"I Just Can't Bear It," Said Original Tiger Lily of Watching Peter Pan Live!

News   "I Just Can't Bear It," Said Original Tiger Lily of Watching Peter Pan Live!
Sondra Lee, who originated the role of Tiger Lily in the 1954 production of Peter Pan that starred Mary Martin in the title role, told the New York Post that she will not be watching the Dec. 4 live broadcast on NBC.

Sondra Lee
Sondra Lee Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

"I just can't bear it," Lee, 84, told the Post. "I wish them well, but I have such wonderful memories of ours, of Jerry Robbins, his dances, his mind, of Mary and the adorable Cyril [Ritchard, who played Captain Hook]."

The actress, who also starred in the 1955 live telecast of Peter Pan, said that she would only be interested in watching Christopher Walken's performance as Captain Hook. She is not pleased with the musical's song changes, particularly "Ugg-a-Wugg," that were instituted by Amanda Green, the daughter of original Peter Pan lyricist Adolph Green.

Click here to read more about the song changes made for the live NBC broadcast.

Click here for Playbill.com's interview with Walken, who returns to his dance roots with the musical.

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. It is now titled "True Blood Brothers" (a lyric in the song's original version), and Green has replaced 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.

Lee said, "There was no such thing as political correctness when we did the show. The song is about word games, and kids play word games all the time… People come up to me all the time and say, 'Ugg-a-Wugg'! They love it. If you have a classic, don't mess with it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Executive producer Neil Meron previously stated that he hopes "True Blood Brothers" will be the version "now and forever."

Click here to learn how to join in on the action, including Playbill.com's live chat, Dec. 4, when Peter Pan Live! airs on NBC.

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