Pan. Photo by Larry Pry/The Muny

Directed by Gary John LaRosa with choreography by Liza Gennaro, the family-favorite musical will play the famed theatre through July 22. The cast also features Robert Westenberg as both Mr. Darling and Captain Hook, Heidi Dean as Wendy Darling, Christian Probst as John Darling, Jessica Waxman as Liza, Spencer Milford as Michael Darlin, Jesse Bernath as Nana, Kari Ely as Mrs. Darling, Ben Hosler as Slightly, Jimmy McEvoy as 1st Twin, Drew Redington as 2nd Twin, PJ Palmer as Curley, Eddie Rowles as Tootles, Jordan Bollwerk as Nibs, Dorian Sanders as Stinker, Aaron Kaburick as Noodler, James Anthony as Mr. Smee, Robert Earl Gleason as Gentleman Starkey, Tom O'Brien as Cecco, Damien Brett as Bill Jukes, Preston Truman Boyd as Mullins, Ryan Huber as Crocodile, Shannon M. O'Bryan as Tiger Lily and Berklea Going as Jane.

The ensemble comprises Etai BenShlomo, Jesse Bernath, Preston Truman Boyd, Damien Brett, Paul A. Brotherton, Justin Scott Brown, Michael Burton, Christina Day, Sara Dobbs, Samantha Eve, Robert Earl Gleason, Joe Grandy, Erik Heitz, Ryan Huber, Aaron Kaburick, Justin Keyes, Ashley Krupinski, Allison McDowell, Michael McKeenan, Sydney Laine Morton, Tom O'Brien and Jessica Waxman. A 70-member children's chorus will also be featured.

The creative team also includes Michael Rice (musical director), Steve and Sam Gilliam (set designers), David Lander (lighting designer) and Jason Krueger (sound designer). Harold Goldfadden is the production stage manager.

Based on several chapters that appeared in James M. Barrie's 1902 novel, "The Little White Bird," the play Peter Pan was first performed in London in 1904. The hit musical comedy version of Barrie's classic first appeared in 1954 starring Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard in the leading roles. Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Jule Styne penned additional songs for it (including "Hook's Waltz" and "Never Never Land"). The score also includes "I Gotta Crow," "Tender Shepherd," "I'm Flyin'," "I Won't Grow Up," "Wendy," "Distant Melody" and more.

Francis Jue created the role of Bun Foo in the Tony-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. He was seen in the revival of Pacific Overtures as well as in the original mounting of M. Butterfly. Robert Westenberg received a Tony nomination and a Drama Desk Award for his work in the original Broadway production of Into the Woods. His other Main Stem credits include 1776, Company, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, The Secret Garden, Les Misérables, Sunday in the Park with George and Zorba (Theatre World Award). He played Mr. Brownlow in last summer's production of Oliver! at the Muny. Westenberg is married to actress Kim Crosby.

The Muny season also features The Pajama Game (July 23-29), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (July 30-Aug. 5) and Les Misérables (Aug. 6-15).

Tickets are available by calling (314) 361-1900, ext. 550; for more information visit www.muny.org.

Robert Westenberg and the cast of the Muny's <i>Peter Pan</i>.
Robert Westenberg and the cast of the Muny's Peter Pan. Photo by Larry Pry/The Muny
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